Austin Liberty Coalition Message Board › attn RoundRock residents with smart meter problems- easy hometest
Santa Rosa, CA
Is the digital ‘smart’ meter measuring electricity use accurately?
Test the meter yourself easily. Here’s how using light bulbs OR a cheap device from Home Depot:
Consumers in California, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and in Texas (Killeen, Tyler, Hearne, Waco, Irving, Grand Prairie, Fort Worth, Round Rock, Cooperas Cove, Mesquite, Dallas) have encountered bills that report electricity usage 200-300% times the expected usage with the programmable digital electricity meter and the rollout of the meter has just started in Texas! Rather than let the officials manage the testing process, test your own and be a smart consumer. Call the Press if you find discrepancies!
Here is how to test the meter by using 10 new- 100 watt light bulbs: Turn off and unplug everything in your home, including refrigerator. Turn the breaker off to the hot water heater, if it’s part of your electric bill. Ideally- turn most electricity breakers off. In rooms where there's still an electric current- plug in 10 new light bulbs of 100 watts each. This should be the only thing that is pulling electricity in your home now.
Now go outside and watch for the digital meter to move to a new kWh. Write down the time (Time A). Get a book and drink and sit and watch your meter. Write down the time when the meter moves to the NEXT kWh. If it's less than 1 hour after Time A, consider calling the Press (TV news) to document the discrepancy.
Procedure using Kill-A-Watt EZ (Process modified from google search find: Hair Dryer Test Smart Meter)
Channel 8 featured this testing idea with a product (Kill-A-Watt EZ) (avail at Home Depot) on 3/17/10:
Turn everything off, including hot water breaker if you have that (at your own risk), unplug frig, tape light switches (or remember to leave them off). Plug in a ~25 dollar “Kill-A-Watt EZ” monitor from Home Depot or wherever. Plug in a high wattage appliance into that (hair dryer or space heater may work well). [To speed this step up, you can plug in several appliances that are in very close range to one another and to the Kill-A-Watt EZ monitor so that you remember to unplug all but the one plugged into the Kill-A-Watt EZ monitor when you go back in the house.. see * below]
Go outside to watch your meter turn to the next kWh. Write the time down.
Run in the house. * Turn off the appliance (hair dryer) for just a second. Press RESET firmly on the Kill-A-Watt EZ. Turn the hair dryer or heater on at full blast (keep flammable items out of reach). Write down the time. Go back outside and watch till the meter reaches another kWh. If you have a friend to help- one person can stay in to watch the hair dryer and one stays outside. Your outside meter might reach the next kWh first if the meter is running fast. When the outside meter reaches the next kWh, write down the time. Go back inside & watch for the monitor to reach 1.00 KWh (there's a Menu button which will display the kWh). When it reaches 1.00, write down the time, turn the hair dryer/heater off. Compare the numbers. If the digital meter reaches the next kWh in less time than the monitor takes to reach 1.00, consider calling the Press (TV news) so they can document the discrepancy. (This test may be most helpful to people before they complain to the electric companies, so that no one remotely can adjust a program that could affect the outcomes)
Here is a review of the product used by a fellow in Georgia:
http://reviews.northe... Proved my point, November 18, 2008 By montesa247 from Dawsonville, GA"I purchased this monitor in preparation for planning a microhydro generator installation, but it more than paid for itself in a different way. Our power company changed the utility meters in our area and our power bill was about normal the first month. Then the bill went to more than 3 times the normal amount. When we complained, they just said that we had a problem. I turned off all the breakers in our house except for one. Then connected the Kill-A-Watt monitor to that outlet with an electric heater set to run without cutting off. After a two hour test, the monitor reported exactly what the heater rating was for that time period. The power company meter reported 4.1 times as much. With that information, they finally agreed to test our meter (which they replaced) and adjusted our bill to what it should have been.