Do the benefits of smart meters outweigh the costs?


Energy ProbeToronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — October 6, 2006 – Energy Probe, a Toronto-based consumer and environment research team, is questioning whether smart meters will be practical for residential users.

“We support smart metering only when their use can be justified,” said Tom Adams, executive director of Energy Probe. He believes that the cost of deploying the device outweighs its benefits, especially when the meters are used by low energy consumers such as households.

Smart meters cost between Can$400-500 (US$356-446) depending on the features they offer. The Ontario Energy Board has said that the price of the units has been rolled in with the special pricing rate offered to smart meter users.

But Adams points out that smart meters could end up costing the government more when used by households consuming 700 kWh a month. “The cost of meter management using old meters is about 50 cents per unit. The cost of management for smart meters can go up to $5 per unit.”