Xcel Energy is starting to install its “Smart Meters”.

The new meters are meant to “help customers better understand how they are using energy and give them tools to save money and identify specific, measurable actions to make energy-saving improvements in their homes and businesses.

And, the technology is also expected to allow for nearly real-time monitoring to allow Xcel to identify outages without customer reporting.

Funding is coming from the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance and the Low-Income Household Water Assistance program and provides eligible customers with payment assistance for their utility bills made directly to Xcel Energy. Officials noted that assistance can be provided towards the total past due amount and up to $2,400 for future payments.