Study Discusses Achievements, Shortcomings and Next steps for Effort to Increase Smarter Energy Use
The South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER), today released “An Update on Smart Energy in Texas.” The report examines the promise and potential of smart energy in Texas. It highlights how the state is leading on smart energy with seven million smart meters in use, a common portal (Smart Meter Texas) for four of the largest utilities in the state, and 15 minute data available to customers. However, it also underscores the need for Texas to take further steps to maintain this position of leadership.
Texas is only beginning to use the intelligence smart meters can provide to enable more efficient energy usage such as time of use pricing and demand response. The state is also not yet allowing third parties to access and use their data in ways that would reduce their spending on electricity and contribute to a more economically efficient electric system. Such access is scheduled to be launched later this year, in hopes to attract private sector innovators.
Further, education efforts to help customers capture greater benefits from their smart meters are essentially nonexistent, and there are still limited incentives to encourage smarter energy usage. Only 60,000 customers (0.8 percent) have ever logged into the state’s innovative Smart Meter Texas portal, only 30,000 log in per month (less than ½ of one percent) and less than 0.2 percent of the smart meters in the state have been connected to a device designed to manage energy usage. Perhaps of greater concern, the report reveals, that these miniscule numbers are reportedly declining in recent years.