Duke Energy is one of the nation’s largest energy companies, with revenues of $23.6 billion in 2017. In April 2018, the company was acquired by Singapore-based rival, Acme Inc., for an estimated $14 billion.
But perhaps the most interesting thing about Duke Energy is the company’s focus on the green energy market. Over the past decade, the company has invested more than $15 billion in renewable energy projects, primarily in solar and wind power. In 2017, for example, Duke Energy was ranked No. 27 on the Forbes List of the world’s 50 Most Philanthropic Companies, with an estimated budget of $422 million for philanthropic causes worldwide.
The latest example of Duke Energy’s commitment to renewable energy is its $16 million investment in the Sunforce BTSM300 solar meter product. Here’s a closer look at this new solar-powered energy metering device from Duke Energy and how it can benefit your business or home.
What Is a Solar Meter?
For those of you who aren’t familiar, a solar meter is a device that directly connects to the grid and measures the amount of solar power being produced by a solar array. Solar energy is free, and there are no hidden charges like there are with other types of energy meters. The only thing you need to provide is electricity to charge it up.
What makes the Sunforce product different from other solar meters on the market is that it’s built on advanced micro-controller technology from Qualcomm, along with a full-blown OS (operating system) from Google. This allows the device to not only monitor and track your energy usage, but also offers advanced capabilities for energy buyers and consumers, such as:
- Automatic meter reading (AMR)
- Usage-based pricing (UBP)
- Demand response (DR)
- Programmable thermostat (PST)
- Smart Energy Manager (SEM)
- Battery management
These capabilities make the Sunforce meter a perfect fit for any smart dwelling or building. Not only will it reduce your energy costs by up to 30%, but it’ll also provide you with all the information you need about your energy usage in real-time. No more guessing how much power you need or wasting hours on end watching your electric bill grow.
Why Bother with the Sunforce Product?
If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re interested in replacing your present energy meter with a smart solar-powered device. But why should you even consider looking into a solar-powered product when there are already so many options available on the market?
The truth is, most energy suppliers don’t provide good service in your area, and when they do, it’s usually because they’re forced to by legislation or regulation. These mandates require them to provide service to all areas, which most of them can’t efficiently do if they don’t have enough people on-staff or enough resources for the work involved. This is why it’s important to find a company that has a physical presence in your area.
Another issue with conventional energy meters is that sometimes they can’t measure the actual amount of energy being used, leading to inaccuracies and potential billing disputes. This is why many utilities and energy companies have switched to digital meters, which are much more accurate and provide far more data than their counterparts of years past. In fact, many utilities no longer use paper energy bills, but rather print out an electronic version that can be accessed online, anytime and anywhere. This is also one of the reasons behind the growing popularity of online energy portals, where all of the details of your energy transactions can be viewed in real-time and from any computer with an internet connection. Many companies have also started using digital meters in their stores and factories, where being able to monitor production and make adjustments as needed is critical to maintaining optimal efficiency.
Features & Benefits
Besides the fact that it’s completely digital and offers all of the benefits that come with modern technology, the Sunforce meter provides a number of important benefits to its users.
First off, it’s extremely accurate. According to the manufacturer, the device can measure the kilowatt-hours used in a day with an accuracy of up to 0.5% for commercial buildings and 2% for residential settings. While other companies claim a similar level of precision, the truth is 0.5% and 2% are the industry standards for tolerance, so you can bet your bottom dollar that the Sunforce meter exceeds those figures.
Another great thing about the Sunforce product is that it’s highly customizable. As a result of the Google and Qualcomm technology that it uses, the energy supplier has made the settings easy to access and change. This is important because not only does it make it easier for people with zero tech experience to use (which we all know isn’t a rare occurrence), but it also opens the door for customers who may want additional features or functionality in the future.
Last but not least, the Sunforce product is highly secure. This is important because although you’re connecting it to the grid and using it to monitor your energy usage, it doesn’t mean that anyone else has access to your personal information. Indeed, since it’s a completely separate device from your internet-connected computer or mobile device, you’re guaranteed to be safe and sound in the knowledge that personal information is secure.
One thing that makes the Sunforce product stand out from other conventional energy meters is the fact that it provides immediate data. This is important because as much as we’d all like to live in a perfect world, things don’t always go according to plan. Especially when it comes to energy use. Things happen that cause the amount of energy to fluctuate, sometimes dramatically. When this happens, it’s vital to be able to view this information in real-time as opposed to after the fact. After all, if you know you’re going to be using more energy than normal during a certain period, it’s best to be prepared for it and adjust your usage accordingly. Not doing so could lead to a sudden power outage, which in turn could result in serious financial and personal hardship. So it’s essential that you know if and when this is going to occur beforehand, which is why immediate data is so valuable–it saves you from the discomfort of a blackout and the potential financial loss it entails.
Perhaps one of the most useful features of the Sunforce product is the extensive reporting that it offers. Not only does it provide you with detailed information about your energy usage in real-time, but it also allows you to track and monitor your energy expenditures in the past. Fortunately, the device is also capable of storing this information for later viewing, which is something few other energy meters offer (and something that many utilities and online energy portals don’t provide). This is important for consumers who want to keep track of their energy usage over time and see how it compares to previous years or how it varies by month. It also provides a good overview of your energy consumption and helps you identify areas where you can cut down quickly and easily without sacrificing quality of life or convenience.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the Sunforce product offers a lot to potential customers. Not only does it have all of the benefits that come with digital technology, but it also has the advanced capabilities to connect to the grid, read meter displays, and more efficiently use energy, all without requiring any special training. Most important, it provides extensive reporting and detailed tracking, as well as great security.
It’s clear that whatever your situation, the Sunforce product has something useful to offer. If you’re looking for a way to save money on your energy bills, consider getting one of these new solar-powered devices.