Starting Aug. 26, Entergy Texas will begin installing new smart meters on homes in the Hull, Daisetta and Ames areas of Liberty County. After installation in these areas, crews will move on to Dayton, Hardin, Devers and the parts of Liberty that are not inside the city limits sometime around February 2020.
“It takes about two minutes to install each new meter,” said Kacee Kirschvink, spokesperson for Entergy Texas.
Customers might notice their clocks in electronic devices blinking from the temporary outage, but the inconvenience should be minimal.
Entergy Texas’ rollout of the new smart meters appears to be going well, she added, with 35,000 of the meters already installed.
The new meters will allow Entergy Texas to identify outage areas faster, resulting in quicker repairs; allow customers to see real-time and detailed energy consumption, so they can conserve energy use as needed; and improve customer service by providing faster answers to billing and account questions.
“These are all benefits of Entergy Texas’ vision for a smarter energy future, achieved through the deployment of an advanced metering system,” according to a statement from Kirschvink.
Since the Public Utility Commission of Texas approved this multi-year project, Entergy Texas has been working to design and build the communications network and IT systems to support advanced metering. The projected completion date for smart meters to be installed in the homes and businesses of all Entergy Texas customers is 2021.
“New technology will help us improve our service to customers, while also putting the power in customers’ hands to save money,” said Sallie Rainer, Entergy Texas president and CEO. “The deployment of advanced meters will upgrade our systems with new technology that will provide customers greater benefits and control.”
Advanced metering is digital technology that enables two-way communication between the customer and Entergy Texas. Each meter is equipped with a network radio, which transmits meter readings to the electric network access point, house on an electric pole near the meter. This data is then transmitted to the utility through a secure cellular network.
Shortly after a customer’s meter is installed, they may access their online account to view daily energy use, displayed in 15-minute increments. Energy use information is updated to the online account every 4-5 hours.
To make sure the rollout goes smoothly in Liberty County, Entergy Texas will have meter readers making in-person readings at least two months after the new meters are installed and will have electricians on call in the event a problem arises, said Kirschvink.
Five things to know about the upcoming meter installation:
- Entergy will let customers know in advance when the installation will happen.
- The process should take no more than 15 minutes.
- Entergy technicians will knock on the customer’s door to prepare them for a temporary loss of power, which typically lasts only a few minutes.
- If there is no one at the premises, technicians will follow Entergy’s current meter exchange process and simply upgrade the meter.
- If Entergy is unable to replace the meter, a door hanger will be left explaining how the upgrade can be rescheduled.
For more information, go online to www.energyfuturetexas.com or call 1-800-ENTERGY.