Say Hello to Your Smart Meter

You may have noticed your home or business is equipped with a digital “smart meter.” These meters give you a lot of information earlier models didn’t. For example, they help you track your energy use and manage it more effectively. Idaho Power smart meter Other benefits of smart meters include:

  • Secure, digital, easy-to-read data.
  • Remote collection of data to ensure accurate energy bills.
  • Savings and environmental benefits from reduced mileage on company vehicles.
  • Improved communications allowing faster resolution of some outages.

To get the most out of your smart meter, log in to My Account, Idaho Power’s online portal where you can access account information, see how the weather affects your energy use and find ways to save money.

Smart Meter Tips

  • Most meters are one of two brands: Aclara or Focus. Displays differ somewhat, but both models show the same data.
  • The Focus meter cycles through three display settings — energy usage, peak demand and test mode — approximately every 15 seconds.
  • The Aclara meter cycles through two displays. The first shows energy usage and peak demand. The second display is for a test mode.

How to Read Your Smart Meter Display

Energy Usage

This number shows how much energy your home or business has used since the meter was installed. Energy usage is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). This reading does not reset, so you can calculate your energy consumption for any time period by subtracting the number at the beginning of the period from the number at the end.

example of an Idaho Power Focus meter
The letters “kWh” indicate the Focus meter is displaying energy usage data. In this example, the customer’s energy usage is 2749 kWh.
example of an Idaho Power Aclara meter
The Aclara meter shows energy usage data as the top number, above peak demand. In this example, usage is 157 kWh.

Peak Demand

The highest level of instantaneous power needed in a rolling 15-minute window during the billing period. Measured in kilowatts (kW), peak demand helps Idaho Power determine the size of equipment needed to supply energy to your home or business.

an Idaho Power Focus meter showing peak demand
The letters “PD” are visible when the Focus meter displays peak demand data. In this example, peak
demand is 6.87 kW.
an Idaho Power Aclara meter showing peak demand
The Aclara meter shows peak demand data on the same display setting as energy usage. Peak demand is the bottom number. In this example, peak demand is 1.39 kW.

Energy Flow

Dashes or arrows in the display show when energy is being delivered to you and, if you generate energy at your home or business, when you’re sending power back to the grid.

Idaho Power focus meter showing delivering and receiving energy for customer generation and solar panels
The Focus meter
shows energy flow with a dashed line below the number showing energy usage or peak demand. When the dashes move left to right, you are using energy from Idaho Power. For customers with solar panels or other energy-generating equipment, right-to-left movement means you’re sending energy back.
Idaho Power Aclara meter showing delivering and receiving energy for customer generation and solar panels
The Aclara display reads “Delivered” and shows a small arrow pointing to the right when you use energy from Idaho Power. If you send energy back to the grid, the arrow points to the left and the display reads “Received.”

Voltage

both Aclara and Focus meters showing voltage
Both the Focus and Aclara displays show the voltage level of electricity delivered. Residential meters typically show 120 or 240 volts.

Definitions

Watt: The basic unit used to measure the amount of electricity required to power an electrical device. Kilowatt: 1,000 watts. Kilowatt-Hour: The basic unit of electric energy equal to one kilowatt of power used by an electric circuit for one hour.

How do I Calculate my Energy Consumption?

To compute your monthly energy consumption, you’ll need your most recent bill and the energy usage number from your smart meter. Idaho Power bill example Subtract the “Current Reading” number at the top of your bill from the energy usage number (kWh) your meter shows. The difference is your energy consumption since your last bill. Find more information about your meter, bill, and a glossary of terms.