How Smart Meters Work
Featuring Energy InSightSM system
The hub of the Energy InSight System
Energy InSightSM system features digital smart meters with two-way communications between consumers and CenterPoint Energy. In addition to electricity consumption, these meters capture surplus electricity generated by distributed generation sources such as solar panels or wind turbines. The meters also measure usage in 15-minute intervals, which can give consumers valuable information about their consumption habits while allowing Retail Electric Providers (REPs) to offer new services such as time-of-use rates or pre-paid service.
Smart meters can
Perform automate meter reading
- Connect and disconnect electric service, reducing the time to have new electric service connected or to switch REPs
- Notify CenterPoint Energy when the power goes out
- Communicate with future smart appliances in homes and businesses
Energy InSight is a complex system that integrates many technologies:
Data is transmitted from the meters to cell relays, which are wireless devices installed on power distribution poles.
Cell relays pick up signals from meters in the vicinity and transmit the data via radio to a Take out Point (TOP).
TOPs collect data from cell relays within a several-mile radius and deliver it via microwave or fiber optic cable to CenterPoint Energy's data center, where computing systems gather and process 96 daily reads per meter.
(View six-minute video:
How to Build an Advanced Metering System