Smart Meter contest finds biggest energy savers

Source: Grid 21

As Texas made history this summer with extreme, record-breaking temperatures, the top 10 percent of residents across the state who used smart meter technology to participate in the Biggest Energy SaverSM Campaign cut their usage by nearly a third, or enough to power approximately six average homes.

“In spite of being the hottest summer on record in Texas,” said Grid 21 Executive Director Steve Hauser, “the Biggest Energy Saver contestants used smart meter technology to reduce their energy footprint and save money.”

While summer may be just a memory, the energy usage information gained from smart meters empowers customers to make more informed decisions year-round. This contest attracted participants from all backgrounds and demonstrated that when equipped with more frequent and detailed electricity usage information, simple changes can mean big savings, no matter where a customer lives. In the words of Darla Seible, a Biggest Energy Saver winner from the Dallas area, “Your bill is never a surprise anymore.”

In June, Texas’ biggest electric delivery utilities—CenterPoint Energy and Oncor—along with advanced metering system providers—Itron and Landis+Gyr—launched an unprecedented campaign to jumpstart the market for customer-friendly energy-management tools, while demonstrating to consumers the benefits made possible by using information from smart meter technology.

At the launch of the contest, Texas regulators underscored the importance of leading by example. “Texas has always been a global leader in energy and innovation,” former Texas Public Utilities Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman said this summer. “We have a robust competitive market and are investing billions of dollars to improve our power grid, support a cleaner generation and improve reliability. We couldn’t be more proud to have the two largest utilities in Texas with the broadest deployment of advanced meters in Texas leading the way through this new 21st century technology.”

The Biggest Energy Saver contest generated interest from every state in the U.S. and more than 80 countries. In the period following the contest announcement, the Smart Meter Texas portal experienced a boost in registration of 172 percent over the same period last year.



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