Smart meter pie charts, comparisons and other info?

#1

I live in rural Kentucky and we have a small electric company. It’s actually an electric cooperative own d by all customers. Smart meters came to us a couple of years ago but there doesn’t appear to be any advantage to the customers for this change.
I’m wondering what others get out of theirs? Does your power company give you more insight into your use like time of day, day of the week or month of the year about how you use electricity? I noticed one user posted a shot of how his use compared to others around him, is this something provided by most companies?
All I get as far as information is my use for this month and the same month from the previous year along with average temperature and deviation for both.
I’m trying to talk to our cooperative about giving us more information but they want examples of what I’m looking for.

#2

I have Duke Energy Progress here in central North Carolina. I have a Time Of Use Smart meter, and DEP has actually turned off the optical output on this meter so I can’t even use an optical sensor to track my usage. It also has built in wireless (some sort of ZigBee or Z-Wave or something), that I wasn’t able to connect to. In addition, DEP doesn’t have ANY data on their website that lets me see any kind of real time usage info. It’s unbelievable and disgusting on their part. But what other choice do I have for electricity provider? Nothing.

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#3

We also have no other choice. They way I understand how these communicate is strange. Apparently several meters talk to one meter that send the information to their office. It doesn’t have to be the same meter making the communication each time from what little I’m able to find about it. I think it’s cellular

#4

I think you’re right about the meter to meter networking (ie, mesh network), but I don’t think mine has cellular built in (but who knows, maybe it does?).

#5

Look up “Mains Signaling” and think Powerline Ethernet (if you are familiar with that concept). The utility can use the grid (copper wires!) to send signals/data. If you have the right gear you can monitor it but it’s not for the faint of heart or cash poor.

#6

My utility, PG&E, uses smartmeters for electricity and gas. There are two benefits:

  1. You can download gas and electric usage history for any previous time periods to the current day. Electricity usage is packaged in 15min increments, natural gas in whole days.
  2. For electricity, you can buy a device that connects to the Zigbee from the smartmeter and displays demand/usage data real-time. I use a Rainforest Eagle to see my real-time readings. I still prefer the Sense since it combines my solar and utility net metering into an more useful display.

Eagle outputs look like this:

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#7

The reason I’m interested right now is next month is the start of the summer time of use season (May-September). If I could evaluate if I would save or there is a potential to save by changing habits, I’d like to be the first customer to try it. Out of the 25,000 customers, they’ are telling me nobody has made the switch yet although it’s been an option since 2017.
Our situation is different than most. Because I’m home all day, I do dishes and laundry while everybody is gone or I can do everything in the evening.
We had time of use 30 years ago when I lived in Phoenix and there was no way to manipulate your way into savings the way it was setup then.