Smart Meters-Power Factor

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Old 10-07-09, 09:05 PM
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Smart Meters-Power Factor

While it seems that eventually we will all be equipped with the new Smart Meters whether we want them or not, our utility (TXU) has been sending ads promoting early installation of the devices for a fee, touting the advantages of remotely controlling your thermostat etc, with the fine print mentioning the ability for them to turn off your A/C for 15min periods during peak usage times throughout a given day. No thanks. But my question is, I read somewhere that the new meters will read the Volt-Amp usage rather than the traditional KWHs, and therefore will be able to determine Power Factor losses, costs which have been always absorbed by the power companies at least in residential service.

I understand that, in older motors, for example (I'm thinking of my 15-year-old A/C compressor) the PF can be quite innefficient, and my "Kill-O-Watt" meter shows a number of other household items that are quite innefficient.

Does anyone know if utility companies will bill residences for a direct measurement of PF losses?
 
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Old 10-08-09, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rstripe View Post
with the fine print mentioning the ability for them to turn off your A/C for 15min periods during peak usage times throughout a given day. No thanks.
The alternative is that they are going to have to build more lines and plants which will increase the capital improvement rate on your bill substantially. Demand response can really work very well for both utility companies and customers. The good systems you will not even notice the difference in service.

Does anyone know if utility companies will bill residences for a direct measurement of PF losses
I don't know of any power companies that do this or that plan to do this for residential. I suspect though that they may use the information to offer you incentives for buying more efficient appliances.

You could contact your state public services or public utilities commission and ask if there are any laws regulating the practice.
 
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Old 10-09-09, 04:28 PM
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Smart meters (i.e., solid state digital meters) often have the option of metering Kvah instead of kwh. I believe Centerpoint does some of this. Beyond them, I don't think anyone else does ( although it would be a great incentive for everyone to become more efficient).
Call TXU (Oncor??) and ask. They may not even have a tariff setup for Kvah.
You can also call the Texas PUC and ask, although it has been my experience that you already probably know more about metering than they do. Remember, they are the ones that mandated the "un-bypassable" smart metering fee into your rate structure. While you have them on the phone, ask them if they plan to rescind that now that TXU and everyone else has jumped on the stimulus money for AMI.
 
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Old 10-12-09, 06:51 PM
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Yeah, nothing to loose by asking them, I just thought it's like asking the fox if he guards the hen house.
 
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