The following are a list of some frequently asked questions about the Energy Smart Community and related topics. Do you have a question that isn't answered here? Submit your question through our online form

What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is a  natural gas or electric meter that can digitally send meter readings to the utility. Smart meters enable a two-way communication between the meter and the grid system and are a common component of smart grid technology.

Why is NYSEG installing smart meters?
Smart meters are part of a broader effort NYSEG is undertaking to test system upgrades to the utility. Advances in systems include upgrades to substations, circuits, meters, and grid management software. There are also customer-facing products, services, and variable rates based on time of use. 

What are the Benefits of a Smart Grid (and Smart Meters)

  • Quicker notification of power outages and restoration of service.
  • Reduced peak demand, which may also help lower electricity rates for customers. 
  • Increased integration of large-scale solar and other clean-energy. 
  • Variable pricing depending on peak energy use. 
  • Integration of innovations like battery storage.

Are the smart meters available to all NYSEG customers?
Initially, smart meters will be limited to 12,400 customers in the first Grid Update Area. Those households in the first Grid Upgrade Area will receive a letter from NYSEG explaining when the meter switch out will occur. Over the course of the next few years all NYSEG customers in Tompkins County will have a smart meter.

Will smart meters save me money?
Possibly. The system lets you track your energy use throughout the month, which can help you make decisions about shifting your energy use to off-peak times .NYSEG will be offering variable pricing incentives if you are able to shift energy use. 

Will my privacy be protected?
NYSEG will applies the same privacy protection standards to all data they collect. In treating your personal information as confidential, NYSEG complies with all regulatory requirements of the Public Service Commission. To learn more about NYSEG's privacy protection, contact NYSEG customer service.

Can I opt out of getting a smart meter if I want to? 
Yes. You can do that by contacting NYSEG customer service. You can also call the dedicated ESC phone number instead of the regular customer service number at 1.800.925.1559

Do I need to opt-in to have my data shared?
Yes, you do need to opt in and have a smart meter to have access to your data.

How will this help increase the use of renewable energy?
YES Home Solutions is a key component of the Energy Smart Community. It is an online marketplace open to all Tompkins County residents. YES Home Solutions offers professional contacts and information on energy efficiency, solar providers, and products.

What will this do for me if I already have solar at my house?
Probably not much at the moment. A Cornell University team, also part of the Energy Smart Community, is working on a battery project to offer solar with storage, but that will be in the future.

Does the West Dryden Road Pipeline have anything to do with Energy Smart Tompkins?                                                                                                               

On February 6, 2017, members of the Tompkins County Energy and Economic Development Task Force  announced that NYSEG has requested the the New York State Public Service Commission review a plan that provides an alternate approach to providing energy to the Lansing/Freeville Reinforcement Gas Pipeline Project. The project, also known as the 'West Dryden Road natural gas pipeline would be replaced by a two tiered approach: first, a compressor would be installed in the Town of Lansing to insure a steady flow of gas delivery to existing customers. Second, creative solutions would be proposed to reduce natural gas use, and the existing moratorium on new natural gas customers in Lansing would be extended indefinitely. The Energy Smart Community and YES Home Solutions would enable an increase in renewable energy sources to help reduce natural gas use. Read more about it here.                                                                                                           


Rosalyn Bandy
Energy Smart Community Liaison

Last updated April 18, 2017