Smart Meters Explained

Smart Meters Explained: Can solar really cover all your appliances?

smart meters explained

Have you ever wondered how many appliances it takes to spin the meter forward?

As a leading integrated energy solutions company based in California, HelioPower is committed to educating consumers on the benefits of solar energy and how it can reduce their energy costs. Many homeowners are aware that smart meters are being installed in conjunction with solar, but would like to know more about their operation.  Specifically, how do smart meters impact utility bills and how to utilize smart meters to control electricity costs.

Smart meters are the residential point of information for the smart grid. They are digital replacements of old, electro-mechanical analog meters and provide two-way communication between your home and the utility. Smart meters are able to track your home’s hourly use of electricity in fifteen minute increments, which is then sent to the utility. Once that happens, your meter records your kilowatt hour (kWh) usage to date.

The impact of smart meters on your electric bill varies, and you can read more about smart meters here.

Smart meters are now able to record the energy production of your solar power system and these factors are increasing the solar power system’s ability to offset energy costs. Since solar systems produce the most electricity during “peak” usage times, customers with solar power systems are credited for their production at higher day rates.

In this video we demonstrate how many appliances it takes to spin the meter forward on a 4 kilowatt (kW) residential solar power system on a 2200 sq. ft. home. We turned on 2 refrigerators, 2 DVRs, 1 laptop with a 21" monitor, 1 cellphone charger, 56 light bulbs, 1 attic fan and 5 ceiling fans set on high. Then, find out what happens when a microwave, electric clothes dryer, an energy efficient washing machine and a pool pump is turned on!