Monday, April 4, 2011

Smart Meters

At both our Berkeley and Boulder County homes, there's a program in progress to install so-called "smart meters". I imagine that the same is true in many other parts of the country. Instead of sending a meter reader out every month to determine electricity usage, the readings are obtained by radio contact. This reduces labor cost, human error, weather-related inaccessibility (such as snow covering the meters), and the homeowner's need to avoid covering the meter with vegetation.

My initial reaction to the howls of protest was that the protesters were a bunch of Luddites, hostile to change and unwilling to embrace technology. There were people calling it an invasion of privacy, and I didn't agree with that.

Then we began hearing of some family being billed for their neighbors' usage. Also, someone in a large apartment building claimed that all her electronic devices were being affected because there were scores of meters in that building.

It may take some time to investigate such claims and eliminate problems. "The jury is still out" on smart meters, but I do think that they are the right answer, after such problems have been solved. I await developments with interest.

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