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. 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
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.