Lubbock Power & Light announced Wednesday morning that it's completed 20 percent of the installation of advanced meters throughout the city of Lubbock.

The public utility company says that the meters are "helping improve billing accuracy, outage management and leak detection for our customers." But many customers who have had the new meters installed are complaining that they've created a spike in their electric bills.

The utility company doesn't directly indicate that the new advanced meters will save anyone money, but it does say that the ability to accurately, and in near real-time, report usage will help customers to adjust habits which may help to save electricity.

It's easy to assume that the advanced metering would create a reduction in monthly costs of electricity due to the accuracy that the system is said to bring to meter reading. However, it's been long known that LP&L meter readers were short-cutting the system and creating confusion for customers when large discrepancies would show up on usage summaries with utility bills.

This leads to the question: "Will a smart meter increase or decrease the cost of electricity?" The answer will not be a simple one, due to the fact that this is a new project for the utility company and the effects of advanced meters on individual customers won't be reflected for some time, at least until all of the installations have been completed.

If you've had a new smart meter installed, have you seen an increase or decrease in the amount of electricity used or cost on your bill? Let us know on Facebook!

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