The Wall Street Journal yesterday took a contrary view in its story, “Smart Meters, Dumb Idea?” at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124050416142448555.html
Rebecca Smith, the author, makes a legitimate point: there’s a lot of talk about smart meters and deploying them and their benefits in general but much less in the way of specific examples of consumer engagement with smart grid (DOE raised consumer engagement here this morning at the NIST standards conference).
The first and easiest consumer benefit is providing detailed usage information that consumers have used in pilots to reduce total consumption by 5 to 15%. Voluntary smart (dynamic) prices are a second option requiring a bit more to implement. Appliance control requires still more effort, but is not far off – indeed smart thermostats are available today. A real world example is PowerCentsDCTM, where we are offering these things to consumers today.
Consumers are now seeing the charges on their monthly bills for smart meters and legitimately asking to see the direct benefits. Our role as the smart grid industry, and with eMeter’s particular software products, makes us the torch bearer for delivering the benefits consumers are seeking.
- Chris King