If you have just had solar installed or if you’re considering getting solar power for your home, you may be wondering how to read a smart meter with solar power. Once you have the know-how, it will be easy to check and see how much you are saving, how much is going into the grid and how to monitor your usage so that you can put in place new behaviours and habits to save on your power bill.
Smart meters have been rolling out across the country over the past few years, with the promise of changing the way in which we think about and view our energy use. Smart meters give customers upfront information on their energy use and allow energy companies to collect data remotely rather than coming out and measuring usage in person every quarter.
In the past, disputes between energy providers and consumers have occurred because the meter readers have been unable to access the meters. Examples include dogs chasing away the meter readers, fences are in the way, shrubs have hidden the meter or the meters have been placed in a difficult spot to get to.
This leads to the dreaded ‘energy use estimate’ which in most cases, is a lot more money than the customer’s usual energy bill. The incorrect estimates have removed the trust between consumers and the energy companies as it is usually hard for customers to get in touch with their electricity providers and resolve the problem.
The smart meter measures the total of household energy use and then sends these numbers back to the energy provider. If you have solar installed, it will measure the amount of energy that is being sent to the grid and will use this energy to power your home. All excess energy is then conveniently sold back to the grid.
When it is understood how to read a smart meter with solar power, smart meters work well for helping consumers save money on their power bill. Though this is only when changes are made to the way they use their energy.
Unfortunately, looking for immediate information on when your energy usage spikes, doesn’t work. This is because the smart meters update every 30 minutes and the company only records the information a few times a day. So it is up to you to do some tweaking and experimenting with your energy use and also learn how to read your smart meter, so you can get information earlier rather than waiting for your electricity bill to come.
Instructions: How to read a smart meter with solar power
How to read a smart meter with solar power is reasonably easy once you know how it all works. Here is the step by step process. Because there are different brands of smart meters, this information may not be entirely accurate for your meter, but it will give you an idea of what each of the readings means. For this example, we are going to use an L&G smart meter.
- First, locate where your smart meter is. Typically it is found in the back or front of your home.
- You will notice there is a scroll button, this is used so that you can scroll through each of the displays.
What each display means:
02 – This screen displays the time of the recorded electricity usage.
03 – This screen shows the date when the electricity usage is recorded.
04 – This screen shows the net amount of kWh imported.
05 – This screen displays the net amount of energy you have generated (kWh exported).
06 –This displays the amount of kWh Imported Phase A.
07 –This displays the controlled load of kWh Imported Phase C.
08 – This shows the kWh Exported Phase B (Gross Solar Amount).
To save on your electricity bill with the aim of eventually selling your excess energy back into the grid, you should use the readings above to help you know if you need to reduce your electricity usage.
How to save on your electricity usage
- When you leave a room, always make sure you switch off your lights. Although lights do not take up much electricity, the time in which they are left on can add up on your electricity bill.
- Your winter heating and summer cooling costs can be the biggest of your electricity bills. If it is cold in your home, opt for putting on more clothing instead of switching on your heater. If it is hot, consider getting better insulation on your home, installing window shutters and dressing in lighter clothing to resist the heat.
- If you have a habit of using the clothes dryer when it is perfectly sunny weather outside, this habit may be the culprit of your large electricity bills. Hang your clothes outside to dry or if it is raining, use an indoor clothes horse.
- Purchase more blankets instead of using an electric blanket. Electric blankets use up quite a bit of energy and are usually an unnecessary cost to add that will add to your heating bill. If you still need your electric blanket, make sure you switch it off when you hop into bed.
- When purchasing new appliances, check their energy star rating. It is better to pay more for an appliance with a good energy star rating as this will save money on your power bill in the long term.
- If you haven’t installed solar panels already, consider getting them for your home. With solar panels, you will not only save on your power bill but you will also be looking after the environment by using renewable energy.
We hope you have learned in this blog how to read a smart meter with solar power, if you need any additional help, feel free to send us a message via our contact form.
As Solar Naturally, we look to help all of our customers save on their electricity bill by installing solar at their home or business. If you are interested in adding solar energy to your home or business, contact us today for more information or if you would like a quote, go to our ‘Get a Quote’ page and we will get back to you within 48 hours.