Why the smart meter program was started…

Posted: April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized
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In the United States, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, PURPA Section 111(d), as amended by The Energy Policy Act of 2005, contains language that requires state utility commissions and unregulated utilities to consider whether it is appropriate for utilities to offer customers smart metering for those who request it.  The legislative intent was always that smart metering was to be considered optional.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) authorized the Department of Energy to provide financial support for smart grid demonstration projects and advanced grid technology investments.  Somewhat unfortunately, and characterizing the comments of a senior Department of Energy official: “We had a huge amount of money that had to be spent on smart grid, and we didn’t have anything off-the-shelf that we could call smart grid except these meters that were designed 20 years ago.”  Political pressure to spend money on “something” related to the smart grid cannot be objectively considered as a basis to justify a public policy to support smart meter deployment.

Widespread deployment of smart meters has been initiated within the past few years and many states have not yet deployed them; it is still appropriate to question the wisdom of this technology and as has been recently stated by one of the nation’s largest utilities, i.e., Northeast Utilities:

  • “There is no rational basis for …mandated implementation of [smart meters].”
  • “An Advanced Metering System is not a ‘basic technology platform’ for grid modernization and is not needed to realize ‘all of the benefits of grid modernization.’”

As a further example that smart meters are not generally an accepted utility practice is the news report (shown below) on hearings for a Smart Meter Opt Out Bill in the state of Maryland in 2013, where Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) officials were asked of the number of studies that had been performed at the Federal level to test the safety of smart meters.  Michael Butts admitted before lawmakers, “To the extent of my knowledge, there is no study specific to smart meters from the federal government. … smart meters are a relatively ‘new’ phenomenon.”

Read more about the Maine report this was extracted from: http://smartgridawareness.org/2014/03/27/maine-releases-seriously-flawed-report/


  1. […] investigated widespread incidents of power thefts in Puerto Rico believed to be related to smart meter deployment. The FBI believed that former employees of the meter manufacturer and employees of the […]

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