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Smart Meters’ Oversight


Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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Folks with solar panel installations who get a smart meter installed should be sure that they are getting credit for surplus energy generated during the daytime.

I have had solar panels on my roof for about six years. My electric bill runs from $0 to about $30. When Southern California Edison installed a “smart meter” in December, my electric bill jumped to about $70. I called the solar panel company (REC) that installed my system and they told me that they were getting other calls from customers whose bills jumped up to three times when the smart meter was installed.

After spending a lot of effort to track down any large power consumers in my house, I suspected that SCE wasn’t giving me credit for electricity that I generated, which would normally have been running the meter backwards with the old “dumb meter.” I called the Net Metering line of SCE and they confirmed that I was correct; they had not been giving me credit for power my solar system generated and promised to refigure my bill and give me the proper credit. It’s been two months now, but they assure me that they will eventually get to it, as their bookkeeper is very busy.

So, if you are a solar panel user and get a new “smart meter”, be aware that SCE may not be giving you credit for energy you generate during the daytime. –

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Folks who have PV arrays need to have a smart meter that is programmed to support "net metering".

I don't know what the procedure for SCE is, but before getting their smart meter, it would behoove solar users to inform SCE you have a PV array so they can get you the right kind of smart meter.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
February 26, 2013 at 10:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I would refuse to pay the bill sent to me while still running my Solar Array, which would save me from the Power system serviced by the Power Company, get a reader of the amount of energy is collected by my solar panel, and when the Power Company brings a Law Suit against me, take my evidence in to Court and OWN the power company in the amount they would be owing me in unpaid credit.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
March 1, 2013 at 7:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks, EastBeach, I hadn't gotten past the fact that the smart meter uses 72Whr/day, and that Edison bills for usage at their base rate and reimburses at their cost for purchasing electricity from huge electric power generating sources. At least it's simpler than chasing down reg's for municipal utilities like the city of SB, but it's a time-consuming job trying to keep SCE & et al from ripping you off. In a "green" city like SB (one that has an award for residential solar installations that aren't visible from the street), a person could be mislead to believe that local government would be motivated to advise residents of this issue and lobby SCE in support of residents with PV panels, but in fact, they refuse to enforce city code that prevents their obstruction from sunlight by neighbors' vegetation.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 5:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Notice the oversight is always in the corporation's favor?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 5:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A smart meter that uses 72 Whr/day is equivalent to a 3W light bulb being left on all the time.

In comparison, my blu-ray player consumes energy at three-times that rate just sitting there in standby mode.

If the ratio between the base rate and SCE's cost is, say 2X, then you would be paying an amount to run your smart meter that's equivalent to running a 1.5W light bulb at the base rate. Surely that isn't enough to lose any sleep over?

It does seem, however, that there could be more communication between SCE and their customers with solar.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 10:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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