The Good and Bad About this Emerging Technology
Smart meter technology -- which is a computer-based meter that the utility hooks up to your house that can provide you with real-time information about your energy use -- is coming. You may already have a smart meter attached to your home. If not, you will -- in about 5 years the majority of homes in the USA will be using smart electric and gas meters.
There are good and bad aspects.
- The good: You can look at your use in real time -- from your utility's website or from Google PowerMeter -- and take control of your use and bill.
- The bad: Your utility can read your meter automatically and remotely. That means no more meter readers walking around manually reading and recording your energy usage. Who can afford to lose a job in this economy?
- Also bad: More to the point of this blog, your electric bills may increase -- a lot -- and that in spite of the fact that you may have reduced how much energy you used.
Customers got new meters just when the big air conditioning season got started -- it can get really hot in Bakersfield).
And their bills went through the roof.
Energy savings can be achieved using these meters -- see how one newspaper tried to explain this -- but you have to be planning ahead.