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 smart meters keep my personal info 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, will I be required 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 for each residential meter. The fees are set out in the table below. 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.”
|So. NV Electric
|No. NV Electric
|No. NV Gas
|Set Up Charge
(1 time charge)
10. 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 a reasonable time of receiving the request; however, availability to utilize this option is limited to the first 12,000, and 4,500, services in Southern and Northern Nevada, respectively.
11. If I move, do I have to pay the set up charge again to receive a refurbished analog meter at my new residence?
12. 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. If you elect to use the non-standard metering option for electric service, both your existing gas and electricity meters will be switched out for refurbished analog meters. See question 9 for information on fees associated with the refurbished analog meter option.
13. 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 are ineligible.
- Tampering or Evidence of Fraud: If the acts of the customer, or the conditions upon the customer’s premise, indicate to NV Energy that the customer intends to defraud the utility, or the customer tampers or interferes with the operation of the utility’s meter, the utility may deny any request for, or revoke, service in this program.
- 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.
- Time-of-Use-Rates, Net Metering & Standby Service:
Customers choosing to opt out are not eligible for time-of-use rate programs, net metering programs, or large or small standby service.
- Other Optional Programs: A customer choosing to opt out may not be eligible to participate in optional programs offered by NV Energy if the utility determines, in its reasonable discretion, that the customer’s participation is inefficient, not feasible, or too costly.
- Right of Access: NV Energy may deny service under this program to any customer who, twice in any 12-month period, interferes with the utility’s right to access the customer’s premise. NV Energy will provide the customer with 30-day notice of its intent to install a smart meter.
14. If I receive a refurbished analog meter, can NV Energy require me to get a smart meter in the future?
Yes. Two late payments in any 12-month period, failure to provide NV Energy access to the refurbished analog meter, or meter tampering can cause a customer’s participation in the opt-out program to be revoked. See Question 13 for more information.
15. 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.
16. Where can I find the PUCN-approved rules governing NV Energy’s Refurbished analog meter option?
17. 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.
- Docket 14-09015: Petition of the Regulatory Operations Staff for an Order directing NV Energy to file requested information regarding the advanced metering infrastructure.
- Docket 15-06064: NV Energy’s 2015 Customer Satisfaction Improvement Plan and updated customer service and customer satisfaction metrics. This report is filed annually. Subsequent annual dockets are searchable on the PUCN website using docket number 15-06064.