Meter readers are all around us. We see them in our neighborhoods every month, and unless you work in the utility industry, you may not think much about them. But what do these people do? And more importantly, what’s the difference between a commercial meter and a residential meter? Meters are an essential part of keeping track of energy usage, and there are two main types of meters: commercial and residential. Though both measure the amount of energy used, there are some critical differences between these two types of meters. This blog post will break down those differences and explain why they matter. Stay tuned to learn more!
What Exactly Is An Electric Meter?
An electric meter is a device that measures how much electricity is used. It usually comes from your utility company and measures your electricity in kilowatt-hours, so it is often called the watt-hour meter. It is generally installed outside your house near your electric service panel. The electric meter measures the electricity used by your household and sends this information to the utility company.
#1. Difference In Reading
The first main difference between commercial and residential meters is reading. A commercial meter is read remotely, typically by a truck that drives through the neighborhood. On the other hand, residential meters are read manually by a meter reader who walks around to each house. This difference is due to the size of the meters. Commercial meters are typically larger than residential meters since they measure more electricity and record that information for an entire business rather than just one residence. Because commercial meters are so large, it would be impractical to have someone walk around looking at them all day long.
#2. Difference In The Service They Provide
The second difference between commercial and residential meters is what types of services they measure. A commercial meter measures electricity used by a business, while a residential meter measures electricity used by a single residence. This difference is essential because businesses use more energy than homes on average. That’s why the utility company needs to have a separate meter to track energy usage for businesses.
#3. Difference In The Voltmeter
A residential and a commercial voltmeter is that a commercial voltmeter measures demand, while a residential voltmeter measures energy usage. The former measures energy in kilowatt-hours, while the latter demands kilovolt-amperes. The billing demand is the maximum energy a consumer can draw in one billing cycle. This charge is based on rate class and time of year.
#4. Difference In The Pricing
The next difference between a commercial and a residential meter is pricing. Residential meters are usually priced by the kilowatt-hour, while commercial meters are priced by demand or kilovolt-ampere hours (kWh). A kWh is a unit of energy equivalent to 1 kilowatt being expended for 1 hour. A kilovolt-ampere hour is a unit of energy used to measure the maximum flow of electrical current. This unit is also equivalent to 1,000 watt-hours.
#5. Location Of Meter breaker
Typically, homes’ electrical load centers are inside the home. The watt-hour meter and a single-meter socket are usually outside the house. Sometimes they can be combined in one system for residential homes, rural service entrances, and mobile homes. These meters, called a meter breaker, have a circuit breaker distribution section with a single socket.
Commercial meter breaker systems are different, and a commercial meter reader is usually found near the business entrance. The load center, where the service transformer is located, is inside the building. This transformer steps down high-voltage electricity from the utility company to a lower voltage that’s safe for use in the building. A separate meter measures how much electricity is used in the construction.
#6. Difference In Gangable Metering
A gangable metering system is used in large condo complexes, strip malls, and other applications. These systems typically consist of one main service module that can be combined with a vertical meter stack to make custom lineups for the application at hand – this includes areas where more than six units are being measured by meters! This system is typically used in more significant buildings and complexes where a traditional meter reader would not do its job correctly.
Whereas gangable metering is the perfect solution for more effective commercial services. It includes expanded features and requires 3-phase only, so it will never interfere with your home’s electrical needs.
#7. Difference In The Frequency Of Reading
The final difference between commercial and residential meters is the frequency of reading. Residential meters are typically read monthly, while commercial meters are read more often, usually every 15 days. This is because businesses use more energy than homes on average, so the utility company needs to have a separate meter to track energy usage for businesses. Readings can be taken more frequently for extensive commercial services or by submeter.
#8. Difference In Meter Breakers
A residential meter breaker provides a convenient way to protect your home and family from the risk of power outages. It can be installed as part of an electric service entrance panel, or it may have its socket on-site for easy access when needed! One benefit of having one at your house is that you don’t need to worry if someone else trips over extension cords again since they won’t reach far enough outside not to trip up these devices either. Meter breakers also provide overload and short circuit protection for your home.
A commercial meter breaker is a bit different, as it’s designed to protect the business from power outages. These devices are typically installed near the business entrance and can help keep the lights on during an emergency. They come in various amperages and can be manually or automatically tripped in case of a short circuit.
Depending on the type of building you have, the commercial meter breaker should be installed near the electric service entrance or at another location inside your business. Also, remember that commercial breakers vary in type and size depending on the load they manage and whether they’re required to keep up with demand for 3-phase or single-phase service.
Daven Electric Corp. has been in the Brooklyn, NY area for over 40 years and is committed to providing you with quality electrical service at a fair price. If your business or home needs an electrician, contact us today! At Daven Electric Corp., we strive to provide our customers with excellent customer service beyond just solving their problems. We want them back as regular clients so they can feel confident recommending us to friends and family when it comes time for them to do some work around their house too! Let’s have a conversation about what kind of services are best suited for your situation-give us a call today at 212.390.1106 or visit our website.