Xcel Energy begins installing “smart meters” for a cleaner energy project
LITTLETON, Colo .– Kelly Almer and her husband, Mark, are among the first people in the state to have a smart meter installed in their home. Mark is also an employee of Xcel.
“When the air conditioning is on and it’s hot, or the dryer is on, maybe we can cut back on some of these activities,” said Mark Allmer.
Alice Jackson is president of Xcel Energy in Colorado. She says these meters can help consumers lower their bills by showing peak times which are typically mid-day.
“When we looked at it, the percentages were that more customers would have the opportunity to save because they would understand the actions they would take about the cost,” Jackson said.
So by turning off the air conditioning in the middle of the day or doing laundry at night, you can save a decent amount of money on your energy bills, says Kyri Baker, professor of architectural engineering at CU Boulder.
“If you have a 2,000 square foot home, I wouldn’t be surprised if you save between $ 50 and $ 100 a month,” Baker said of energy bills by avoiding peak hours.
The goal is to have meters in nearly 1.6 million homes and businesses by the end of 2023. Xcel and Baker say the meters will reduce downtime as new technology enables the company to find the fault more quickly.
“Compared to the way we traditionally do things, it allows the utility companies to identify the outage. Before that, we actually had to call the utility company and tell them there is an outage.” , said Baker.
But it’s also important to point out that while this new technology can change habits and save money, it can also mean the other way around. The old habits of circulating air all day, cooking dinner, and doing laundry the same afternoon could mean higher bills.
Jackson says Xcel will send customers 90, 60, and 30 days’ notice for the installation. She has a warning about potential crooks claiming to be Xcel employees showing up at your doorstep.
“Our meter installers who are going to be in the neighborhoods are clearly identified with brightly colored jackets and an Xcel Energy name badge. We do not ask for any upfront payment. So if you get a phone call saying you need payment before you get your meter, it is a scam. You don’t need to make any payment or give out any personal information, ”Jackson told Denver7.
For more information on smart meters, click here.