Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Smart meters to save the world and piss off customers

Lookey here! The next step of evolution in the way we get out electric bill. It's suppose to improve efficiency and we're actually suppose to be able to see how much we're using in real-time.

However, when they installed all these meters, power bills immediately went up. Ooops.

Fast Company loves smart electric meters. They're the first, essential step in the smart electric grid, which promises to fight global warming, improve efficiency, and bring consumer control into our electricity system.

Pacific Gas & Electric loves SmartMeters too. They've installed 3.7 million, with a goal of 10 million by 2012--the largest program in the nation.

Who doesn't love smart meters? Thousands of PG&E customers in Bakersfield, California. They blame the newly installed meters for doubling and tripling their power bills over the summer, compared to the previous year. The SF Chronicle reported that "Angry homeowners repeatedly booed PG&E representatives during a public hearing on the meters earlier this month."

PG&E says it's a case of mistaken identity. The true culprits were July heat waves and recent rate increases. Every meter they've inspected so far has been working properly. 

Well so much for going green if you lose green in the process. 

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