Utilities Admit Slow Pay-Off for Smart Meter Customers Despite Billions in Rate Increases and Taxes

By B.N. Frank

Many special interest groups, state utility commissions, utility companies and even elected officials (including Bernie Sanders) have promoted utility “Smart” Meters as economically beneficial to customers and even eco-friendly (see 1, 2, 3) despite all of their problems including environmentally harmful ones like

  1. Fires and explosions (see 1, 2, 3)
  2. Need for frequent replacement
  3. Biologically and environmentally harmful Electromagnetic Radiation emissions (see 1, 2)
  4. Appliances needing to be more frequently repaired and replaced after “Smart” Meter installation

“Smart” Meters have been proven to be problematic over and over again (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  Many customers have complained about higher bills – not lower ones (see 1, 2, 3).  Some elected officials have stopped their “rollout” in their communities and states (see 1, 2) including Kentucky Governor, Andy Beshear.  Of course, utility companies and their allies continue to promise in oh-so-flowery language that “Smart” Meters will eventually “pay-off” for customers even though they haven’t so far in oh-so many unpleasant ways.

From Utility Drive:

Regulators have approved billions for utilities to roll out advanced metering infrastructure but they expected new customer and system benefits, not just lower utility operation costs.

As utility proposals grow for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployments, power system regulators are demanding evidence that the real-time distribution system data AMI produces justify the billion-dollar costs, causing deployment to slow.

But some utilities have begun demonstrating granular AMI data can be used to lower customer bills and lower power system costs, utilities, private sector partners and analysts told Utility Dive.

“AMI is a whole new world for utilities, and they have to update systems and train people about the new possibilities,” American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Policy Program Fellow Dan York told Utility Dive. “It is a powerful feedback to customers and utilities that can guide important changes in how and when energy is used.”

Impediments to getting pay-offs from huge AMI investments have been significant, AMI advocates told Utility Dive. Utilities and providers need to evolve data processing software capabilities in a regulatory system that favors hardware investments over software expensing.

But leading utilities are showing they can meet regulators’ demands to justify AMI costs as they gain access to the right capabilities, stakeholders said.

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Activist Post reports regularly about “Smart” Meters and other unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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