City of Rock Hill utilities considering a smarter Smart Switch

Posted February 25, 2013 7:45 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

If you’re a City of Rock Hill power customer, a new pilot program may soon give you the tools to manage your own electricity use and in turn, cut off a sizable chunk in your monthly power bill.

Deputy City Manager Jimmy Bagley said Monday the city is looking at rolling out a new, upgraded version of its Smart Switch to show customers where their usage stacks against others in times were the utility draw is at its peak.

Bagley says a number of commercial customers have similar systems installed that show usage in thirty minute increments — now the city is trying to go one step further.

Right now, roughly 3,500 Smart Switch type meters are in place in homes across that are tied to customers’ air conditioning systems and water heaters. In both applications, the systems turn off the compressor or heating element for a short period of time, reducing the overall load on the city’s power grid.

Bagley says as it stands now, electrical rates for residential customers vary throughout the day but absent a way to identify when a customer is using more power, that rate comes out as an average rate on a monthly utility bill.

Under this new program, Bagley says those meters could report back as much as every five minutes to better identify a customer’s power usage.

Bagley said those new power rates could come before City Council in the next few months.