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Xcel Energy installing new energy-saving electric meters

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
Xcel Energy is installing 17,500 new electric meters across South Minneapolis and Eden Prairie in the next few months.
The new meters will measure customers’ electricity use in 15 minute increments, so they can see how much energy they use at different times of the day – and make better-informed energy decisions.
Next April, about 10,000 of those households will switch to a new pricing system. During the two-year pilot program, electric rates will vary depending on time of day. Electricity will cost more during peak hours (3–8 p.m.), and less overnight. The pilot program is designed so that customers may see some savings by shifting to off-peak energy consumption.
Xcel community relations director John Marshall said, “Our customers want more than just reliable energy. They also want products and services that will help them save money and energy.”
He added, “Our customers want more transparency from us, and this is one way to deliver that. At the end of the day, it comes down to knowing how and when energy is being used.”
There are a lot of ways to use energy more wisely. Consider doing laundry on weekends rather than during peak weekday hours. Think about running an air conditioner at night, and using blinds or curtains to keep the heat down during the day. Buy a smart thermostat and set back the temperature of your home at night. Charge your electric car overnight, instead of plugging it in the moment you get home.
Marshall said, “Customers switching to off-peak hours helps us better manage our energy grid, and reduces the use of fossil fuels. If we avoid spikes in electricity demand, we can avoid building new, expensive carbon emitting generating plants.”
The pilot study is a chance for customers to choose when to use their electricity. The long term goal of Xcel Energy is to work toward being carbon free by 2050.

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