RecoverIRô Blog

Discussion of Discovery & Recovery of Lost Energy
Search
Utilities Need Another Strategy for Smart Meters
Published by R. G. Lucas in Smart Grid Financing • 1/27/2011 11:43:37 AM
Consumers in California might be wondering, "What's in it for me?" when it comes to smart meters, witness the actions by Menocino County and Santa Cruz, California to put a moratorium on the installation of smart meters. http://www.watchsonomacounty.com/2011/01/county/mendocino-county-supes-put-smartmeters-on-hold/

? (Perception of Consumers) As soon as a smart meter is installed, it seems the utility bill goes up.
? (Perception of Consumers) As soon as the smart meters and smart grid are in operation, the utility will begin to charge me based upon time-of-use (TOU) and my electric utility bill will go up even more.
? (Perception of Consumers) The only way I will be able to lower my utility bill after TOU billing goes into effect is to buy new appliances and spend more money to equip my house to reduce my usage during peak hours.
? (Perception of Consumers) So if I allow the installation of a smart meter, I am almost guaranteed I will have to pay more money.

So what strategy might work for the utilities?

Since many states buy and sell power across state lines, the fundamental "new infrastructure" issues fall under the federal government, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Envirornmental Regulatory Agency (EPA), and the Department of Energy (DOE). At issue is the creation of another level of control of our power system. No one complains when FERC, the DOE, or a local utility spends money reduce the number of power outages or the duration of power outages. Most Americans believe it is a fundamental right to have low cost reliable electric power without any interruptions, and many become irrate with their local utility when they lose power for any reason.

Luxresearch released a useful article for consideration on 23 December 2009 about Smart Grids from a world perspective, entitled, "The Smartest Opportunities in the $16 Billion Smart Grid". https://portal.luxresearchinc.com/research/document_excerpt/5821

Would everyone be enjoying free access to the Internet today, if the initial infrastructure had not been developed and supported by our federal government? Of course many great companies, Netscape, Microsoft, Google, Apple (iPhone), etc. embellished and enhanced the fundamental strengths of the government created Internet, but the fundamental infrastructure funding was required. This was a project which was far too risky for any investor or commercial company to create from scratch.

There are always many nay-sayers about technologies and new infrastructures until they work. Did you know that Thomas Edison claimed the alternating current (AC) power in every house today would not work and was a danger to humans?

So what do you think should happen?