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SAEN Editorial: Bring on the smart grid
By Tracy Idell Hamilton on May 7, 2014
CPS Energy’s $290 million Smart Grid Initiative will bring with it many benefits, including increased system reliability, money and energy savings, and more customer control over their energy use.
As the San Antonio Express News editorial board noted in its May 2 column, Smart meters can’t come soon enough, it will also drastically reduce the incidence of meter and bill estimations.
The column noted the problems CPS Energy had in late 2012 when it terminated a meter reading contract, then ended up having to estimate thousands of customer bills for several months because of a shortage of meter readers.
“In many cases, the estimates were low,” the editorial correctly noted, “which meant customers were hit with massive bill spikes when the utility eventually caught up with reading meters.”
CPS Energy had corrected the problem by the middle of 2013, and bill estimations are back down to between 1 and 2 percent, in line with the industry average.
But with smart meters, CPS Energy won’t have to send a person into your yard to peer at the analog dials on your electric meter, or even drive through your neighborhood to collect the data from the hundreds of thousands of electronic meters already installed in our service territory.
Instead, smart meters will send energy use data wirelessly, accurately and securely to CPS Energy — and that means no more estimating your bill.
“… smart meters are good,” writes the editorial board. “This is money well spent and an important project for the community.”