The Smart Texas® Mobile Experience Center was created to bring information about the new Advanced Metering System to the communities that Oncor serves. Oncor created the 1,000 square foot exhibit featuring interactive kiosks, videos and real-world demonstrations to give you a “hands-on” experience. For an online tour, click here
-Jon P., Advanced Meter Expert
Yes. Small businesses will have many of the energy management tools that larger businesses already have through specialized meters, known as Interval Data Recorders (IDR). With their advanced meters, small businesses can identify spikes in energy usage throughout the day, week or month to better manage their costs and stay competitive.
Yes. AMS will allow Oncor to better monitor what is happening on our grid. We will know almost immediately – and sometimes before – an outage occurs at your home or business and can quickly respond.
Yes. Smart meter deployments are happening across the country as other utility companies are also providing ways to deliver more reliable and environmentally friendly solutions. Oncor's Advanced Metering System will be one of the largest deployments in the nation.
No. Since these meters have two-way communication capability, software upgrades can be made without having to install new meters. These meters are some of the most advanced in the world.
It’s a wireless device that’s easily installed anywhere in the home and communicates with the smart meter to find out how much electricity is being used. It shows how much you’re spending as well as your carbon footprint based on your current electricity usage. The in-home display monitor can be purchased through your Retail Electric Provider or at retail home specialty stores. Just be sure it’s ZigBee enabled.
No. An Advanced Metering System has the ability to communicate with in-home devices – such as display monitors or smart thermostats – to provide you with easy access to your usage information. In addition, smartmetertexas.com provides your latest usage information.
No. But if you are moving within the Oncor service territory, you should have a meter at your new location by the end 2012, if it’s not already there.
Yes. Oncor is a regulated electricity delivery company and any costs charged to customers go through a full and thorough review process with the PUCT. The Advanced Metering System project was approved in August 2008.
You won't have to do anything when your new meter is installed. Our service technicians will remove the current electro-mechanical meter from the side of your home and replace it with the new smart meter. You will receive a door hanger notifying you before the install.
The cost is minimal. Oncor is dedicated to providing this enhanced capability to its customers in the most cost-effective manner. There will be a surcharge of $2.19 each month until 2019 – a small price to pay for the data you’ll get to help make smarter consumption decisions that could potentially reduce your bill. To help offset the fee upfront, just replace a 100W incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR CFL light bulb, and you could save more than $2.30 a month.
Several studies have found that consumers modify their electricity consumption if they have the right information at the right time. Separate California and Norwegian studies show that consumers reduced demand by up to 9 percent. A UK study showed a 12 percent reduction – all based on consumers' access to their usage data. For residential customers in Oncor’s service area, a 5 to 10 percent reduction would equate to about $8 to $16 a month in savings.
Today, most consumers don't fully understand how much electricity they have used until they get their monthly bill – too late for them to take action and make a difference. With real-time information on how you consume energy, you can begin to reduce or modify your usage patterns and potentially save money on your electric bill.
The Oncor Advanced Metering System (AMS) replaces 50-year-old meter technology with modern, digital meters that support communication and information management systems. You will have access to near-real-time information to manage their electricity usage. The Oncor AMS will also ultimately enable Retail Electric Providers to develop and offer new, innovative rate plans that will provide additional ways for consumers to lower their bills.
Everyone in Oncor's service territory will receive an advanced meter with access to a website, smartmetertexas.com, that will track your energy consumption in 15-minute intervals.
A specially trained Meter Technician performs the meter test using certified meter test equipment called a Meter Verifier. The verifier has a known accuracy and is compared to the meter under test at full load and light load conditions and registers the results in percentage of registration.
-Kris M., Oncor Meter Expert
Following guidance from state law and the state utility regulator, we believe this is the most cost effective manner for deploying these meters. This is a significant investment for the company, and we believe that our proposal reflects a reasonable cost for providing the maximum benefits to consumers.
-Jon P., Oncor Advanced Meter Expert
Yes. Oncor’s deployment of the new advance meters allows for the capability of disconnecting and reconnecting meters remotely. This only applies to residential and small commercial meters.
Both advance meters and older electromechanical meters are very accurate. The advance meters simply have greater capabilities, such as helping consumers manage their energy and bills through access to energy usage on a real-time basis.
AMS stands for Advanced Metering System, which is also called smart meter. Electrical energy that is used by a home or business is measured by some sort of meter. Oncor's AMS replaces its 50-year-old meter technology with advance meters — modern, electronic meters — and supporting communication and information management systems. Consumers will have access to near-real-time information that they need to better manage their electricity usage. Oncor's AMS will also ultimately enable Retail Electric Providers to develop and offer new, innovative rate plans that will provide additional ways for consumers to lower their bills.
Oncor’s meter readers physically inspect the meter on a specified day each month to obtain the reading from manually read meters.
Yes. The advanced meter website does not replace the EDI transaction that is required to bill Retail Electric Providers (REPs) for the service requested. The website gives Oncor additional information needed to process the requests and allows REPs to track them after they’re submitted.
The advanced meter website is primarily used by Retail Electric Providers (REPs) to request an advanced meter install or repair service. Customers can also use the site to request energy pulses. However, if customers need an Interval Data Recorder (IDR), they must contact their REP.
If you don’t already have your login information, the site will prompt you to create one by providing your information.
The advanced meter website allows customers to create and track advanced meter requests. In most cases an Interval Data Recorder is an advanced meter.
