Entergy is rolling out digital meters across the state

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OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - Entergy is making some changes. The company says they’ll begin installing digital meters on homes and businesses in Ouachita Parish at the end of 2019.

Entergy says this could actually lower customers’ bills. They say these digital meters will allow you to see how much energy you use daily -- down to every fifteen minutes. "And with that information, customers will be able to identify where they can save money and be more efficient in their electric usage,” says Roderick Worthy, the Customer Service Manager for Entergy Louisiana.

People living in Ouachita Parish say their Entergy bill can be confusing. "I recently got a light bill that was $421 and my last light bill was $35, so there's no way that I’ve used $300 worth of lights,” says Tarira Payton.

And they’re glad that these digital meters will allow them to see their energy as they use it, instead of at the end of the month. Raj Subedi is a manager at Tiger Mart and says this technology could really help businesses keep their hefty energy bills down. "You know the power, if we are using too much, we can see what's going on,” says Subedi. “Maybe some freezer is not working, or some freezer is working too much or something like that."

The digital meters are already installed in southern Louisiana, and now Worthy says they’ll be expanding them company-wide. He says Ouachita Parish will be one of the first parishes to see the changes.
The new meters will come at no cost to customers.

Worthy says equipment within the plants is already starting to change, even though the physical meters aren’t there yet. "It's not just changing out the meters, it's also changing out other equipment and facilities so that the infrastructure will be in place to support that change,” says Worthy.

Worthy says meter readers could be a thing of the past soon because their company and many others are going towards digital meters. But he says he doesn’t expect there to be layoffs since the meter readers will now be in charge of maintaining the new meters.

Ultimately, the meters will make sure people have the most accurate bill possible. "This digital technology, we will be able to reduce the amount of human errors that could cause an impact to the customer's bill,” says Worthy.

And for any outages, Entergy will able to send crews to restore power faster. “With smart meters we'll be able to know that there's been an interruption in service from the company side without the customer even calling,” says Worthy.