Smart Metering Comes to British Columbia
As you’re probably aware, BC Hydro has begun implementing their Smart Metering Program with the installation of 1.8 million smart meters in homes and businesses across British Columbia by December 2012. This is an important first step towards the modernization of BC Hydro’s electricity system but many people are left wondering what the benefit is to homeowners and businesses alike.
Now before understanding the benefits, it’s important to understand the technology. In short, smart meters are digital meters that allow two-way communication between your home’s energy use and the utility. So, instead of estimated billing or a meter reader visiting your home, a smart meter will wirelessly communicate accurate energy usage directly with BC Hydro. In addition, a smart meter is also capable of providing you with ‘real time’ electricity usage on your home. Now, you’ll have the opportunity to manage and monitor your electricity consumption daily instead of getting a monthly bill after you’ve the already used the energy….Imagine that!
At this point, it’s important to note that a smart meter itself won’t save you money. That said, with energy management tools like energy monitors, in-home displays or online energy dashboards you’ll have visibility on how much energy you’re using at different times of the day, week or month to help you control energy consumption, cut energy waste and potentially reduce energy bills. In short, the benefits of smart meters include:
- Save Energy & Save Money – Consumers will be able to use the energy information and feedback from smart meters to help manage their ‘real time’ energy usage and cut energy waste.
- Green Energy – Smart meters are a key part towards the development of the smart grid, which will allow BC Hydro to better accommodate renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Down the road, you may be able to sell excess energy back to BC Hydro!
- Operational Efficiencies & Improved Customer Service – Smart Meters will help BC Hydro reduce costs on everything from meter reading to remote disconnects to more efficient customer service with real time outage notification.