We’ve Got Your Back: Westar Energy explains smart meters are more accurate

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — KSNT News met up with a few Westar Energy workers Thursday so they could give a demonstration on how accurate the new digital meters are compared to the old ones.

“The meter is more accurate and that the other ones were 30 years old and they were going slower,” Westar Energy customer, Alfonso Pagan said.

That’s what Pagan says workers told him every time he called about why he has a new meter. We first told you about his story on Tuesday with his $338 bill that’s double what he normally pays. But, he’s not the only one with a problem.

After airing his story we saw a lot of KSNT News viewers had the same problem on our Facebook page. We went to Westar for more answers.

“For our customer; for our sake, we don’t want to overcharge the customer,” Meter Person Apprentice, Kyle Williams said.

One machine they have in their building acts as an appliance in your home using energy. Westar says the numbers that show up on their screens should be at 100. Many of the old meters like this one have numbers that are off — meaning the meter isn’t measuring energy properly. This is why they’re being replaced.

“When we get a new shipment of meters, we take a few aside and we put them through a testing process like what you saw today just to make sure that they really are keeping up with processes like they say,” Westar Energy’s Media Relations Manager, Gina Penzig said.

With the digital meter they tested, the numbers ran closer to 100 than the older meter — meaning more accurate. So KSNT News asked why bills are so high.

“Our bill runs about $300,” one Westar Energy worker said. “But this year it’s been hotter than average and our bill has been more than what it would have been last year.”

And with customer, Alfonso Pagan, they showed KSNT News how well his meter is running. His numbers are averaging 100.

Westar Energy workers came to Pagan’s home on Thursday to get his amp and voltage meters to test how much energy he’s using and to see what was driving his bill. Westar Energy says this will let them know in a few days exactly how much energy pagan is using.

We’ll continue to update you on what they find.

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