How Does NV Energy Smart Grid Benefit Customers in Las Vegas and Henderson NV Part 1
NV Energy has begun rolling out a smart grid system called NV Energize throughout their northern and southern Nevada service territories. This system is essentially an upgrade on energy meters and will be provided to NV Energy customers free of charge.
In fact, the Department of Energy has agreed with NV Energy’s smart grid approach to saving consumers money on energy bills and has awarded the company further funding. The total project cost of NVEnergize comes in at a total of $303 million dollars, and the total federal share comes in at $138 million. With such a heavy investment from NV Energy, various grants, and the Department of Energy itself, you might be asking yourself just what exactly is NV Energize and what benefits does it offer?
How Does NV Energize’s Smart Grid Benefit Customers?
NV Energize is a combination of new and exciting technology, ranging from intelligent meters to effective reporting software, which is designed from the ground-up to give customers more choices and control over their energy usage and billing. After customers have their new smart meters installed, their meters will communicate directly with the NV Energize data-center to relay important energy information along with critical status updates.
Unlike cell phones and other devices which require power at all times while running, NVEnergize’s smart meters communicate with the data-center 48 times a day and then enter a sleep mode. Each transmission (which uses RF signals) lasts a fraction of a second, and smart meters end up only transmitting around 3 combined seconds a day.
Customers will be able to access the data that their meters transmit daily by visiting nvenergy.com. In fact, customers will be able to see their projected monthly bill for the month based on the current monthly energy usage and previous monthly habits before their billing cycle is even complete. Furthermore, customers will have access to not only tracking energy usage, but also setting weekly energy alerts to stay on top of your costs.
In addition to the savings that customers will gain by becoming mindful about their energy bill and everything that goes into it which could be lowered, they will also have passed on reduced energy costs each year from NV Energy. Since NVEnergize will provide NV Energy with critical information which will help them determine where power outages occur, how to make their network more reliable, and restore power even faster, their operation costs will also be lowered. These savings in their operation costs will total a net $25 million dollars a year for customers, which will evenly be passed onto them each year.
Since customers and their energy meters will be much more connected to NV Energy through the smart grid, they will be able to link to custom support, control operations, system operations, and other features much more quickly and easily than ever before.
Home owners which also have smart thermostats in their home will be able to have them connected to their NVEnergize account from which they will be able to program their thermostat settings to accommodate for peak need and electricity prices. For example, when the home owner and residents are away at work and school their home can use less heating and air conditioning, and then an hour before the set arrival time of the family the HVAC system can be utilized regularly again. Such responsive energy usage will ensure that electricity is used when necessary, and not for doing something such as cooling a home in which no one is in for 8 hours a day.
Arguably one of the greatest benefits which NVEnergize makes possible for customers is the experimentation of their Dynamic-Pricing program which uses all of the data from smart meters to develop time-based rate programs. Instead of home owners having to pay significantly different monthly bills, such as in the summer or winter, NV Energy’s advanced grid system technology allows for year-round HVAC savings and demand response. At this time NV Energy has enrolled approximately 5,000 customers for their 2-year dynamic-pricing trial, but the other one million customers can rest assured that this trial is likely to end in success and dynamic-pricing will likely become available for them as well within the next five years.
How Do Customers Get Their Smart Meters?
NV Energy customers will be notified via telephone or mail of the date that they should expect their meter upgrade installation. During the day of your meter’s installation you will either receive a notification from a contracted Scope representative, or directly from an NV Energy representative, with the ringing of your doorbell or a knock. You don’t have to be home during the upgrade process but NV Energy and Scope representatives want to make you aware of their arrival since your service will be disconnected for a few minutes during the upgrade.
After the upgrade is complete, a door hanger on your front door will notify you of the upgrade status. If an appointment is required for the upgrade because further information or access to the meter was required, a note will be left on the door hanger.