You don’t need to request access for the IDR meter portal. All IDR accounts have already been setup.
Oncor is authorized to access property as part of our responsibility for providing safe, efficient delivery of electric service. Oncor’s duly authorized representatives have the right to access your property for the purpose of restoring service; to inspect, erect, install, maintain, upgrade, convert, remove or replace wiring; read the meter and to perform other activities necessary to provide service. Oncor will come on your property only when it is necessary.
-Kevin F., Oncor Legal Expert
The IDR meter portal is a website where Retail Electric Providers (REPs), Energy Service Providers (ESPs) and customers can view their IDR meter data.
Jon P., Oncor Advanced Meter Expert
The clamp you see is used to secure the meter to the meter base to prevent it from falling off the wall. The clamp also helps protect your service by preventing an unauthorized individual from disconnecting your electricity.
- Kris M., Oncor Meter Expert
Oncor does not operate on a 30 or 31 day calendar month schedule so the actual date that your meter is read doesn’t always fall on the same day of the month.
On your home electrical equipment, some parts are owned and maintained by Oncor, and some parts are considered by the state to be owned by the homeowner and therefore his or her responsibility to maintain.
If you have an advanced meter (this is a meter that has a digital face and labeled as Landis & Gyr Focus AX series), you can track your usage at the Smart Meter Texas Portal http://www.smartmetertexas.com/, a website run by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. On this site, you enter in your ESI ID number (located on your electric bill) and your meter number, which you can find on the meter itself, to register your advanced meter and begin tracking your electricity consumption on a day-after basis down to 15-minute increments. As for electromechanical meters (these are the older meters that have five spinning dials on the face), you cannot track your electric usage online.
Typically, it only takes a few minutes to install an advanced meter. On average, each of Oncor's advanced meter installers installs 30-60 advanced meters per day, including travel time between locations.
The ESI ID stands for the Electric Service Identifier. Every home or business with a meter in the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) area has a unique ESI ID number. You can find your ESI ID number on your electric bill.
The meter base or box is considered customer-owned equipment. You will need to contact a certified electrician to discuss installing whole house surge protection on your meter base.
If you choose not to go with the whole house surge protection, there are many types and brands of surge protection equipment available on the market, including surge protectors for individual pieces of equipment or surge protection power strips.
The savings from not having meter readers are small compared to Oncor’s investments in smart grid technology. Any savings that are realized will be used to lower Oncor's cost of service. Many of these numbers, such as a decrease in truck rolls, are reflected in an annual review of operations and maintenance costs. Lower costs or savings will adjust Oncor's rates as appropriate. Oncor’s rates are reviewed and approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The Oncor AMS surcharge of $2.19 each month for the next 11 years is being charged to all customers in the Oncor service area. The cost of the meters accounts for approximately one-half of the AMS surcharge. The other half of the surcharge is primarily for information technology and network telecom services conducted in the Oncor service area. The surcharge cost, which was approved by the PUC, is minimal compared to the savings you can expect by reducing your demand and one of the lowest in the nation for this technology.
The integration of the advanced metering system to the outage management system (OMS) will occur over the next couple of years. When that integration is completed, even though it will be an automated system and your advanced meter will be communicating problems wirelessly to Oncor, it is still best to call the outage reporting number at 1.888.313.4747 to confirm that we are aware of your outage.
–Jon P., Oncor Advanced Meter Expert
Each of the dials on your electric meter represents one digit of the current reading. The dial pointers spin in the direction of increasing value. Note that the pointers of adjacent dials spin in opposite directions.
When reading your meter, the dials should be read from right to left. When the dial hand is between numbers, always use the smaller number in your reading. If the hand is so close to a number such that you cannot tell which side of the number the hand is on, look at the dial to the right. If the dial hand to the right has passed zero, then the correct reading is the number that the hand in question appears to be resting on. If the dial hand to the right has not passed zero, then use the next smaller number.
For the majority of our residential and small commercial customers, advanced meters only display kW (real power). For larger customers with three-phase installations, the meters have the ability to display real and reactive power.
–Jon P., Advanced Meter Expert
The following linked PDF document details how to read your advanced meter. Basically, the display on an advanced meter automatically cycles through five views — the segment check, the kilowatt-hour (kWh) reading, the kilowatt (kW) demand reading, the service switch status and the health check.
-Jon P., Oncor Advanced Meter Expert
Eventually, new advanced meters will make the need for a meter reader to physically read the meters unnecessary. However, after you initially get your advanced meter, a meter reader will need to come by your home at least one more time until the meter is provisioned. An advanced meter has been provisioned when we have manually confirmed that the new meter has registered usage and correctly communicated information through the smart grid system. This generally occurs 30 – 60 days after the meter has been installed.
Oncor began installing the new advance meters across its service territory in 2008 and will finish deploying more than 3 million advanced meters by 2012. To find out when you will be getting your new, advanced meter, visit www.smarttexas.com and click on “the Advanced Meter Deployment Schedule.”
-Jon P., Oncor Advance Meter Expert
Advance meters will help you manage your energy usage better than ever before. Once deployed, you can monitor your energy usage through your computer on a day-after basis through the state's Smart Meter Texas portal at www.smartmetertexas.com, instead of just when you receive your monthly bill. With this knowledge, you can manage your energy usage and ultimately, lower your bill if you choose.
Additional monitoring equipment like an in-home display, which will soon be available for purchase, will work with your new advance meter and will also help you monitor your electricity usage throughout the day.