Friday, January 21, 2011

"Why American utilities will overpay $2 billion for smart meters"

Thanks to today's CABA Newsbrief I saw an article with the above title (click on the title to see it all), beginning:

Why are American utilities spending twice what the Europeans do for smart meters? Why aren't they using joint standards and joint procurement to achieve economies of scale and drive down prices?

This screw-up will squander at least $2 trillion over five years. Who will foot the bill? As the old joke goes, one of three groups – ratepayers, consumers or taxpayers.

$2 billion may be understating things

Update: Francine has a great link in the comments.
An American friend working in Europe tells me the typical cost there is $40 per meter (plus $15 for the communications by the way). In America, he says, typical prices are $110 to $120 per meter (and about $50 for the communications). ...

Not 100% clear on what these "smart meters" do, other than communicate meter readings back to the utility in order to eliminate human meter readers.

One thing is clear: they're not "Smart Grid" meters. At least not the Smart Grid being developed by NIST's Smart Grid Interoperability Panel under White House direction. We are still defining the data and interfaces for residential, commercial and industrial buildings! So in a few years these meters might have to be replaced anyway.


  1. Planet needs a new source of energy - conventional (oil, gas) will destroy us ... Seeking partner for project implementation.

  2. Here are the top 5 smart meter myths: