CENTRAL - More smart meters are on their way to homes in the greater Baton Rouge area.
Entergy customers have been complaining about higher bills and wonder if the meters have something to do with it. This week, DEMCO says it'll be installing them later this month to some 70,000 customers.
The switch will be quick and customers don't need to prepare. DEMCO says the smart meters will give customers more information about how they use energy and how they can save money.
David Latona with DEMCO says many new builds and businesses already have the new smart meters - 35% of DEMCO customers are using them now. The rest of the smart meters will be installed at homes and businesses starting this month.
DEMCO says the new, smart meter technology is convenient, accurate, and safe.
"We will be able to get the reading from a meter at our headquarters office," said Latona. "And this only improves our response time for outage restoration."
That's because DEMCO will automatically be notified when the power goes out.
During the switch, customers will notice a brief power interruption. DEMCO says it'll let customers know ahead of time by mailing them a notice.
DEMCO says smart meters will not directly cause your bill go to up but says if your old meter was not recording energy usage accurately, an increased bill is possible.
Entergy customers who have contacted 2 On Your Side say their bills skyrocketed after the switch. Both companies reinforce the notion that the new meters show the most accurate use. They also detect tampering or energy theft.
DEMCO will start replacing these 70,000 meters in the next couple of weeks. If you have questions about the meter or your bill, call DEMCO. The Public Service Commission plans to take up Entergy's situation later this month.