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Smart Meters: The Next Big Thing in Solving the Energy Crisis


The electrical companies in India are having a ball what with the launch of smart meters recently. Smart meters are named so because of their ability to record energy consumption and communicating this information to the supplier for monitoring and billing purposes. These meters are special in the sense that they are new and are a great innovation over the traditional meters. Smart meters are also known as interval meters. Smart meters can record the energy consumption of a business or a house at multiple intervals throughout the day. They also send the readings electronically to the energy distributor.

The smart meters have multiple advantages, the foremost being that no one has to check the reading on the meter. Additionally, they adapt themselves to new conditions such as moving to a new house or when you change to a new energy retailer. This means now you have the information about the electricity consumption - how much and when - at the tip of your fingers and readily available. But this is not all. The best electrical companies in India offering smart meters are also focusing on giving consumers lots of offers. Smart meters help consumers choose between a single rate offer and a time of use offer.

In the days before smart meters came into the market, consumers had the option of only using the single rate electricity offers. But that limitation has now been overcome. With the time of use tariff, consumers can have different electricity prices at different points in time during the day. For instance, during the peak hours, the electricity cost is at its highest. Peak rates are applicable on the weekends, especially during the evening hours. Off-peak tariffs are cheapest and apply overnight and on the weekends. In addition, there is a shoulder tariff that allows consumers to deal out a lower price than the peak tariff. The hours between the peak and off-peak hours fall in the shoulder tariff.

So when should you consider the time of use tariff offer?

The electrical companies in India advice that the time of use offer is good if you are away during the evening hours on the weekdays. That makes sense because you need not pay when you are not even using electricity. The offer also holds well if you spend time at home during the weekends and if you are willing to use heavy appliances on the weekend. That means you are paying a lower price for the electricity consumption.

Smart meters come with a variety of tools that help you learn about the electricity consumption. Some examples include the following:

Web portals

In-home display units

The in-home display unit allows you to have real-time information about how much electricity you are consuming at the moment and the cost you will be bearing for the same on an hourly basis. The consumer no longer has to wait for the electricity bill to arrive to make immediate changes in their consumption behaviour or their budget. The web portal is a website that shows you a detailed information about the electricity usage in your house or business. It has options that allow you to see the usage on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Having this information can help mindful consumers to tighten their electricity consumption thereby conserving energy and reducing its wastage. Research shows that consumers who have installed smart meters have had an average reduction of electricity consumption by 3-5% in their homes. Additionally, smart meters can also benefit a country like India which has diverse seasons and therefore, different energy needs. With these benefits, smart meters can become the next big thing in solving the energy crisis.

HPL Electric and Power Limited is a leading player in the electrical equipment industry in India. Choose from a wide range of its LED products that have been certified to conform to Indian and International standards such as ISI, CE and KEMA.

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