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
  • Empowering Customers

    • 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
  • Enhancing Reliability

    • 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!