analog vs digital meter

Analog vs. Digital Smart Electric Meters

Apparently, 80% of us tend to buy digital weighing scale compared to analog because of its accuracy and we find it more easier to read the number in digital display rather in analog display. In this article we will discuss about Analog vs. Digital Smart Electric Meters;

Analog Meters

Analog electric meters are useful for monitoring electricity use on a periodic basis and for checking the accuracy of electric bills from month to month. Analog meters have multiple spinning dials, which are best read by qualified electricity company representatives.

These types of meters can be confusing for average consumers to read because the hands on the five dials alternate directions: The first hand revolves in a clockwise direction, the second counterclockwise, the third clockwise and so on. Analog meters have one purpose: To tell the consumer or meter reader how much electricity has been used since the last reading.

Smart Meters

Digital or “smart meters” record daily electricity use and share information about consumption between users and electricity suppliers over wireless digital radio frequency networks.

A home energy management system with compatible, interactive devices connected to an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) has potential energy management benefits. For example, smart meters may one day enable consumers to program electricity use for nonpeak hours when power is available at a lower cost. This interactive capability also could allow utility companies to manage energy use and adjust loads during periods when there is a danger of a potential system overload, such as during periods of extremely hot or cold weather.

Consumer Concerns

Some individuals are concerned about potential problems with the smart meters connected to AMI. Health activists, consumer watchdogs, and privacy advocates have raised three main areas of concerns:

  1. Consumer watchdogs question the accuracy of smart meters and the likelihood of billing errors.
  2. Health advocates are concerned about potential risks related to the effects of low-level radiation, which is produced by the smart grid’s wireless radio frequency network. This issue is similar to the controversy regarding cancer and the use of cell phones.
  3. Privacy advocates are worried that information gathered by smart meters and other smart grid devices will be misused.

Smart Meter Accuracy 

Customers sometimes file complaints about inaccurate smart meters when they receive higher-than-usual electricity bills. Though a smart meter may be faulty, other variables could be to blame. Billing cycle changes, extreme weather conditions, higher consumption, faulty home appliances or heating and air conditioning systems can result in high electricity bills. Dynamic energy pricing also can cause fluctuations in electricity consumption, notes a report by the Electric Power Research Institute.

The two highest-profile cases involving customer complaints about inaccurate meters were in California and Texas. When customers complained of higher bills after smart meters were installed in parts of those states, authorities ordered independent audits of the meters. The complaints coincided with a hot summer in California and a cold winter in Texas, conditions which may have contributed to the perception of inaccuracies.

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