New Smart Meters Coming to Midland

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Oncor workers won't have to worry about going from house to house to check meters. Now those meters will do the work for them.

They're called smart meters, and the power company said they won't just help them but customers as well.

If you're an Oncor customer, your energy meter will look different and so could your electric bill.

Starting on Monday, the company will debut their smart meters in Midland and across the Permian Basin in the next several months.

Every 15 minutes, the new advanced meters read the amount of kilowatts used themselves and then they send that information back to a Oncor.

The meters are an all digital, two-way communication system.

"It allows the customer to dial into the meter and see what their usage looks like," Jim Clements, Oncor Area Manager for Big Spring, said. "If you have your air conditioner, your dishwasher and your dryer on at the same time then it's going show you how hard and how fast you're using it."

And along with that, the new meters can also show you the rate you're paying per kilowatt hour and you can check it online.

"Right now, people get their bill at the end of the month and that's the first time they know how many kilowatt hours or what they're electric bill is going to be," Clements said. "Now with all the new devices in the meters, then they can go into it and basically see it real time."

Oncor is busy educating the public about ways to cut back on their bill.

"It was pretty good, there were a lot of tips in there that I didn't know about," Resident, Lindsey Baldridge, said. "Doing your laundry and things at night and how usage rates change during certain times of the day I didn't realize that."

And the company said, they're already making progress.

"We have already seen about a ten percent drop in the demand and usage in the metroplex with these meters," Clements said.

"It's kinda crazy but I think it would be a good thing," Baldridge said.