Technology and Information Technology
In times of inflation and rising energy prices, many people think about how to save electricity. To do this, however, they need to know what the big power consumers in the house are. Smart Electricity Meters can display the electricity consumption in 15 minute intervals.
By the end of 2024, due to EU regulation, 95 percent of Austria’s electricity meters should be replaced with digital “smart meters”. “Smart Meters” are digital meters that record electricity consumption at regular intervals. Consumption values are sent to the network operator so that their on-site reading is no longer necessary. In Vorarlberg, about 217,000 electricity meters have to be replaced, of which 60,000 have already been replaced, which is about 30 percent. Vorarlberg netz, a subsidiary of illwerke/vkw AG, currently replaces around 1,500m per week. 25 mechanics work for this.
The default setting, “enable” or “disable”
The Smart Meter is installed in a standard setup. The customer receives the previous day’s energy consumption once a day. There is also a “Subscribe” option. If you choose this option, you will get 15-minute readings from the previous day. It can be checked exactly in which quarter of an hour the energy consumption was the highest the previous day and which was the lowest. There is also the option to opt out. If you choose this setting, only the current meter reading will be displayed.
Significantly increased awareness of energy issues
“You can’t see from the curve whether the light is turned on or off. Larger electricity consumers, like a sauna or the like, can affect the curve,” says Christoph Borcher, spokesperson for Vorarlberg-Nitz.
“As a network operator, we are also noticing an increased awareness of energy issues among customers,” Borcher says.
Criticisms of “smart meters” regarding data protection
Criticism of the new devices comes from the “Stop Smart Meter” initiative. Among other things, they are concerned about data security. Fear of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands was dismissed by Johannes Turcher, Managing Director of Vorarlberg Netz as soon as it was put up. Should that happen, which is unlikely, it’s just a jumble of numbers with which no one can do anything. Only billing related data will be sent but no personal data.
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