What is a Smart Meter?

Interact with the Smart Meter Communicates graphic below and review the smart meter benefits to learn more.

Learn how your smart meter communicates.

Smart meters offer Pepco residential and small business customers a number of benefits. They include:

Take Control of Your Energy Use Data
  • Smart meters enable Pepco customers to view their home or small business electricity use in easy to read graphs. Armed with a better understanding of your energy use, you can make informed decisions on how to manage and control your electricity consumption.

  • Smart meters will ensure that your energy bill is based on your actual, rather than estimated energy use.

  • Smart meters will reduce the need for Pepco meter readers to come to your home. New features will enable remote meter reading.

  • For landlords there will be the added convenience of getting an accurate reading for renters.
Opportunities to Save Money
  • While detailed data is not a guarantee of saving energy or money, smart meters give you the power to review and evaluate your use of energy and take control of the things you can change.
Outage Detection
  • Smart meters provide faster outage detection by Pepco if an outage occurs.
Improved Customer Service
  • Information from your smart meter will enable Pepco representatives to better answer your questions about your personal energy use, should you ever need to contact us for assistance.
Environmental Benefits
  • Remote reading reduces the number of Pepco vehicles and trucks on the road, which in turn helps reduce carbon emissions.

  • Smart meters are the key to greater energy efficiency, reducing the need to build power plants, and reducing the use of older, less efficient power plants which typically have higher greenhouse gas and other air emissions.

Bill to Date Functionality NEW!

  • Pepco is now offering the new customer friendly benefit of allowing customers to be able view the details of each bill, to date.

What is a smart meter?

A smart meter, like the old meters attached to your home, apartment or small business, measures the amount of energy you use for lighting, cooking, heating and cooling, and all the other products you use that require electricity. Those measurements are used to calculate your electric bill each month. But that is about the only thing the old meter and the new smart meters have in common. Your old meter was read once a month by a meter reader or perhaps estimated for your billing. Along with other benefits we explain below, the new smart meter actually measures the energy used in your home or small business periodically throughout the day and communicates that information to Pepco. That captured data is available to you online by signing up for My Account.

Why is this data important to me?

What happens today when you receive a higher than expected energy bill? You might wonder what changed in your usual pattern. Was it during the first week of this month when the kids were home from college? Was it from the new big screen TV you just purchased? And what if your bill suddenly goes down? Could the new energy-efficient washer or refrigerator you purchased have made the difference? The new smart meter will provide you with detailed information and comparison reports to help you identify when you are using more or less energy during the day, the week or the month. This information will also help you make changes that let you take control of your energy bills. And when you need to talk to a representative from Pepco, this information will help them provide you with better customer service.

What else will the smart meter do for me?

The new smart meters provide two-way communication between your home or small business and Pepco and also from Pepco to you.

Why am I getting a smart meter?

Pepco and the District of Columbia are working together with citizens to help meet energy efficiency goals, and smart meters are a critical part of that effort. The District of Columbia is at the forefront with this innovative technology. By managing our energy more efficiently with smart meters, all Pepco residential and small business customers in the District of Columbia will be empowered to take control of their energy use, which will help everyone at an individual and collective level, leading the way to smarter energy use and a better future for us and our children.

When will I get a smart meter?

Pepco will be installing meters in the District of Columbia throughout 2011 and 2012, and we look forward to working closely with our customers to help them understand the benefits of this new technology.

What do I have to do?

There is not much you need to do. You will receive a letter and a fact sheet in the mail approximately one to four weeks before the planned meter exchange. Please help make your meter easily accessible by clearing obstructions or trimming bushes that may interfere with the installation. When the time gets closer for your meter exchange, you will receive more information, and may be asked to turn off sensitive appliances such as computers, which could be subject to a temporary power interruption during the meter exchange.

Will I incur any costs?

Pepco is making the initial investment in smart meters for District of Columbia customers. The cost to the customer ultimately will be determined in a future rate case decided by the District of Columbia Public Service Commission. Pepco believes that the combined financial benefits of lower utility system costs and reductions in customer energy use will more than offset the costs and result in a positive benefit for the customer along with all the other benefits mentioned above.