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Bringing Smart Meters to Life for the Texas Consumer

June 16, 2011

In an energy deregulated market such as the one in Texas, consumers have the power to choose their energy options, choosing from the variety of products and solutions from Texas electric companies that would suit their specific needs – whether it’s for residential or business purposes. Retail electric providers compete in providing Texas consumers with cheap electricity service plans, renewable energy options and other innovative products and services.

Probably the most important service that consumers would like to have are solutions that would help them save energy, reduce their Texas electricity consumption, and eventually lower down their monthly bills. A great deal of energy is wasted if it is not used optimally, so a tool or service that will help consumers monitor and control their electricity usage would be a welcome innovation indeed.

One such service that would redefine the way consumers uses Texas electricity is through the use of smart meters. These innovative tools provide energy saving solutions for consumers by helping them reduce their consumption. Texas electric companies that are implementing the use of smart meters will also provide an online tool for consumers that provide them with more control and monitoring options regarding their electricity consumption – and eventually reduce their electricity bills.

The Benefits of Smart Meters for the Texas Consumer

In a research conducted by the Electric Choice Education Program of Texas, it shows that when consumers are provided with accurate information of their energy consumption in an up-to-date manner, they can control and eventually reduce their Texas electricity consumption. A similar study from California indicates that the use of smart meters can help reduce electricity demand by 5.7 to 8.7 percent.

Alongside smart meters is the online tool or dashboard that consumers can access to gain information regarding their Texas electricity usage and outside temperatures as well as historical trends of the consumer’s electricity usage and billing over a certain period of time. This information can be very useful in helping consumers plan and make decisions about their electricity usage with the goal of lowering down their monthly cost.

Consumers can get graphs and historical data that will show them their electricity consumption over a certain period: whether by day, week, month or year – and plot this information with outdoor temperatures. Consumers can gain valuable insights regarding their electricity usage habit allowing them to make changes to routines or activities that will consume more energy and increase their electricity bills. Consumers can adjust their HVAC systems depending on trends in outdoor temperature so they can avoid wasting too much energy due to extreme – and unnecessary – thermostat settings.

A home or business that is connected to the smart grid will provide consumers full control over their electrical consumption – even by remote. Innovative solutions are provided by Texas electric companies that will allow consumers to monitor and control their electricity consumption by allowing them to change their thermostat and appliance settings via the Internet using their smartphones or web-enabled mobile devices. Information obtained by the consumers is in real-time allowing them to react to these conditions accordingly and save a great deal of energy in the long run.

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