What are smart meters?
Smart meters are digital devices that collect energy-use data and, unlike traditional meters, transmit and receive data, too. Electric energy use will be recorded every 15 minutes to provide an accurate view of your daily energy patterns. Information can be accessed via the MyAccount web tool on www.nvenergy.com or through NV Energy's automated voicemail system the day after it is collected. For customers in northern Nevada, natural gas information will be available on a daily basis.
Are the new meters accurate?
Because meters and the billing system are the cornerstones of this system, accuracy is a key component in its success. The utility is using a multi-phased approach to test the accuracy of the meters:
The manufacturer will conduct meter testing.
Meters will be tested again in the utilitys meter shop.
A third party (University of Nevada) will be used to test them.
When will the meters be installed and will I be notified by the utility?
Smart Meters will be installed in phases in select areas of southern Nevada beginning in September 2010. Northern Nevada installation will begin in December 2011. Customers receiving a meter will be notified prior to installation.
Is this new system secure against hacking?
The utility is mitigating security and privacy risks by protecting their networks through:
Using best-in-industry technology and software.
Using an encrypted radio frequency network from the meters to the networks.
Isolating the network from the customer website.
Isolating the network that transmits data from the meters to the corporate computer network.
The principals include end-to-end encryption, isolation of network traffic, monitoring the systems, and enabling the best product security measures.
Will my billing and usage information be kept confidential?
The following information is NEVER broadcast from the smart meter:
Drivers License Number
Social Security Number
Date of Birth
Personal ID Number
Utility Account Number
Will the meters change service termination policies?
New regulations preclude an electric utility from terminating service to an advanced service delivery meter customer because of nonpayment if the outstanding amount owed by the customer is $100 or less.
Will I be forced to participate in the dynamic pricing study?
NV Energy will conduct a voluntary, two-year dynamic pricing trial beginning January 2012 that will test a variety of pricing plans and programs. Customers will volunteer for the trial and be given the option to quit the trial at the end of the first year. They will also be offered a lower-price guarantee during the first year of the trial. Customers will have the option to choose a cost structure that best suits their energy consumption patterns. They will not be forced to use a new pricing plan.
Will my bill go up due to the cost of the system?
Until the system is installed rates will not be changed. Even then the Commission will look closely at all utility costs related to meter reading to make a determination if savings have been realized. At that point rates will be examined and appropriate adjustments made.
New, digital meters are just one part of the NVEnergize project.
The Dynamic Pricing Trial is voluntary.
Customers will have options and will not be forced onto a rate or program that could increase their bills.
NVEnergize will generate substantial long-term savings for the company. Approximately $25 million in annual savings has already been identified from expected operational efficiencies associated with the project, and these savings will ultimately be passed along to customers.
NV Energy has adopted a very methodical, phased approach for implementing NVEnergize, allowing us to make sure we take every opportunity for a smooth and hassle-free introduction of the new system.