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Idaho Falls Power Testing Smart Meter Technology

A new way to save energy is surging across Idaho Falls.

“We want to increase our outage response, we want to automate and make more efficient our distribution, and, more importantly, save money,” said Idaho Falls Power General Manager Jackie Flowers.

Flowers says the Smart Meter does all of that.

“It enables us to get information to our customers more frequently, so they can monitor their electric use,” Flowers said.

A clear analog display, email alerts, plus an in-home console allow people to look at how much energy they’re using and how much they’re paying for it. This could make consumers more mindful, and therefore less wasteful

Thanks to the wireless connectivity, Idaho Falls Power can also respond to power outages more quickly.

“We [could] ‘ping’ the meter, [send] a signal, [have] the meter reply, ‘Hey, I’m OK.'”

Almost 1,000 smart meters have been installed in test homes in Idaho Falls so far. One consumer was so satisfied with his meter he let us bother him at work to talk about it.

“It helps us be informed consumers,” said George Boland, of his Smart Meter. ?All of us have an obligation to conserve energy. And, at the same time, that saves us money.”

Flowers said the Smart Meter technology could be just the beginning of a new era in energy consumption. There are plans a smart phone app, to check energy usage on the go.

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