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What Smart Meters are not Good for

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Henry Craver's picture
Small Business Owner Self-employed

As a small business owner, I'm always trying to find ways to cut costs and boost the dependability of my services. To that end, I've become increasingly invested in learning about energy saving...

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  • Oct 12, 2021 8:51 pm GMT
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Swiping through my utility feed this morning, I came across this article in The Scotsman, an Edinburgh newspaper, about the importance of smart meters. 

The author begins the article referencing and praising Greta Thunberg’s call for action against climate change at COP24 in 2018, where the young Swede said: “The first thing I have learned is that you are never too small to make a difference. Imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.” The author then encourages readers to do their part by requesting smart meters from their utilities and using the devices to cut back on electricity consumption. 

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Although I wholeheartedly support smart meter deployment, I think this personal conservation plea is the wrong pitch, for both smart meters and climate change mitigation. There’s little evidence that smart meters change customer’s habits in any meaningful way. And even if they did, the net benefit would be negligible in the context of global climate change. 

Smart meters are essential to the future of a smarter, cleaner grid. But we shouldn’t expect them to turn regular customers into carbon cutting maniacs, nor should we really want them to.


 

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