What Are the Rules for Texas Smart Meters and How do I read it?

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Smart meters have been part of cheap Texas electricity rates for over a decade.
Smart meters are one of the big reasons for low Texas electricity rates and the future for homeowners to manage their usage.

Where are smart meters used in Texas?

All areas of Texas support smart meters. This includes the following:

  • Greater Houston Metro Area managed by Centerpoint Energy
  • Greater Dallas Metro Area, Tyler, Waco, Midland, Odessa and Wichita Falls managed by ONCOR
  • Abilene Region managed by AEP North
  • Corpus Christi, McAllen, Harlingen, Victoria, Laredo managed by AEP Central
  • Dickinson (Texas City), Fort Stockton(Fort Stockton), Friendswood, Lewisville managed by Texas New Mexico Power(TNMP)

Why Do We Have Smart Meters in Texas?

Smart meters are already at work in nearly all Texas homes. But why are they important and do you have to have one in your home? Smart meters can help customers maximize their energy savings and improve ERCOT's grid reliability. And with Texas energy rates are on the rise this summer, that important to all electricity customers.

Smart meters replace the old analog versions with a digital version that sends data every 15 minutes on energy use to your provider. This helps keep costs down by removing the need for someone to come out and manually check your meter every month. There are other benefits as well:

  • Real-time meter readings to monitor and adjust usage
  • Easy to double check usage for accurate billing
  • Instantly alerts TDUs of power outages
  • Fewer employees need to read meters, lowering traffic and fuel consumption
  • Faster order processing for starting and stopping service

Are Smart Meters Mandatory?

Smart meter deployment by the local TDUs in Texas began in 2008 and was completed by 2012. However, in 2005 the Texas legislature authorized a monthly Advanced Metering Systems surcharge. The surcharge is a pass through charge to customers to cover the costs to local TDUs.

Each smart meter is identified with a 17 or 22 digit Electric Service Identifier ID (ESIID) number which identifies the unique portal for electric service. This allows your TDU and retail providers to identify a meter and its usage as well as facilitate switching providers.

You're not forced to have a smart meter in Texas, but TDUs make it cost prohibitive to switch back to an analog meter. Despite being safe and beneficial, some people don't want smart meters in their homes. Just be aware that opting out of a smart meter comes at a significant cost. For example, if you're in the ONCOR service area, you could be charged over $445 to have an analog meter installed. This fee could go up to over $800 if they have to remove an existing smart meter. And this fee does not include monthly charges of up to $25 for meter servicing and reading.

Ultimately, smart meters are just another way to make sure you have the cheapest energy rates in Texas.

Any (and every!) plan from any electricity provider in Texas will work with your smart meter.

We recommend the following fixed rate plans for Houston (CENTERPOINT) users with Smart Meters

Company Term Rate
Chariot Energy 36/months 14.1¢/kWh
Rhythm 12/months 14.6¢/kWh
Champion Energy Services 24/months 14.8¢/kWh
Reliant 24/months 15.8¢/kWh
Veteran Energy 24/months 16.0¢/kWh
4Change Energy 24/months 16.1¢/kWh
Constellation 12/months 16.5¢/kWh
Gexa Energy 12/months 16.7¢/kWh
Rates as of Apr 14, 2024 at 08:39 PM

We recommend the following fixed rate plans for Dallas (ONCOR) users with Smart Meters

Company Term Rate
Chariot Energy 36/months 14.1¢/kWh
Rhythm 12/months 14.6¢/kWh
Champion Energy Services 24/months 14.8¢/kWh
Reliant 24/months 15.8¢/kWh
Veteran Energy 24/months 16.0¢/kWh
4Change Energy 24/months 16.1¢/kWh
Constellation 12/months 16.5¢/kWh
Gexa Energy 12/months 16.7¢/kWh
Rates as of Apr 14, 2024 at 08:39 PM

How can I access my Texas Smart Meter data?

Before you can access your data, you'll need to sign up for an account with the Smart Meter Texas website

Once you create an account, you can determine who can access your Smart Meter Data.

Is it free to have a Texas Smart Meter?

Yes, a Smart Meter is the standard for all homes in Texas. Using the meter is free. It's also free to use the website to view your electricity usage. It's possible to utilize the smart meter data to help automate your smart home.

The Future of Smart Meters in Texas

If you've ever struggled trying to figure out how to read your Texas electricity meter, then the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) decision to upgrade their Smart Meter Texas (SMT) portal will be of interest to you. The portal currently allows residents to track usage. However, now customers will have the ability to choose energy management providers for services such as energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation and other products to help customers use their energy data to increase savings. These providers will analyze customer data and create energy strategies for to improve savings each month.

In Texas, with the power to choose your electric provider and a smart meter to help track usage, you can see huge savings on your energy bills. The deregulated energy market can be tricky, but at www.TexasElectricityRatings.com, we work hard to make it easier for you to compare energy plans while shopping for the cheapest energy rates.

How To Read Your Texas Electricity Meter

A frequent complaint we see is that a customer has received a high bill, based on a meter reading that is way out of the norm. Customers then demand a meter re-read which may cost the consumer up to $80, if their meter is found to be functioning correctly. Luckily there is an easy way to check your electricity meter consumption. Check out this short video which explains how to read a dial type or smart meter.