So Are Smart Meters as Smart as You Think?
Smart meters are going to become a reality by 2019 in the City of Lubbock -- more specifically, for LP&L customers.
Some people are excited, others, well, not so much.
LP&L made the following claims about the advanced meters in a press release:
By upgrading LP&L’s system with advanced meters, the utility will be able to better serve its customers by:
Improving Billing Accuracy
- Eliminates manual meter reading
- Reduces billing errors
Improving Customer Service
- Increases efficiency in addressing customer inquiries
- Decreases time required to start or transfer service for new and current customers
- Increases customer support capabilities and expands customer service options
- Provides accurate, near real-time data so customers can track and better manage their electricity use
- After installation, customer service will be able to provide an in-depth look into customers’ usage patterns
- In the future, customers will be able to log on to an interactive portal where they can access the same data at any time (currently scheduled to launch in 2020)
Improving Outage Management
- Automatically alerts LP&L to outages, even before a customer reports them
- Automatically identifies the location of the outage
- Reduces time required to restore power to all affected customers
Allows LP&L to conduct load analysis to help ensure transformers do not get overloaded
Allows LP&L to accurately and efficiently forecast Lubbock’s current and future energy needs
Provides new data to help determine when and where LP&L should make investments in the system to meet Lubbock’s growing energy demand
If you do not want a smart meter, however, you can opt out. It will cost you an installation charge for the old-style meter and $25 a month to have someone read it. LP&L has not responded to the question, 'What if I already have an old style meter and want to keep it, will I have to pay this so-called installation charge?'
When we find out, we'll let you know!