March 15, 2011
As a consumer and private citizen I must say that no advantages regarding my bills can be gleaned from smart metering. In Italy and Spain, where smart meters have been installed by the provider automatically, what we have found is that together with that the energy supply now has more colourful contracts nearly comparable to the ones the mobile phone market has. They depend on what kind of kilowatt cap you require and on the time of day, etc, etc..
Irononically enough, since the implementation of smart meters, the electricity supplier charges you a surcharge per KW used above the cap you have contracted, before shutting down. In earlier times it would just shut down with no cost added.
In Spain currently the bill does not come through the mail anymore, instead coming by email: however, the price of electricity has gone up 10%.
Smart grids are good for the supplier and for a more scrupolous and industry cost-effective management of the network (and the user), but it hasn’t brought any observable change in bills: possibly the opposite.
Consumer and private citizenAuthor : Letters to the EurActiv editor