1. What are smart meters?
Smart meters are digital devices that collect energy use data and, unlike traditional analog meters, transmit and receive data, too. For example, NV Energy’s smart meters record the amount of electrical energy used every 15 minutes, providing a detailed view of daily energy usage patterns. Customers can access information about their energy use via the MyAccount web tool on www.nvenergy.com, or through NV Energy’s automated voicemail system, the day after the energy usage occurs. NV Energy’s natural gas customers in Northern Nevada have similar access to data regarding their natural gas use.
2. Are smart meters accurate?
Because smart meters are digital meters, they are generally less likely to provide “slow reads” (inaccurate measurements of energy usage) than analog meters. As with many things, when a utility meter ages it may require maintenance and repair in order to continue to accurately record usage. All types of utility meters are subject to testing. NV Energy uses a two-phased process to test the accuracy of its smart meters:
- The manufacturer conducts meter testing.
- NV Energy tests the meters again in its meter shop.
3. Are smart meters secure from hacking?
Smart meters transmit data via the same technology used to transmit data between cell phones. Various measures may be taken by a utility installing smart meters to ensure that data is protected. For example, NV Energy is addressing security and privacy concerns associated with such transmissions by protecting its networks through:
- The use of best-in-industry technology and software.
- The use of an encrypted radio frequency network from the meters to the networks.
- Isolation of the network from the customer website.
- Isolation of the network that transmits data from the meters to the corporate computer network
4. Will my personal info be kept confidential?
Yes. Utilities are required to keep customer information confidential regardless of whether a smart meter has been installed. The meter only broadcasts your usage information and meter identification number to NV Energy. The following customer information is NEVER broadcast from NV Energy’s smart meters: name, address, driver’s license number, social security number, date of birth, personal ID number, or utility account number.
5. Will smart meters change termination of service rules?
No. The same rules regarding termination of service and notice apply. See Nevada Administrative Code 704.350 - 704.390 for more information about the rules gas and electric utilities must follow when terminating a customer’s service.
6. If I have a smart meter, do I have to participate in NV Energy’s
time-of-use rate program?
No. Participation in the time-of-use program is voluntary.
7. May I opt-out of having a smart meter installed at my home?
Yes. NV Energy offers a refurbished analog meter to customers who do not want a smart meter (also referred to as the “Non-Standard Metering Option”). The refurbished analog meter is non-communicating, incapable of storing data, and must be read manually.
8. How do I apply to receive a refurbished analog meter?
Call NV Energy’s Resolution Center:
- Southern Nevada: (702) 402-4273
- Northern Nevada: (888) 559-9744
9. Is there a cost to have a refurbished analog meter?
Yes. There is a one-time installation fee and a monthly recurring fee. NV Energy does not offer a payment plan specific to the fees associated with the installation of the refurbished analog meter. The full amount of the installation fee and the monthly recurring fee will appear on the customer’s first bill following installation of the refurbished analog meter. The fees will appear on the customer’s bill as a “non-standard meter charge.” Call the utility for fee amounts.
10. Can I keep my existing analog meter?
No. NV Energy will switch out your existing analog meter with a refurbished analog meter. The refurbished analog meter is noncommunicating, incapable of storing data, and must be read manually.
11. What if I already have a smart meter? Can I still request to have a refurbished analog meter installed?
12. How soon will I receive the refurbished analog meter?
NV Energy will process requests based on the order of receipt. NV Energy’s goal is to install the refurbished analog meter within 20 business days of a customer’s request.
13. If I move, do I have to pay the set up charge again to receive a refurbished analog meter at my new residence?
14. If I live in Northern Nevada and NV Energy provides both my natural gas and electric service, do I have to request a refurbished analog meter for both meters?
Yes. Both your existing gas and electricity meters will be switched out for refurbished analog meters. See question 10 for information on fees associated with the refurbished analog meter option.
15. Do any restrictions apply?
The following restrictions apply to customers requesting a refurbished analog meter:
- Customers of Record: Only customers of record (the person whose name is on the bill) with NV Energy are authorized to participate. A property owner who is not the official customer of record cannot participate. For example, a landlord cannot choose to install a refurbished analog meter at a rented property if the landlord is not the customer of record for that property.
- Failure to Make Timely Payments: Customers who have made two late payments in any 12-month period since Feb. 4, 2013, are ineligible. If you become ineligible due to this requirement and then pay on time for 12 consecutive months, you can request a refurbished analog meter.
- Evidence of Meter Tampering: NV Energy has the discretion to determine that a customer is ineligible to request a refurbished analog meter if there is evidence that the customer has tampered with the existing meter at the customer’s residence.
- Subject to Availability: Participation is limited to 12,000 cumulative residential and non-residential electric customers in Southern Nevada, and 4,500 cumulative residential and non-residential electric customers in Northern Nevada. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Optional Programs: Customers who volunteer to participate in NV Energy’s optional time-of-use or net metering programs are ineligible to request a refurbished analog meter.
16. If I receive a refurbished analog meter, can NV Energy require me to get a smart meter in the future?
NV Energy has terms and conditions that must be met in order for a customer to be eligible to receive and/or retain the refurbished analog meter.
- Failure to Make Timely Payment: Customers who make two late payments in any 12-month period after receiving a refurbished analog meter will become ineligible for the program.
- Right of Access: Customers who deny NV Energy access to read their refurbished analog meter twice in any 12-month period will become ineligible to retain the refurbished analog meter.
- Evidence of Meter Tampering: A customer’s participation may be revoked if there is evidence that the customer has attempted to defraud the utility or has tampered or interfered with the operation of the refurbished analog meter.
17. Can I request to replace my refurbished analog meter with a smart meter at any time?
Yes. Call 702-402-4273 in Southern Nevada and 1-888-559-9744 in Northern Nevada to schedule a smart meter installation. There is no additional fee for the smart meter installation. The fees that were paid to install the refurbished analog meter also cover the cost of removing it and replacing it with a smart meter.
18. Where can I find the PUCN-approved rules governing NV Energy’s Refurbished analog meter option?
19. Where can I find information about PUCN proceedings concerning smart meters?
Visit the PUCN’s All Dockets web page to view filings made as part of the dockets listed below:
- Docket No. 10-02009: The PUCN approved NV Energy’s request to set smart meters as the utility’s standard metering option for all classes of customers.
- Docket No. 11-10007: The PUCN issued an order requiring NV Energy to implement a program to allow residential customers to opt-out of the utility’s smart meter program.
- Docket 12-05003: The PUCN issued an order approving NV Energy’s Trial Opt-Out Program to allow participating residential customers to receive a non-communicating meter incapable of storing data, rather than a smart meter.
- Dockets 13-08007, 13-08008 & 13-08009: The PUCN issued an order approving NV Energy’s Trial Opt-Out Program to allow participating non-residential customers to receive a non-communicating meter incapable of storing data, rather than a smart meter.
- Dockets 14-01020, 14-01021 & 14-01022: The PUCN approved NV Energy’s request to make its Trial Opt-Out Program a permanent service offering in Southern Nevada (14-01020) and Northern Nevada (14-01021 & 14-01022) rather than a four-year trial program.