Electric Bill Increased with New Smart Meter?

I recently received a question from someone who said their electric bill increased when they were switched over to a new Smartmeter.


There have been some cases where the old "mechanical" meters were underbilling so when a new smartmeter was installed the bill goes up because of a more accurate measurement of usage. This is the most common cause for a bill increase (unless something else in the house was also changed).

Mechanical Meter

SDG&E smartmeters show when they are running backwards like the old mechanical meters;  on the meter there are a couple of bars and an arrowhead on each end of the bars.  This shows if your meter is running forwards or backwards.

You should also verify that you are not on a "Time of Use" or TOU rate plan.  You can verify this by calling the customer service number on your electric bill or it should be shown on your monthly bill.  In SDG&E territory your rate plan should be a "DR" rate for most residential customers.  Many people would end up paying more on residential TOU plans.  It depends on the time of day you use electricity.  Typically, if you are home during the day to early evening then TOU is probably not a good rate for you. 

However, I also know of one individual who complained of problems with their metering with solar.  They had a meter that could not run backwards.  This was a couple of years ago and seems much less likely nowadays.  If you suspect this then I would recommend calling the customer  service number shown on your electric bill and make verify that you are on a solar electric "net metering" program.  Also, ask them to verify that you have the correct meter.

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Robert Morse
NABCEP Certified PV Solar Installer
CA State Licensed Electrical Contractor (C10) & Solar Contractor (C46)
SunCal Solar, Incorporated


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