- New meters offer customers 'pick your due date' and usage alerts.
- Upgrades contribute to improved service during power outages.
- Smart meters allow company to more easily troubleshoot power issues, complete service orders remotely.
St. Petersburg, FL /PRNewswire/ - Duke Energy has completed a multiyear effort in Florida to upgrade nearly 2 million customer meters to smart meters – digital meters that offer customers more options and improved service.
The new smart meters are part of Duke Energy's commitment to building a smarter energy future. The investment in this digital technology will help the company meet the changing needs and expectations of customers.
"Customers have told us they want more timely access to their energy usage information and bringing this technology to Florida is one way for us to better meet those expectations," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. "Smart meters will help us identify and respond faster to customer outages and give our customers tools to help them make smart energy choices to best fit their needs."
The new meters are an evolution of the company's previous meter-reading technology and provide a number of enhanced services that offer residential and some business customers more control over their energy use. Options include opportunities to pick billing due dates and receive usage alerts. Such alerts can help customers better understand and budget for their energy consumption.
"I'm a small business owner, so I am always interested in options that can help me manage expenses," said Mark Aeling, owner of MGA Sculpture Studio in St. Petersburg, Fla. "I like that having a smart meter will give me usage information sooner and help me to make informed choices."
Smart meters measure and record electricity usage at regular intervals and send the data wirelessly to customers and the power company, much like how your home Wi-Fi works. Customers can access the information online by logging on to their Duke Energy Account.
Smart meter data might tell customers that the hour spent cooking on a hot Florida summer night is creating a power spike from the working oven competing with an air conditioner trying to cool things off. Or that a teenager's hours playing video games cost more than anticipated.
Pick your due date
Pick Your Due Date offers eligible Duke Energy customers the option to select a billing due date that best aligns with their personal needs and finances to provide more flexibility and control when paying their monthly bills.
Monthly energy costs can be tricky to predict. Duke Energy customers can take control of their electricity use and monthly budget with Usage Alerts. Click here to access the usage data tool.
Customers will automatically receive an email halfway through the billing cycle. The email will include the current bill amount and a projection of the final monthly bill. Customers also have the option to receive midcycle alerts via text message.
Customers also can set up budget alerts to help keep their bill in check. They will be informed when their bill is expected to reach a specific dollar amount of their choosing, allowing them to course-correct and cut back on usage if they wish. It's similar to when a cellphone provider provides a data usage update when users near their plan limits.
Remote service orders, quicker response to power outages
In addition, smart meters offer two-way communication with Duke Energy's systems, so the company will know more about outages. This can speed response and restoration times. In the future, a smart meter may even report the outage for customers.
Fewer estimated customer bills
Smart meters are read automatically – not manually – so there's no need to estimate bills when meters can't be easily accessed, such as during severe weather. In addition, Duke Energy will not have to access a customer's property for meter reads.
Click here to learn more about smart meter technology.
Smart meter b-roll, interviews and high-resolution photography are available the Multimedia Gallery in the Duke Energy News Center:
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.9 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit's regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2020 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.