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What is a Smart Meter?

Smart meters are digital devices that measure your electricity use via a secure network and make it possible for Dominion Energy to deliver better reliability and provide you with more control over your energy use.

What are the benefits?

  • Customer control and convenience – Smart meters can be turned on and off quickly and remotely, without having to send a representative to your home.
  • Faster outage detection and power restoration – Smart meters notify us when your power goes out (even when you're not home) and when it has been restored.
  • Remote meter readings – Remote data collection means an additional level of energy data is available, like daily readings, to help you make informed decisions about your energy usage.
  • Improved delivery of energy – A more precise delivery of electricity through voltage levels helps reduce fuel and operating costs, resulting in savings that are passed onto you.

With smart meters you can view your daily energy usage.

The ability for the customers to log into their account to receive more detailed energy usage means that you can take control of how and when you use energy.

Your new smart meter will give you access to data that offers insight into how your home uses energy at more frequent intervals than ever before. You can also set usage alerts to help you better manage your energy expenses each month.

What to Expect

Here's what you can expect.

  1. For your convenience, there's no need for you to be present during the installation, but we will need to access the electric and/or gas meter and the area around the meter.

    For electric customers, the technician will remove the electric meter and replace it with a new smart meter. Your power may be interrupted for a few minutes, so you may need to reset your devices if they do not have a battery backup.

    For gas customers, your gas meter will be updated with a device that allows for remote readings. There should be no interruption in gas service, unless in the rare case that we have to change the gas meter.

    If you live in a multi-unit apartment complex, we will coordinate access to the meter room, where appropriate.

  2. The meter installation team will be identified as Utility Partners of America (UPA), contractors for Dominion Energy. Vehicles and uniforms will be identifiable. The installer should also have a Dominion Energy contractor badge as well as a copy of the postcard and email that was sent to you regarding the smart meter process.

  3. Once installation is complete, we will leave behind a doorhanger, so you know the replacement was successful. (Doorhangers will not be left for multi-unit apartments or condos.)

  4. If the technician was not able to access the meter or complete the replacement for some reason, the doorhanger will indicate the reason and ways for you to contact us for a follow up. If you live in a multi-unit apartment complex, we will follow up with the maintenance office, if necessary.

*We do not require payment for the meter upgrade.

What's the difference between the smart grid and a smart meter?

Smart meters are just one of hundreds of possible applications that form the Smart Grid. The Smart Grid consists of controls, computers, automation, and new technologies and equipment working together with the electrical grid to respond digitally to customers electric demand needs.


Number of smart meter deployments expected by the end of 2020 in the U.S., according to the Institute of Electric Innovation.


Amount U.S. electric companies invested in the distribution system alone in 2019, according to EEI Industry Capital Expenditures with Functional Data (Oct. 2019).


Number of states that had between 50-100% of electric utility customers with smart meters installed, according to the Institute for Electric Innovation (2018).

Source: Edison Foundation, Institute for Electric Innovation

Smart Meter Installation Map

See when smart meters will be coming to your area.

South Carolina Smart Meter Map

The Smart Grid

The Smart Grid applies technologies, tools and techniques to increase knowledge capable of making the electric grid work more efficiently. A smarter, more efficient and reliable electric grid means better service for customers, benefits for the environment and lower costs in the long run, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The electric grid is a network of transmission lines, substations, transformers and more that deliver electricity from the power plant to your home or business. The digital technology that allows for two-way communication between the utility and its customers, and the sensing along the transmission lines is what makes the grid smart.

Powerlines Background Image

Frequently Asked Questions

Unlike your current meter which is usually read once per month, smart meters can transmit energy usage information to the utility at more frequent intervals throughout the day. The meters can send and receive information related to your energy service through a secure communication network. We use the data from your smart meter to generate bills, to run a more reliable and efficient power grid, and to deliver a higher level of service to you.

Having information at your fingertips about your energy usage is the best way to manage your energy expenses. Instead of only receiving a monthly bill, you will have online access to view daily usage and estimated costs of daily usage for the bill you have received. You will have access to daily usage almost real time and eventually usage information in more frequent intervals. By the end of 2020, smart meter deployment is expected to reach 107 million in the U.S. as it is becoming the standard in utility metering. In fact, analog meters are no longer being manufactured.

The meter installation team will be identified as Utility Partners of America (UPA), contractors for Dominion Energy. The installer should also have a Dominion Energy contractor badge as well as copies of the materials that were sent to you regarding the smart meter installation process.

The installations will happen Monday – Friday during business hours, though there may be cases when evening or weekend installations are necessary.

