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.