Anaheim Public Utilities is currently deploying new computer systems, communications networks, and hardware devices to enhance the efficiency, reliability, and security of our city’s electric distribution system. These technologies collectively form what is referred to as a Smart Grid.
Smart meters are one important component of the Smart Grid infrastructure. At first glance, smart meters don’t look too different from their analog predecessors. They’re a similar shape and size and can be installed as direct replacements for the older meters. But whereas analog meters displayed usage information on a series of small spinning dials, smart meters capture and store information electronically and then relay it to our data center in Downtown Anaheim via wireless communication networks.
The most obvious benefit that smart meters offer are the efficiencies gained from not needing to send a field service representative to every house in Anaheim every two months to read the electric and water meters. More significantly, smart meters empower you as a consumer to make informed decisions about your resource utilization. Once a smart meter is installed at your home, you’ll no longer need to wait for two months until you receive your next utility bill to start finding ways to reduce your energy and water usage. From your computer, in the comfort of your home, you will be able to access your actual energy consumption in hourly increments. You can see when you use more, when you use less, and you’ll have that information at your fingertips in order to make informed choices.
Additionally, smart meter data will help the Utility better respond to power outages. Your meter will tell us when your home is without power, which saves a tremendous amount of time because then we don’t have to send a service crew to troubleshoot a much larger area looking for an electric problem. In addition, you will not risk getting a busy signal should you have to call to say you are without power; your meter will send us a signal and alert us for you.