Dominion Energy will send a postcard and an email several weeks before your installation, letting you know when we’ll be in your area. Refer to the map above for our current deployment plan and timeline. This map and timeline may change based on our progress.

You can see your information online when you log in to your Dominion Energy account. If you don’t have an online account, the registration process is simple and takes only a few minutes. Just be sure to have your account number available. Register your account online.

After the meter has been installed, the functionality of the new smart meter will be available to you in the next few weeks. We will begin recording your daily energy usage information and make that available to you within the next billing period or two.

You will be able to view your energy usage and costs associated with that usage on a daily basis. We will also provide estimated costs for your daily usage. For each day in your billing period, you can see how much your usage cost on a daily basis.** Even after your bill has generated, you can check online to see daily usage and costs since your last bill. That information will be available to you almost real time, which gives you better command of your utility bill.

We encourage you to set usage alerts to proactively alert you if the costs for your usage exceed the threshold you have established. You can choose to get an email or, better yet, an even quicker notification through the Mobile App.

The Mid Billing Cycle Estimate sends you a notification midway thru your billing period. It shows the estimated energy costs thru the first 15 days of your next billing period. This can provide insight into how your bill is shaping up and give you an opportunity to make an impact on your next bill.

* At this time, solar customers and a few other meters will not have insight into daily usage. Dominion Energy will continue to work toward a solution to present this data to this segment of customers.

** Daily usage details are available after both eligible meters have been upgraded.

A smart meter records your energy use information and safely and securely communicates this information to Dominion Energy using digital technology – similar to your smartphone when it sends a text. The information includes the amount of energy you use and when you use it. We use this data to help ensure that your monthly bill is accurate and to provide information to help you manage your usage.

Smart meters do not collect, store, or transmit personally identifiable customer information – such as names and addresses. All energy usage information is transmitted between smart meters and Dominion Energy through a secure network and is encrypted using U.S. government-approved and -recommended standards. We follow the cybersecurity guidelines published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. These standards are regularly reviewed to remain current with industry and government security protocols.

There may be a brief interruption of electric service for a few minutes as the meter is being installed. We apologize for any inconvenience the brief outage may cause. In most cases, the installer will knock on the door prior to beginning the meter exchange process.

If your gas meter is scheduled to be upgraded, we do not anticipate an interruption to your gas service for the majority of our customers. Smart meter upgrades to gas meters typically will not involve a need to exchange the gas meter, which would require the gas to be turned off. However, at this time, we anticipate about 300 gas meters will need to be physically changed. We will make arrangements to get gas service restored if no one is home when the meter is changed out.

Interruption to electric service cannot be prevented in these cases. As with other routine maintenance, there will be a brief interruption of your electric service. In most cases, the installer will knock on the door when onsite, prior to the interruption of service.

Most electric smart meters allow remote turn on and off capability. That means if your service needs to be turned on or off, we will not send a technician to your address. In the remote possibility that your meter does not respond to the signal, a technician will be dispatched. As well, when Dominion Energy conducts its sample meter testing procedure, technicians will be on site to change your existing meter and send your previous meter for testing. And finally, other maintenance situations or restoration efforts may require a technician to gain access to your meter.

Gas meters are fitted with a device that allow us to remotely read the meters. Turn-ons and turn-offs for gas service will still require a technician to make an onsite visit, and also during the sample meter testing procedure noted above. As is required today, gas turn on orders will continue to require a responsible adult who has access to the gas appliances, to be present during the service call.

Yes, but those emissions are well below the levels produced by other common household devices already used in homes today, such as mobile phones, baby monitors, microwaves and TVs. Smart meters emit a small fraction of the limits set by the Federal Communications Commission, the agency that enforces the safety limits of RF emissions.

The following websites provide additional information about the numerous studies conducted on smart meters and RF emissions:

If you have concerns about upgrading your meter, you may choose to have a non-communicating meter instead. Dominion Energy will still need to replace your existing meter and will install a new meter which has had the communicating module disabled. With this meter, you will not gain the benefit of any of the smart meter enabled services and programs designed for smart meter technology. Dominion Energy will be required to manually visit your address each month to collect a monthly meter reading.

As allowed by Public Service Commission of South Carolina Order Nos. 2019-622 and 2020-86, customers of Dominion Energy South Carolina must pay an installation fee of $168.00 as well as a monthly fee of $15.00 to offset the charges associated with this manual process. For more information, please call our customer service team at 833-956-6723.

For more information on the smart meter, visit Itron's Consumer Resource Center.

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