Smart meters have run into a bit of consumer resistance. Some of us – no doubt crazed by the energy-econ-techno-lust possibilities – imagined that smart meters would be greeted by consumers with smiles and good cheer, and just maybe a tear or two of gratitude trickling down the consumers’ cheeks as they thank their electric utility for helping them out of the analog meter stone age. At least according to various media reports, this scene has not been common (i.e. Consumer frustration grows over ‘smart’ meter bills; It’s come to this: Citizens against smart meters; PG&E customer revolt may threaten rollout of Obama’s smart grid (“Obama’s smart grid”? Huh??); etc.).
One response has been the recent formation of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, a non-profit group aimed at understanding consumer concerns and finding ways to address the concerns.
In Texas, power distribution utilities Oncor, CenterPoint, and AEP Texas have joined with smart grid device and data management companies in a more direct response: a website at www.smartmetertexas.com intended to give consumers with the new meters easy access to basic information on their power consumption. The thinking is, apparently, that helping consumers get a taste of the “information age” possibilities will aid consumer acceptance.