By now, we’ve all heard about the Internet of Things. This concept involves connecting mundane devices to a grid, thus enabling them to communicate either with each other or a central base.
IoT is user friendly. The daunting factor of technology is omitted by the simple measure of providing an interface that compacts heavy technological information into short, precise capsules that can be accessed with just one click. Mobile phones are the most popular choices for the interface but there are a lot of options that are available to suit different needs.
IoT’s biggest achievement is the ability to monitor devices remotely and take the necessary actions. The ramifications of this power is astounding. For one, it gives us a way to solve the current crisis of global warming that could mean the end of our existence by enabling us to use inexhaustible sources of energy like Solar power. Solar panels require constant maintenance and checks to function smoothly which is impractical in terms of cost labour and viability. Remote monitoring changes that scenario drastically.
With the increasing popularity of smart meters provided with the current electricity supply system, it was only natural for solar companies to also jump on to the bandwagon and provide customers with its myriad benefits.
So what are the advantages of smart meters?
It is installed at no extra cost.
It saves time and human resources by eliminating the need to manually check meters.
Smart meters give an exact record of electricity used and hence allows companies to charge accordingly as opposed to bills calculated on estimated usage.
But how beneficial has this really been for solar energy users?
While solar panels and smart meters are definitely compatible, there have been issues that have resulted in irate customers.
Foremost among the complaints are that bills are calculated on the basis of estimated usage or on the amount of electricity supplied. This happens because supplier does not get accurate export data from the network that connects them to customers’ smart meters. As a result, bills get doubled or tripled.
Getting a smart meter installed isn’t compulsory. You can hang on to your old meters as long as they function well.
But all hope is not lost. The benefits of smart meters can still be accessed with the help of the Internet of Things.
With IoT’s characteristic detailed monitoring and hyper alertness for any discrepancies, it is possible for solar energy providers to circumvent the problems of inaccurate billing. The quality of service and billing accuracy really depends on the supplier you choose so always ensure that you research your solar energy provider in detail.