Are You Smarter Than an Electric Meter?

“Smart” electric meters are electronic devices that track and record a customer’s electric use.

Electric utilities have been replacing old, analog meters that are read manually once a month with new, digital smart meters that automatically capture information about electricity consumption and transmit it back to electric companies.

Smart meters offer the following benefits and challenges to electric utilities, customers, and the environment.


Smart meters can benefit the electric company by…

  • Eliminating manual meter reading
  • Monitoring the electric system more quickly
  • Making it possible to use power resources more efficiently
  • Providing real-time data useful for balancing electric loads and reducing power outages (blackouts)
  • Enabling dynamic pricing (raising or lowering the cost of electricity based on demand)
  • Avoiding the capital expense of building new power plants
  • Helping optimize income with existing resources

After the electric company has fully installed its advanced metering infrastructure, smart meters can benefit the Allentown electric customer by…

  • Offering more detailed feedback on energy use
  • Enabling them to adjust their habits to lower electric bills
  • Reducing blackouts and system-wide electric failures

Smart meters can ultimately benefit the environment by…

  • Preventing the need for new power plants that would produce pollution
  • Curbing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants
  • Reducing pollution from vehicles driven by meter readers

All technology has its advantages and drawbacks; while smart meters have their benefits, they also present challenges to electric utilities, customers, and the environment.


Smart meters present these challenges to the electric company

  • Transitioning to new technology and processes
  • Managing public reaction and customer acceptance of the new meters
  • Making a long-term financial commitment to the new metering technology and related software
  • Managing and storing vast quantities of metering data
  • Ensuring the security of metering data

Smart meters pose these challenges to Allentown consumers

  • Verifying that the new meter is accurate
  • Protecting the privacy of their personal data
  • Paying additional fees for the new meter

Smart meters pose these challenges to the environment

  • If consumers continue to use more and more electricity, it would negate the projected environmental benefits
  • Disposal of the old meters


Regardless of how you feel about Smart Meters, you will continue to need electricity.  Should you find yourself in need of any electrical repairs, you should contact your Allentown Electrical Contractor.


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