How much energy is your home using? Rocky Mountain Power knows—and so should youMay 29, 2022 12:45PM ● By Cassie Goff
Rocky Mountain Power customers can log in to their account to access their personalized data usage reports. (Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Power)
By Cassie Goff | [email protected]
Salt Lake City’s Public Utilities Advisory Committee County Member Ted Boyer discussed issues related to water conservation with the Cottonwood Heights City Council on May 3 as well as smart metering done through Rocky Mountain Power.
Currently, the State of Utah is in stage two of water conversation this year.
The committee consults with the mayor of Salt Lake City on a variety of topics related to water resources. The committee reviews water and sewer capital improvements, reclamation requirements, and rate increases.
“Water rates have increased 15% over the past few years,” Boyer said.
Boyer explained the different resources that provide water to Cottonwood Heights residents. The Central Utah Project, initiated in 1939, confers the Wasatch Front to receive water from the Green River in eastern Utah annually. In addition, the Little Cottonwood and Big Cottonwood treatment plants clean water from the Cottonwood Creeks and water also comes from Deer Creek Reservoir. Lastly, Boyer mentioned that there are many wells throughout the area, including one in the Avenues.
As Utah has recently experienced severe droughts, many residents have been taking water conservation seriously. Boyer reported that he and many residents have scaled back their own water usage by about half.
In his efforts to conserve water, Boyer mentioned that his lawn is more brown than green during the summer nowadays. “Brown is kind of a badge of honor,” he said.
With energy conservation, Boyer mentioned reviewing the data from a smart meter that helps him and his wife (Susan) monitor and conserve energy usage in their household. They recommend every resident in Cottonwood Heights utilize their own smart meters.
Smart meters have been installed and maintained by Rocky Mountain Power since 2021. Rocky Mountain Power estimates over 115 million homes and business have already been equipped with smart meters in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming—with no cost to the customer.
Smart meters are digital electric meters that send and receive communications through a secure wireless network. Household energy usage is metered, and that data can be accessed by the residential customer.
“You can log in and see your monthly or weekly usage,” Boyer said.
Residential customers can log in to their account on Rocky Mountain Power’s website. Once logged in, customers can see their energy usage broken into monthly, daily and hourly usage. This allows customers insight in help monitor energy usage. (Smart meters can only record whole-house usage information. They cannot track or record individual appliance usage.)
In addition, the household smart meter and account allows customers to see a forecast of their next bill, set up usage budgets and alerts and sign up for paperless billing.
Smart meters communicate with Rocky Mountain Power about power outages as well. They notify Rocky Mountain Power about outages immediately so energy can be rerouted within the system. This allows crews to respond more appropriately and quickly as well. With smart meter technology, outages tend to occur less often and are less extensive.
“No other data (outside of whole-house electrical usage) is shared, collected, or included with the transmission of usage data,” wrote Rocky Mountain Power Media Relations Manager Tiffany Erickson. That data includes name and address.
The smart meter network utilizes a variety of password-protected portals, firewalls, data encryption and continuous monitoring to ensure safety.
Smart meters communicate using low-frequency radio waves. “You could stand directly in front of a smart meter for one year and still have less radio frequency exposure than a single 15-minute cell phone call,” wrote Erickson.
If you do have a smart meter, you probably already know. When Rocky Mountain Power installs a smart meter, they send a letter to the residential household and call beforehand. After the installation, crew members leave a door hanger on the home notifying the reader of the installation and detailing next steps.
Utah customers wishing to opt-out of smart metering services can do so with a fee.
For more information about smart metering visit rockymountainpower.net/meterupgrade.