Smart Phones, Smart Fridges, and Smart Meters: How Utility Companies are Updating Their Systems for the 21st Century

As it turns out, smart devices aren't limited to a certain fruit-themed tech company. Electric utility companies across the country (including many of our clients) are implementing smart meters and time-of-use rates in order to reduce usage during peak hours.

Key Players
Evergy and Ameren Missouri. Evergy and Ameren Missouri are two of the latest major players to offer smart metering and time of use rates. Collectively, both will have installed 2.8 million smart meters by the end of 2025, and over 5,000 customers have opted into time-of-use rates so far.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Interestingly, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District made time-of-use rates mandatory when they were introduced back in 2019. The goal was to reduce peak demand by 5.8%, but an internal study comparing summer 2019 to summer 2018 found that peak demand rates were reduced by a whopping 8%.

Fayetteville Public Works Commission. Fayetteville, like Sacramento, also made time-of-use rates mandatory when they were introduced. Since implementing them, Fayetteville has saved over $2 Million over the past year.

The Big Picture: Time-of-use rates and smart meters are being implemented more frequently across the country, and electric utility companies (including some GreatBlue clients) are already seeing the benefits in cost savings and decreased strain on their systems. Despite this, less than 5% of electricity customers across the United States are billed on a time-varying rate even though 58.4% of customers would use a smart meter and 59.2% would opt for time-of-use rates if they knew they were being offered and how they work. As of now, though, over 54.6% of customers aren't aware of what time-of-use rates are or how they work.