A smart meter is simply an electronic device which records data like consumption of electrical energy, voltage levels, electrical current, and kilowatt-hours. Smart Meters communicate the data to the user for better clarity of electrical consumption behavior, and energy suppliers for system billing and customer billing. A smart meter can be directly connected to a power distribution unit or a central control unit to calculate the amount consumed by your household, office, industry, or region. With smart meter technology, customers have access to their electrical usage and compare their monthly consumption chart against that of their energy supplier. If the amount consumed is greater than the energy supply, the supplier will pay you an extra amount called a surcharge. In this way, you can use smart meter technology to your advantage and prevent energy bill shock in future.
Currently, smart meters are used in some of the largest and most complex industries worldwide. They are particularly useful to manufacturers, where they are able to determine the correct amount of voltage supplied to equipment and factory machines. By using the data, manufacturers can quickly remedy any errors and avoid costly mistakes. These devices are also widely being used by consumers. In countries like UK and US, smart meters are available for home appliances like televisions, computers, printers, DVD players, music systems, security and surveillance equipment, food processors, washing machines, dryers, and personal digital assistants.
There are various benefits associated with smart meters. Most importantly, they help you reduce the risk of over-consumption of electricity. This helps in reducing wastage of resources like water, coal, natural gas, and other non-renewable sources of energy. Through accurate measurement of energy consumption, smart meters provide valuable information for both the users and energy suppliers. The collected data can be processed efficiently to provide useful information on what household needs and what can be improved in order to decrease the misuse of electricity and its harmful effects. Smart meter also helps a lot in saving costs as well.
However, in UK, it is important to note that unlike other countries and industries, direct or systems in UK come with certain restrictions. For instance, direct or systems are not allowed to measure power consumption at the main door switch or within 100m of any such switch. According to Energywatch, direct or systems are not suitable for direct current applications and do not accurately record the consumption history over a fixed time frame. Moreover, direct or systems are restricted to supplying power to a single circuit, which may not be sufficient for a large domestic electric load. Despite these limitations, smart meters provide great assistance for all industries as well as individuals to effectively control their energy consumption.
Another important advantage of smart meters is its contribution to health awareness. Since smart meters collect and record vital information, it becomes easy for caregivers and others to monitor their patients’ health conditions. A patient’s health history can become a valuable source of information if recorded properly and has been analyzed with the help of an intelligent electric meter. For instance, a patient’s consumption patterns can provide valuable data to medical practitioners in detecting potential problems like heart disease and lung cancer. This can help them treat their patients in a better way. In addition to this, smart meters have helped in reducing medical costs by a significant amount.
Nowadays, smart meters have become a necessity in various sectors. According to experts, there should be an effort to shift the focus from traditional meters to smart meters in order to maximize their advantages. The main reason behind this is that with smart meters, it is possible to read the amount of power flowing into a system very quickly. Compared to traditional ones, smart meters can process information more rapidly and accurately. With the accurate readings they provide, smart meters also cause no damage to the power infrastructure. Hence, it can be safely concluded that smart meters cause cancer by causing radiation.