A customer’s view of National Grid’s smart meter roll out

Michael Giberson

From the Wind Power Law Blog in New York, Clifford Rohde takes a break from wind power law to report on his shift to National Grid’s time-of-use rates, a move that required the utility to install a “smart meter.” (He chronicled the first part of this effort in April, shortly after mailing in his request.)

Four months later:

Well it finally happened August 12 … On that date, National Grid appears to have installed a new “smart meter” on my house. (I say “appears” only because no one told me it was going to be installed; I found out only because I received a signed agreement from National Grid in the mail and went and checked the meter.)

… I note that as a consumer I do find it frustrating that I am not aware -yet at least- of any way to obtain usage information other than by going outside my house and looking at the meter. This analog solution to a seemingly digital issue seems a bit archaic.

His time-of-use rate will shift back to a flat “off-season” rate at the end of the month, and then he’ll have a few months to prepare for the winter peak.  Rohde promises updates.

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4 thoughts on “A customer’s view of National Grid’s smart meter roll out

  1. Add some OCR software to decode the image and then it can write to a data file for further energy management and budget decision-making. With a little software it could even Tweet you when usage spikes.

    The smart grid as kluge! I like it.

  2. Actually Fred, it is likely that National Grid has the capability to provide web-based access to (at least) hourly consumption information. Whether they care enough to implement that capability is a different question, but the National Grid smart grid web pages suggest that it is part of the company’s plan to allow this.

    See: http://www.nationalgridus.com/energy/index.asp

    A video linked from that page mentions two-way communication with customers, web access and PDA/smart phone possibilities, integration with distributed generation, and other good things.

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