What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is an electronic device that digitally measures your energy use. It can measure both the total energy being imported and exported to the grid and it then reports those numbers back to your energy provider twice a day.
The two-way communication between your smart meter and your supplier provides site-specific information. This enables energy companies to charge for consumption according to the time of consumption; peak, off-peak and shoulder.
Why do I need it?
Recent government regulations mean that traditional meters are no longer available to purchase, therefore all new meters must be digital or smart meters. If you are installing solar and have a traditional accumulation meter this will need to be replaced with a smart meter. This is because a traditional meter cannot record the energy you export back to the grid which is one of the key features to having a solar panel system.
Monitoring vs Smart Meter
A smart meter is a great step in understanding your energy usage and how much energy you are exporting back to the grid. However, in order to know how much energy your solar panel system is generating a dedicated monitoring system is needed. Most solar monitoring uses data collected from your inverter to see how and when you are generating energy.
Solar monitoring allows you to be able to detect if there are any faults in your system. This ensures that your system is working at maximum capacity and ultimately giving you back the biggest return on your investment.