AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – With goals for grid modernization in mind, Xcel Energy said its Texas customers received notices in the mail about the company’s regulatory filing and investment plans. These included information on what Xcel called “advanced metering technology,” or “smart meters,” that may make fixing outages more efficient and provide information to help keep bills low.
Customers do not need to do anything, though, despite receiving a notice from Xcel, and any meter changes won’t be happening until next year. Described by the company, the information handout was required by the Public Utility Commission of Texas as part of the company’s filing process.
“Nov. 22 is a deadline for interested parties to file as intervenors in the case at the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which has the final authority over Xcel Energy’s fees and rates.” said Xcel further, regarding that process, “The approval process could take several months, and Xcel Energy does not expect to begin installing new metering technology until 2023.”
Customers also won’t have their meters changed under their noses. Before any new metering systems are installed, Xcel said customers will “receive multiple communications,” so that they can know what to expect.
“Advanced meters, also known as smart meters, are common elsewhere in Texas. Among their many benefits, smart meters help customers better understand how they are using energy and give them tools to save money and identify specific, measurable actions to make energy-saving improvements in their homes and businesses.” said Xcel to promote its proposed changes, “They also allow for near real-time monitoring of the distribution system, allowing Xcel Energy to identify outages without customer reporting and respond more efficiently to metering concerns and outages.”