Smart Meters in California

Blog, Energy, Les Routledge

Grist notes that the utility in San Francisco is offering to turn off smart meters for their customers.

Out here in rural Manitoba, it costs a consumer $50 every quarter if the utility has to roll a truck to read the meter and that cost is added to the consumer’s bill.  I would gladly permit Hydro to install a Smart Meter on my service if it could eliminate that charge from occurring.

While customers should have a choice to have their service equipped with either a smart meter or a conventional one, the price of their service should reflect the different of costs incurred by the supplier.

Similarly, customers should have a range of pricing options for how they purchase electricity that ranges from a time-of-use spot price all the way to a multi-year, fixed rate price.  Where possible, those rates should be determined in a competitive market structure such as an auction or reverse auction instead of rates that are defined through non-market mechanisms such as government regulation.