Smart Meter Education Lacking From Utilities

A new survey of utility company executives from Capgemini suggests providers have several concerns about the future of power supply, but that consumer education about usage, rates, and the roll out of smart meters ranks relatively low on their list of priorities.

Completed in April of this year, the recent study suggests that environmental regulation is seen as the number one challenge for utility providers, followed by aging infrastructure. While solar and wind were expected to grow, shale gas, so-called clean coal, and nuclear resources were still seen as the main drivers of new power.

Roughly half of executives, one hundred total from the United States and Canada, say cyber security is key concern, both for providers and customers alike, a sector that will become more important with the rollout of smart meters. But according to the survey, 67% of executives do not know if smart meter technology will cause customers to manage their consumption, and few know if peak demand is being reduced as a result of implementation.

smart meter, PG&E

image via PG&E

Another disappointing find – less than 30% of executives say educating consumers about the potential effects, negative and positive, of the smart grid is their responsibility. Does that mean it’s up to us? Guess so. Here are some articles you can read to brush up on the topic:

To start, we reported that the federal government is helping fund smart meter installations, but that there are several consumer issues, including data privacy. Still, some say the technology is working well overall, despite one report suggesting utility providers are unprepared for the stress new electric vehicles could bring, and another noting the vast majority of people are uneducated on the subject. Finally, we rounded up a variety of sources that have noted potential problems with the technology, as well as an overview of smart home energy management.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.

3 Comments

  • Reply June 3, 2011

    Mike

    Smart meters are simply tools that enable uitilities to charge time-of-use rates. Old meters were simple “odometers” that told how much was consumed since the meter was last read. Smart Meters track useage by hour, and the utility can apply different rates by the hour or group of hours.nnCell phone users figured out calls are cheaper in off-peak times (evenings/weekends) and so too will electricity consumers. Proper rate design will drive the behavioral change.

    • Reply June 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn1. WIRELESS SMART METERS u2013 100 TIMES MORE RADIATION THAN CELL PHONES.nVideo Interview: Nuclear Scientist, Daniel Hirsch, (5 minutes: 38 seconds).nhttp://stopsmartmeters.org/2011/04/20/daniel-hirsch-on-ccsts-fuzzy-math/nnnu00a0nnn2. WIRELESS SMART METERS u2013 CANCER, NERVOUS SYSTEM DAMAGE, ADVERSEnREPRODUCTION AFFECTS.nVideo Interview: Dr. Carpenter, New York Public Health Department, Dean ofnPublic Health, (2 minutes: 23 seconds).nhttp://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=3946nnnu00a0nnn3. THE KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE IN STOCKHOLM (the University that gives thenNobel Prizes) ISSUES GLOBAL HEALTH WARNING AGAINST WIRELESS SMART METERS.n2-page Press Release:nhttp://www.scribd.com/doc/48148346/Karolinska-Institute-Press-Releasennnnnn

  • Reply June 3, 2011

    Anonymous

    Now that the World Health Organization has determined that rf radiation (same type as smart meters emit) is worthy of inclusion on the B2 list of carcinogens, we have a solid authoritative body that can back our claims of health effects. DDT, leaded gasoline and chlordane (a notorious pesticide) are on that same list. Would you allow your utility to spray those all over your home?????? FYI, I developed a rapidly growing skin cancer that looked like a large pencil eraser, within five months of the installation of the two smart meters on my home. It grew on my face, on the side facing the meter at the same level, as I read in bed for many hours each week. The doctor who operated to remove it said YES it could have come from radiation exposure. IF YOU DON’T WANT utility SMART METERS, JOIN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIANS AGAINST SMART METERS, A PROJECT OF CENTER FOR ELECTROSMOG PREVENTION http://WWW.ELECTROSMOGPREVENTION.ORG. WE ARE A NEWLY FORMED CALIFORNIA NONPROFIT THAT REPRESENTS THE PUBLIC AND UTILITY CUSTOMERS ON THIS ISSUE. HELP SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS – TRUST ME, THESE DEVICES ARE DANGEROUS. nYes, smart meters (radiation) can make humans and pets sick. See Dr. Dan Harper (www.drdanharper.com) in Solana Beach, CA, for more info on this. Insomnia, ringing of the ears is very common. My traditional doctor ENT (local in San Diego) diagnosed electromagnetic field exposure as cause of my ringing ears and resultant hearing LOSS.

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