3 benefits of your new smart meter

In 2021, over 8 million Duke Energy customers will have smart meters. Here’s what they can do.

This year, nearly every Duke Energy customer will have a smart meter. Since 2012, the company has been working to install 8.3 million across six states. Smart meters provide you with more information about your energy use and new tools to help you save money. They’re an essential part of a smarter grid and help support a cleaner energy future. 

Here are three ways you can benefit from your new meter:

Click the image to watch a video about how smart meters work and improve your electric service.

1. Monitor your energy use and control your bill. Smart meters are part of an advanced communication network that securely sends usage data from your meter (usually once each night) to Duke Energy using a signal like your mobile phone. You can access this information through Duke Energy’s website or mobile app to see when you’re using the most energy and make changes to be more efficient. You can also sign up for usage alerts to know when you’re approaching your budgeted amount for electricity.

This wasn’t possible with previous meters because they couldn’t send data back to Duke Energy. A meter reader would visit each meter once a month and manually record the meter’s energy use for Duke Energy’s billing system. Since the meter was only read at the end of the billing period, customers couldn’t adjust their energy use habits to save until after they got their bill.

Daily readings also allow you to choose your bill date. Previously, hundreds of homes in an area would have the same due date, based on when the meter reader visited. With more regular updates, you can choose to schedule your bills around your payday or other bill due dates.

Smart meters, like this test unit at a Duke Energy office, will give you more control of your energy use, improve outage restoration and allow utilities to bring cleaner energy to the grid.

2. Improved outage detection and restoration. When power outages occur, smart meters can better detect power outages and enable crews to remotely verify when power has been restored to a home or business after a repair is completed.

Smart meters can also help improve power quality by providing detection of momentary outages – when your lights flicker but come back quickly. Duke Energy can use this data to improve the grid where these power quality issues are identified.

Following Hurricane Zeta, which struck the Carolinas in 2020, Duke Energy used this technology to verify power restoration on more than 26,000 smart meters as part of power restoration efforts.

In 2020, more than 5,000 Duke Energy customers installed private solar at their homes or businesses driven by the company's five-year, $62 million solar rebate program that helps pay for upfront costs.

3. Enable renewable energy. Smart meters are also important to enable more rooftop solar and other clean energy options. Because smart meters allow two-way communication, your meter can tell the energy company how much electricity your solar panels supplied to the grid compared to how much energy you consumed. If you generate more than you need to power your home, you can earn credits on your bill.  

And as energy companies build for the future, smart meters will help lay the foundation to grow renewable energy, electric vehicles, batteries and microgrids.

Programs and services for Duke Energy customers vary by state, but you can learn more about how smart meters are helping power the future at duke-energy.com/smart-meter.