Over the last few years, our energy needs have changed, and they will continue to change in future, so our grid needs to be updated to help cope with demand. This is why the smart meter roll-out is so important.
Smart meters, a common form of smart grid technology, are digital meters that replace the old analog meters used in homes to record electrical usage. Digital meters can transmit energy consumption information back to the utility on a much more frequent schedule than analog meter.
A smart meter is an Internet-capable device that measures energy, records the consumption and communicates the information to the electricity supplier for monitoring and billing.
Smart meters typically record energy hourly or more frequently, and report at least daily. Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) which enables two-way communication between the meter and the supplier.
Whereas traditional meters only measure total consumption, smart meters record when and how much of a resource is consumed. Power companies are deploying smart meters to monitor consumer usage and adjust prices according to the time of day and season.
Smart meters will enable you to monitor your consumption more precisely so you can make more informed energy choices. You’ll know what you’re spending on energy each day. You’ll also be able to see where you could use less.
Depending on the feature set, the meter may also notify the utility of a power outage or allow the utility to remotely switch electricity service on or off.
The smart meter acts as the network termination point, a router between the utility’s network and the building it is monitoring. When connected to a building automation system, a smart meter will allow the building administrator to control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) based on real-time energy costs.
Communications from the meter to the network may be wireless, or via fixed wired connections such as Power Line Carrier (PLC). Wireless communication options in common use include cellular communications (which can be expensive), Wi-Fi (readily available), wireless adhoc networks over Wi-Fi, wireless mesh networks, low power long range wireless (LORA).
To sum up, A smart meter is one component of a smart grid, an approach to managing energy distribution and consumption that uses internet technologies to create bi-directional communication, coordination, and control.
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