From smart phones that can store your whole life, to smart cars that can map your ride across country, there has been practically no part of our lives that haven’t been affected by technology. So it should come as no surprise that your electric company has a “smart” device of its own – the smart meter.One state that uses them is Texas. It’s a leader in the deregulated electricity market, championing changes like this new technology that offer savings to so many customers.Here, we’ll discuss exactly what smarter meters are they are and how they can help you save on energy costs.Out with the Old, In with the New… Smart Meter That IsIn the past, every private and commercial residence was required to have an electric meter installed on its premises. This was necessary so that energy companies could calculate monthly electric use and properly bill for it. The way they did it was by sending meter readers to the property.Many of us have looked out the window and been startled by “a strange man” walking onto our property. On closer inspection, we see that it’s the meter man from the electric company, so we go back to minding our own business.Now, you don’t ever have to be startled again because with smart meters, energy companies don’t have a need for meter readers. The reason is, these meters calculate your energy usage – much the same way that older meters did – but with a twist. They transport the data back to the energy company electronically.3 Ways Smart Meters Save Consumers MoneyMeter Readers: This the first way customers save money with these meters. There is no need for them anymore, as well as the vehicles they drive and the licensing, insurance, maintenance, etc., that came along with them.States like Texas with deregulated energy markets pass these savings on to consumers.Record of Use: Another way smart meters save consumers money has to do with how they record energy use. Using these meters, your energy usage is recorded every 15 minute. This is practically real time. Not only that, the smart meter even analyzes a history of your electricity use.With raw data like this at your disposal, you can better manage your energy consumption month in and month out.Comparative Shopping: The final way smart meters save customers money is that it gives them real numbers to deal with. That way, they can do some comparison shopping to find out who really has the best electric rates.The idiomatic expression, “Knowledge is power” has never been more true than in states where consumers can choose their energy provider, eg, the Texas electricity market. Smart meters give consumers the information they need to make “smart” choices to lower their monthly energy bill.
By Monitoring Electricity Usage within the home, residential electricity users can identify where and how their valuable electricity supplies are being used.The P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Monitor measures how much electricity a piece of equipment uses.Simply plug in the Kill A Watt Monitor to the wall and plug the device into the Monitor. At the end of the recording period the monitor displays total KWH (Kilowatt hours) used by the device.With this information a consumer is empowered with the following:Identification of which electric powered devices should be unplugged.Unplugging Of Electric Powered Devices:So how does the Kill A Watt Monitor identify to the consumer when a device needs unplugging?Electric powered devices can draw electricity from the mains outlet wall plug, even when they are turned off or in standby. Examples of these devices are as follows:Anything with an LED display or stand by light
Fax MachinesTo see if electricity is being drawn carry out the following:Plug in the Monitor to the wall and plug the device into the Monitor.
Now turn off the electrical device you are measuring
Press the Watt button on the Kill A Watt Monitor
Wait for at least 10 seconds to allow for any delayed current draw from the device
Finally take the reading from the Kill A Watt Monitor display.Results and Findings:If the reading at the Kill A Watt Monitor display is 0 then no electricity is being used.
If any other number is displayed at the Kill A Watt Monitor then the device is using electricity in its standby or off state.
Monitor over longer periods to gain more accuracyConclusion:This drawing of electricity when a device is turned off is known as a “Phantom Load”. It is estimated that over 5% of electricity household is attributable to Phantom Loads.Solution to Phantom Loads:You can eliminate this cost by unplugging those devices that are producing Phantom Loads.
To aid in saving electricity these devices can be plugged into a power strip which can then be unplugged / switched off.
Ensure the power strip used does not draw Phantom Load. Use the above method to detect current leakage of the power strip.
The Kill A Watt Monitor product line includes a power strip which acts as a smart surge protector and electricity monitor, allowing you to identify what electricity is being used while at the same time protecting your valuable electric systems and devices such as a home theater system or computer electronic groups / network systems. Know as the PS-4320 Kill A Watt monitor Power Strip