Smart meters are a new generation of connected electricity meters linking homes to municipalities and utilities in order to measure and monitor power usage. Some smart meters are directly connected to the utility, while others require a third-party device to enable the utility to access your consumption data
Smart metering systems can support various aspects of electricity distribution management, consumption monitoring and electricity billing. They are seen as a way to enhance the services and financial viability of electricity utilities.
However, it is important to understand the additional functionality of smart metering system, says Kobus van den Berg, an electrical engineer at Aurecon. He notes that “collecting vast amounts of system data is in itself pointless: the value is in the management of the data and being able to demonstrate benefits for the consumer”.
What is the use of a smart meter?
– Measuring consumption for billing without meter-reading.
– Recording consumption data at 30-minute intervals, enabling the utility to know when and where electricity has been consumed.
– Switching between pre-paid and post-paid remotely.
– Implementing smarter tariffs tariffs to reward households who save power.
– Reflecting the actual cost of electricity at a particular moment and send price signals to consumers to give incentives for power saving during peak time.
– Detecting any discrepancy and avoid meter failure, estimated billing and electricity theft.
Smart metering is a promising way of monitoring energy usage and improving energy efficiency. However, to be successful and efficient, smart metering requires a good communication and maintenance by the utility in order to be understood and accepted by consumers, and data collected needs to be effectively managed by utilities.
The South African company Energy Intelligence developed the critical knowledge needed to turn the data provided by smart meters into intelligible and operational information in order to help its users make informed decisions on their energy usage and save energy and money.
Energy Intelligence turns data into operational knowledge. See more on : http://www.energyintelligence.co.za/
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