How Does NV Energy Smart Grid Benefit Customers in Las Vegas and Henderson NV Part 2
Among NV Energy’s priorities for their smart grid plan stands cyber security, privacy, and reliability. Because of their focus on perfecting the architecture of NVEnergize, they have taken many steps to ensure that such priorities are met with outstanding design. Beyond providing metering and billing solutions which bring down operating costs for both consumers and NV Energy themselves, of which savings are also passed down to consumers annually, the company is focused on long-term reliability.
In terms of security, customers will be glad to know that NV Energy’s Cyber Security Plan incorporates not only the most secure of engineering practices but also a comprehensive budget for further security investments. The cyber security plan has also been approved by the Department of Energy, and involves continuous third party security auditing.
When it comes to privacy, NV Energy has got it covered as well. They take the privacy of their customers very seriously as a whole company, whether it be for their analog metering service or their new smart grid, and are dedicated to keeping their data secure at every stage. NV Energy is so invested in privacy that they are known for adding security protocols well beyond those which are state mandated. Essentially, NV Energy leads not only meters into the future, but the privacy of customers as well.
A truly important priority of a smart meter, is for it to be effectively smart and accurate. The meters that NVEnergize utilizes are definitely accurate considering that their energy measurement is controlled by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. Due to the precision available in smart meters, their measurements are more refined than conventional analog meters. During manufacturing of meters, they are also tested with the compliance standards of ANSI. 5 percent of tested meters are also tested after shipment, to insure that the deployment strategy maintains the same accuracy of the equipment.
To insure that meters are not only tracking accurately, but also reliably, a sample of them are tested while they are in use. This sample of meters is removed from the customer premise, and replaced with a brand new meter, while the installed meter is tested to verify continued accuracy.
NV Energy has partnered with the University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) to test their installed meters. During testing, UNR utilized the National Institute Standards and Technology’s (NIST) to test NV Energy’s smart meters against ANSI standards. UNR established that both smart and analog meters were running accurately, and they also developed an in-house testing program for NV Energy to use over the years as they would continue their accuracy verification on running meters.
The Benefits of NV Energy’s Smart Grid Deployment
NV Energy has made it clear that they intend to educate their customers about the NVEnergize program so that everyone benefits from its energy bill saving goals. NV Energy introduced, and continually introduces, the NVEnergize project to customers using events in their service territory. These events present the concept of NVEnergize, as well as its benefits and installation plans in certain communities. Then within 30 days of planned meter installations, NV Energy provides further information to customers.
A week before smart meters are installed, NV Energy calls customers to update them with the date of the upgrade. Finally, the day that NV Energy arrives to remove the old meter and install a new one, they will knock on the door of the homeowner to make them aware of their presence. Although being home is not required for this upgrade, homeowners that are home will be alerted that their service will be interrupted briefly during the upgrade.
After the installation is complete, NV Energy goes the extra mile to collect surveys which measure the satisfaction of customers. Furthermore, some installations are field audited to maintain the highest level of quality possible both. Essentially, NVEnergize is designed to have a simple deployment process which educates and notifies homeowners of the upcoming changes and how to make use of their new NV Energy reporting account, but it is also designed to continually improve both customer satisfaction and field operation.
Myths About NVEnergize
AS with any program, NV Energy’s smart grid has a plethora of myths around it. One such myth is that NV Energy will be able to control appliances in your home through their smart meters. This is not possible since the meter only measures electricity passing into the home and does not have access to the power panel in any way, shape, or form. Another myth is that NV Energy will develop pricing that is based on the home’s electricity usage time. While NV Energy will use this information to adapt better and avoid power outages due to stress on their systems, they have made it clear that time of use rates will not be implemented.
Also, due to smart meter’s connectivity to a data-center, some speculate that it will be used for surveillance. The truth is that smart meters record just as much information as analog meters, which is essentially just how much electricity is used and when. This information is then transmitted to a data-center so that customers can access their account’s reporting through nvenergy.com. Another myth about smart meters is that they will increase energy consumption which is not true since the meters transmit data an average of three seconds a day.
The Biggest Benefit of NV Energy’s Smart Grid
Unlike other private sector upgrades which end up raising the price for the end user, NV Energy’s smart grid has been funded using various grants as well as direct federal funding. This means that energy prices won’t go up for customers because of the upgrade. In fact, energy prices will be lower as a direct effect of the efficiency made possible by smart energy data being available to customers and NV Energy.