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"Smart Meters" Make Their Way to Pittsburg - KOAM TV 7

"Smart Meters" Make Their Way to Pittsburg

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

You might have noticed some more Westar Energy trucks around Pittsburg this week. 

The future of meters has come to Southeast Kansas and it's bringing with it some cost savings. 

"I hope people will take a more active role in bettering understanding how they use energy because as you monitor your energy use, you're able to actually save yourself some money and really note when you're using the most power" says Kari West from Westar Energy.

Westar Energy crews are out and about installing Smart Meters.

 "The meter service person will look at the meter and do a safety inspection. They'll remove the meter which will cause a short outage..we say it's less than 5 to 10 minutes after inspections are complete. A new meter will be in and we'll be done with the process" says West.

After installed, customers will be able to get text alerts, notifying them how much energy they've used.

Those text alerts are also useful for more urgent matters. 

"Smart Meters actually communicate over radio frequency and if there's an issue at the home, it can actually flag a service operations center.  

"I think that's the trend that's happening in our culture, i think it's going to go that direction. And a lot more than Westar meters so to speak, I think it's going to go to to all the utilities that we have and they're going to be able to convert it into electronics"  says Westar customer, Robert Casino.

The Westar account manager says customer's bills won't go up because of the new meters, the meters and the installing plan came from funds set aside for improvement projects like these.

But it's up to customers to choose if they use the new meters

"Perhaps if my bill is expensive..I might" says Rexine Warhime, another customer.

"If I could see it some other way, I would probably pay much more attention to what I'm using. Cause I like to save energy for people. Myself especially. Energy is not one of those things which is forever, energy can run out one of these days if we aren't careful" says Casino.

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