Smart meters being installed in Morehead City

MOREHEAD CITY, NC (WITN) Duke Energy started installing smart meters in Morehead City Thursday.

It's all part of a $13 billion dollar plan called Power/Forward Carolinas, that will help modernize the state's electrical systems. One big part of that plan is updating the energy meters at homes.

Duke Energy Spokesman Jeff Brooks says, "When customers have more intelligent information about their energy use they can make smarter choices about how to save money on their bill."

Duke Energy began installing smart meters in western NC several years ago. Now, with almost half of the homes in Jacksonville already serviced, and work in Morehead City getting underway, almost 50,000 eastern North Carolina homes will have new smart meters by the fall of 2018.

Brooks says, "This is part of a statewide grid improvement initiative that Duke Energy is currently undertaking to improve reliability for all customers, to strengthen the grid against physical and cyber threats, to expand the use of solar and other reusable energy technology, and to give customers more options and more control over their energy use."

The technology will allow both the service provider and the consumers to access information remotely on their computers or mobile device.

Brooks says, "These new meters will provide hourly data and usage information, and that will help customers make more informed choices about the way they use energy, as well as using usage alerts that can you let you know when you've reached your monthly budget which you set and customize."

And with hurricane season here, the new meters will allow Duke to service homes more quickly if they lose power.

Duke isn't alone in their efforts to improve energy consumption and usage. Officials from Greenville, New Bern, and Kinston say they have begun rolling out these smart meters or are in pilot projects to test their effectiveness.

If you are a Duke Energy consumer, you should receive a postcard in the mail to notify you once they've moved into your area, as well as a front door hanger to let you know when the work has been complete.