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New Edison Electric Meters - Smart for Whom?

Author bio: 
John-Paul Leonard

Our electric company, Southern California Edison, has installed new digital electric meters.

They call them “Smart Meters.” I’m trying to figure out why.

The old meters had a little rotating wheel to give you an idea at a glance how fast the electricity was going. You could even watch it to test circuit breakers and see which circuits were carrying current.

The new meters only indicate when you’ve used a whole killowatt.
At their website the company compare it to an odometer. They conveniently omit to mention that the old “dumb” meters had both a speedometer and an odometer.

Whose idea of “green” technology is this? How can customers cut usage if they can’t even see how much they are using.

The green part seems to be the dollar hue of green. It’s a $1.6 billion program to install 5 million meters. That’s a cool $320 each.

For as little as $20 retail you can get a Kill A Watt meter which will display the rate your current is currently going through an electric outlet. Five million of those might cost $100 million.

Where did the other $1.5 billion go?

When I asked customer service at SCE to refer the question to their audit committee, they went silent.