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Smart meters. Anyone have one?


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#1 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 08:17 AM

We got a notice that the electric company is going to install a smart meter on my dad's house soon.  That tells me they are in our area and will be at my place soon.  We did some quick research and are kind of afraid of what may come with this.  I run a home office so I may be screwed.  So, before I panic, I wanted to come here and see if anyone has one of these yet and how their life has or hasn't changed since it was installed.  Someone out there has to have one by now so I'm thinking it's not big deal.  Please tell me I'm right.



#2 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 08:37 AM

Not a big deal at all. Power will be down for a short period while they change the meter. Our bill went down with it!


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#3 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 08:56 AM

I've had one here for years. The biggest difference I've noticed is that we no longer have to read the meter and send it in.


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#4 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 09:13 AM

Have had one for about 3 years now.  Used to read meters as a part time job before they were installed.  Basically, all they do is monitor power usage.  How much and when.  They send the information back to the company computer that has a page for each meter.  The biggest advantage is during power outages.  When an outage occurs and employee can go to the computer and tell exactly who is without power and who is not in a particular area. They know a lot closer where to go to find the reason for the outage.

 

Another advantage is those power blips we all get occasionally, where we loose power on one leg or completely for an instant.  When that happen you can contact the company and they can check your meters page and tell if it was something before the meter or after it.  If it happened to be a loose connection in your main distribution box it could save a fire if found in time.  If it was prior to the meter, they could check other meters on that line and find the reason a lot quicker.

 

The smart meter put me out of a job, but that's OK with me.  Meters had to read in a 3 day window, last day of the month of on the first two.  Winter weather made that a real pain.  I would read only on week days so if I got stuck on ice or in the snow, they would send one of their trucks out to pull me out.


Edited by chieffan, December 20, 2015 - 09:15 AM.

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#5 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 09:17 AM

Thanks guys.  That makes me feel a little better.  Of course, I don't know how either of you live compared to me.  My biggest draw backs are my water heater (electric), my dryer (electric) and my home office (one LED light fixture, one computer and one printer, online constantly because office is 1000 miles away).  I have LED lighting just about everywhere and the blower on my woodstove would use much less than the blower in the furnace I would think.  You guys run whole house air?  I would like to weld once in a while.  I think I'm buying into the internet hype, which, by the way, your internet time is supposed to count against your usage.  I can see that if you're plugged in.


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#6 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 09:18 AM

It may change your use times.
One person said that the company he was with was planning on a sliding scale that was use vs when. If durning peak demand hours, it was going to be more expensive per k w
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#7 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 09:31 AM

I didn't know there were any of the analog meters left in use.

we've had one for years. I never noticed a difference other than they no longer guessed on my electric bill and billed the actual amount. Which is good.
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#8 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 09:41 AM

I didn't know there were any of the analog meters left in use.

we've had one for years. I never noticed a difference other than they no longer guessed on my electric bill and billed the actual amount. Which is good.

Analog?  Mine isn't analog, it's digital.  Maybe I've had one for years and didn't know it?  Perhaps that's why we get something from the power company every now and then telling us how bad we are compared to our neighbors?


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#9 cootertom OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 09:55 AM

Keeps the meter honest. Had one for years and power bill actually went down and is a lot more accurate than before.


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#10 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 10:01 AM

I'd say you've probably had a "smart" meter and didn't even know it.
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#11 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 10:01 AM

I think commercial accounts in this area have paid by demand charges. Some bigger manufacturers maintain a generator to start on high demands and help take the load. I'm on an electric coop and our rates are related to total demand on the system. when a new peak is reached, the rates go up. We have voluntary programs that allow them to install a shut-off device on your hot water heater that can be remotely controlled. I think they do it for heat too but its all voluntary and has other perks like credits on your bill. They do it in cycles and have a max off time. I've been on the water heater plan for probably 25 yrs and have never noticed it work. They announce peak alerts on the radio, tv, now online and phone alerts so you know its happening. I don't think they can shut your electric off with the smart meter, just keep track of the usage.


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#12 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 10:06 AM

I'd say you've probably had a "smart" meter and didn't even know it.


Yeah, the meter is smarter than...
Oh, Hi Jeff... Didnt see you standing there.
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#13 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 10:31 AM

My smart meter has a tiny light that blinks every several seconds.  Easy to see if close enough at night.  Easy way to know if you already have one.


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#14 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 10:56 AM

Analog?  Mine isn't analog, it's digital.  Maybe I've had one for years and didn't know it?  Perhaps that's why we get something from the power company every now and then telling us how bad we are compared to our neighbors?​

 

Yeah, I get that letter too!

1 neighbor is 80 years old and never turns any lights on, and another neighbor works nights and sleeps days and is single...duh life styles are different and make a difference!!


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#15 case442 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2015 - 11:05 AM

Hi All,

Yes Jeff we are getting the so called Smart Meters installed. Ours was done a month or so ago and havent noticed a difference. On the business side however I am getting quite a few service calls for having Arc fault breakers tripping. I'm not sure that theres any connection to the new meters or not. I've had customers in homes for 3-4 years and never had a service call, now all of a sudden theres an outbreak.

 

Mike


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