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Are Smart Meters a Better Way to do Business? - Fox News

Adapted for the Web by:
myFOXPhoenix.com Staff

 

PHOENIX - In this new age of technology, computers practically run everything, so why should your power meter be any different?

 

"Primarily, the benefit that smart meters provide is that they enable customers to have greater control over their energy usage." says Jeff Smith of Pacific Gas and Electric.

All across the country, including here in Arizona, smart meters are gradually replacing traditional gas and electricity meters.

They've been used for years in Europe. 27 million already in Italy and every home in the United Kingdom will have one by 2020.

"It has a two-communication chip in it so you can communicate through the meter and it can communicate back to us." said Chris Baker of San Diego Gas and Electric.

Allowing customers to log on to the world wide web and monitor their consumption. Some are so high-tech that they allow you to track what a specific appliance in your home draws from the grid.

Both Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project have already installed smart meters in apartment complexes, homes and businesses around the state.

So far, SRP has begun installing a half million meters with plans to install another 500,000 over the next three years. The same goes for APS.

Both energy companies say this will help lower bills, use less fossil fuels and shift usage away from peak hours. But not everyone thinks the devices are so smart.

"They have shorted out appliances, they've caught fre, they interfere with garage door openers or security systems." said Mark Toney of the Utility Reform Network.

In California, six million smart meters have been installed in homes and complaints starting coming in almost immediately.

"The biggest problem that people are having with smart meters is complaints that billing they're getting is dramatically higher than they've ever received before." said Toney.

So many problems reported in Calfornia in fact, there's now a moratorium in place there, until an investigation into their accuracy can be done.

"What's the rush? Why don't we wait a few years, wait for all these smart devices to be on, wait for national protocols to be adopted." said Toney.

As for the smart meters in Arizona, the technology continues to roll out with no major problems reported.

Online:

APS - Frequently Asked Questions about Smart Meters
www.aps.com/smartmeter

SRP Smart Meter Technology
www.srpnet.com/electric/home/smartmeter.aspx

TURN - The Utility Reform Network
www.turn.org

 

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