NewsLocal News


Xcel Energy starts installing "smart meters" for cleaner energy project

Poster image - 2021-06-30T174607.860.jpg
Posted at 3:56 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 19:47:02-04

LITTLETON, Colo. — Kelly Almer and her husband, Mark, are some of the first people in the state to have a smart meter installed in their home. Mark is also an Xcel employee.

"When the air conditioning is running and it’s a hot day, or we got the dryer running, maybe we can cut back on some of those activities," Mark Allmer said.

Alice Jackson is the President of Xcel Energy in Colorado. She says these meters can help consumers lower their bill by showing you peak hours which are typically during the middle of the day.

"When we were looking at it, the percentages were more customers would have the opportunity to save because they would understand the actions that they would undertake of the cost," Jackson said.

So by turning off the air conditioning in the middle of the day or doing laundry at night, you can save a decent amount of money on your energy bills says Kyri Baker, an architectural engineering professor at CU Boulder.

"If you have a 2,000 square-foot house, I wouldn’t be surprised if you saved somewhere between $50-$100 per month," Baker said of energy bills when avoiding peak hours.

The goal is to have the meters in nearly 1.6 million homes and business by the end of 2023. Xcel and Baker says the meters will cut down outage times because the new technology allows the company to find the outage faster.

"Compared to how we traditionally do things, it allows utility companies to pinpoint the outage. Before that we’d actually have to call the utility company and tell them there’s an outage," Baker said.

But it’s also important to point out that while this new technology allows you to change habits and save money, it can also mean the reverse. Old habits of running the air all day, cooking dinner and doing the wash in the same afternoon could mean higher bills.

Jackson says Xcel will send customers a 90-, 60-, and 30-day notice for installation. She has a warning of potential scammers claiming to be Xcel employees showing up at your door.

"Our meter installers that are going to be in the neighborhoods are clearly identified with bright color jackets and a name badge from Xcel Energy. We are not asking for any upfront payments. So if you get a phone call saying you need a payment before you get your meter, that is a scam. You don't need to not make any payments or give out any personal information," Jackson told Denver7.

For more information on the smart meters, click here.