Notice any changes in your monthly electricity bill? Behind the scenes, utilities are getting help from technology to keep everyone’s costs down. The price of energy is continuously increasing, and saving it has real financial benefits. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, America’s 115 million residences together use an estimated 22.5 percent of the country’s energy production and the typical family spends $2,200 a year on utility bills.
Here are four ways that the energy industry is changing and how it impacts your bill:
More accurate bills with detailed energy use
Over the past decade, electricity companies have been replacing analog meters with new, high-tech, digital smart meters that can communicate wirelessly.
Smart meters provide quick and accurate measurements of electricity consumption, while eliminating the need for home visits from meter readers. Thanks to these intricate measurement systems, many customers can now receive more detailed feedback on their energy use—even down to which appliances are consuming the most energy—which can enable them to adjust their habits to reduce their costs.
Reduce consumption during peak demand periods
To save you money and encourage energy efficiency, utility companies are increasingly charging higher prices during times of peak energy demand, usually between 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays.
Enabled by our technology, many energy providers now offer demand response programs to help ease the electricity load during those peaks and periods of extreme weather. These programs encourage end users to sign up to have energy consumption automatically reduced during those times by allowing the company to adjust their temperature controls, saving you money. You can also receive credits or rebates on energy bills and smart thermostats that make them eligible to participate.
Prevent electricity theft
When electricity is stolen from a network due to meter tampering, meter bypassing or other methods, that’s electricity theft. It causes utility companies to lose billions of dollars.
To prevent theft, energy companies adjust prices to recoup expected loss, which can negatively impact everyone’s bills. Our Revenue Protection Program, which uses advanced predictive analytics, helps utilities identify areas of potential theft, so they can take action and reduce theft. Then Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can be deployed to areas of suspected theft and gather the necessary case management assets. With detailed insights, companies can act and reduce the need for such adjustments—and law-abiding customers don’t have to pay for someone else’s crime.
Energy efficiency in homes and buildings
Make sure your building or home is built with or uses the latest products and technologies for optimal energy efficiency. New materials are being used for both commercial and residential buildings for thermal insulation, air sealing and structural strength. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for nearly 50 percent of the energy consumption in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expenditure for most households. Honeywell’s Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent is used by contractors to create energy efficient and low-GWP foam insulation systems for walls and roofs. The foam helps home and building owners improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.