We receive a lot of inquiries about "smart meters." The term “smart meter” has many different definitions. The most common definitions involve meters that have two-way communication capabilities. At Xcel Energy, we have very few meters that fit this definition. At the most basic level, the term refers to a meter that measures your energy use and can communicate that use directly to the utility without the need for in-person meter readings.
By communicating on their own, these meters allow utilities to manage electric distribution systems more efficiently, reduce costs, improve service reliability, and offer customers more options for managing their electricity use. Smart meters and other types of meters that can communicate with the utility are part of the larger effort to modernize the electrical grid to improve the reliability and efficiency of power delivery. This effort is known as grid modernization and is commonly referred to as the smart grid.
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