Xcel Energy plans to advance their energy grid to provide more efficient energy
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Xcel Energy is planning to exchange current electric meters with new smart meters in an effort to bring more efficient energy.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas has approved to proceed with hearings to approve these meters.
They say using these new meters are just one aspect of the next generation of the energy grid.
“Looking ahead we’ve got to think about the future will be were talking about electrical vehicles, battery storage and all these things that we’ll probably be adding to our houses in the coming years it’s going to require this kind of metering system so its really an investment in our future,” said Wes Reeves, Spokesman, Xcel Energy.
Many other areas are also already using these smart systems, the Texas Public Utilities Commission says they believe it will be a good asset for the Panhandle.
“In the Panhandle, where you’ve got a big storm comes up and knocks out the power instead of having to basically drive a truck down the electric line to figure out exactly where the problem you know where the electricity is going out much more specifically,” said Mike Hoke, director of legislative affairs, Public Utility Commission of Texas.
By improving the grid, Xcel says there will be many benefits.
Outages will be easier to identify with the new technology pinpointing where there is an outage and then crews can be dispatched to those specific locations.
“If your lights go out, we’re going to know it because currently you have to pick up the phone and call us or get on your smart phone and go to the app and let us know and there’s goes a lag there so when we have these outage events, we’ll be able to know, something will tell our system your address the meter at your address is no longer working,” said Reeves.
He says restoration times will be greatly improved.
Grid operators will be able to receive real-time information, so they can prevent and respond to different electric issues.
Xcel also says advancing the grid will help customers save energy and money.
Customers will be able to make energy usage choices that fit their specific needs and track how much energy they are using on a frequent basis.
It is estimated that this new meter would cost average residential customers $2.17 more a month.
Integration of these new systems is said to be started in 2023, at the earliest.
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