1. What are smart meters?
Smart meters are digital devices that collect energy use data and, unlike traditional meters, transmit and receive data, too. For example, NV Energy’s smart meters record the amount of energy used every 15 minutes, providing a detailed view of daily energy usage patterns. Consumers 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 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” than analog meters. As with many things, as any 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 meter 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 business?
Yes. The classes of non-residential customers listed below may request to have the utility install a non-standard meter at the customer’s premise rather than a smart meter. The non-standard meter is non-communicating, incapable of storing data, and must be read manually.
- Incentive Natural Gas Rate (INGR)
- Gas for Compression (COMP)
- Small Commercial & Industrial Natural Gas Service (SCNG)
- Large Commercial & Industrial Natural Gas Service (LCNG)
- Liquefied Petroleum Gas Service (LPG)
- Small General Service (GS-1)
- General Service (GS)
- Large General Service (LGS-1)
8. How do I request a non-standard meter?
Call NV Energy’s Resolution Center to request a non-standard meter.
- Southern Nevada: (702) 402-4273
- Northern Nevada: (888) 559-9744
9. What kind of meter do I get if I request a non-standard meter?
NV Energy’s non-residential customers have had solid-state meters, rather than analog meters, since the mid 1990s. NV Energy will switch out your existing meter with a non-communicating, solid-state meter with an electronic display. The meter is incapable of storing data and must be read manually.
10. Can I request a non-standard meter if I already have a smart meter?
Yes. NV Energy will replace your smart meter with a non-communicating, solid-state meter.
11. Is there a cost to receive a non-standard meter?
Yes. There is a one-time installation fee and a monthly recurring fee (see below). The full amount of the installation fee and the monthly recurring fee will appear on your first bill following installation of the non-standard meter. The fees will appear on your bill as a “non-standard meter charge.” Call the utility for fee amounts.
12. If I move my business, do I have to pay the set up charge again to have a non-standard meter installed at my new location?
13. How soon will I receive the non-standard meter?
NV Energy will process requests based on the order of receipt. NV Energy’s goal is to install the non-standard meter within 20 business days of a customer’s request.
14. If I live In Northern Nevada and NV Energy provides both my natural gas and electric service, do I have to request a non-standard meter for both meters?
15. Can I request to replace my non-standard 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 installation. The fees that were paid to install the non-standard meter also cover the cost of removing it and replacing it with a smart meter.
16. Do any restrictions apply?
The following restrictions apply to customers requesting a non-standard meter:
- Customers of Record: Only customers of record (the person whose name is on the bill) with NV Energy are authorized to participate in the program.
- Failure to Make Timely Payments: Customers who have made two late payments in the 12 months prior to requesting a non-standard meter are ineligible. If you become ineligible due to this requirement and then pay on time for 12 consecutive months, you can request a non-standard meter.
- Evidence of Meter Tampering: NV Energy has the discretion to determine that a customer is ineligible to request a non-standard meter if there is evidence that the customer has tampered with the existing meter at the customer’s business location.
- Subject to Availability: Participation in the non-standard metering program is limited to 12,000 cumulative residential and non-residential electric customers in Southern Nevada, 4,500 cumulative residential and non-residential electric customers in Northern Nevada, and 4,500 cumulative residential and non-residential gas 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, net metering or standby service programs are ineligible to request a non-standard meter.
17. If I receive a non-standard 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 non-standard meter.
- Failure to Make Timely Payment: Customers who make two late payments in any 12-month period after receiving a non-standard meter will become ineligible for the program.
- Right of Access: Customers who deny NV Energy access to read their non-standard meter twice in any 12-month period will become ineligible to retain the non-standard meter.
- Evidence of Meter Tampering: A customer’s participation in the non-standard metering program 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 non-standard meter.
- Charges for Other Schedules: NV Energy may revoke a non-residential electric customer’s participation in the non-standard metering program if the customer migrates to a larger service class and fails to pay assessed incremental costs for continuing in the program within 15 days after the utility provides notice of the costs.
18. Where can I find the PUCN-approved rules governing NV Energy’s non-standard metering program for non-residential customers?
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.