As with any new technology, there are concerns which include.
• Complaints of serious billing errors after smart meter reading was used by utilities to bill customers;
• There are complaints of radiation hazard an ongoing debate - which is being studied in some state PUC proceedings;
• Smart meters have also raised privacy issues.
Smart Energy Universe (SEU) has conducted opinion surveys of our readership. SEU readers are educated professionals from around the world and the SEU readership is a powerful source of current thinking regarding critical smart energy issues. Our recent surveys on smart meters had an overwhelming response rate.
One survey dealt with support for smart meters and asked about readers support for and opinions about smart meters.
The survey showed that Smart Meters have solid support among the respondents, with almost 60% respondents in favor. However, a quarter of the respondents are opposed to smart meters. In a tightly regulated market, this number can be problematic to the utilities. Utilities may want to work in launching an informational drive to dialog with users on the benefits of smart meters. Another 15% said they don’t care or don’t know about smart meters. Utilities again have some work to do here.
Another Survey delved into opt out provisions for smart meters: There were a total of 588 clear responses.
The results in this survey are most interesting. Only one in five respondents think opt out is unnecessary.
A higher percentage, 42% of respondents, think opt-out is a good idea, (this number needs to be considered in the context that 59% of respondents had expressed support for smart meters in an earlier survey.)
2 out of 5 respondents had no opinion or were not familiar with what opt out meant in the context of smart meters. This may be due to the fact that utilities and the PUCs and even the consumer watchdog groups are not widely publicizing and explaining this option to customers.
The responses to the survey questions indicate that 3 out of 5 survey respondents support smart meters. However the survey response also indicates that respondents believe that opt out should be a choice.
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