If you haven’t heard about “smart” electric meters, you might want to familiarize yourself now, as they could be appearing in your home soon. Smart meters allow utility companies to watch in real time how much electricity you use and when.
Smart meters will allow power companies to charge more for electricity at peak hours, influencing your use patterns. By spreading out power consumption throughout the day, power production is more efficient, and can lead to decreased costs.
Neither the Springfield Utility Board nor EWEB use smart meters yet, but they are on their way. While less then 10% of homes in the U.S. currently have smart meters, that number is projected to increase to one third in the next 5 years. Proponents of smart meters point out the following benefits: reduction in the cost of power during non peak times, reduced greenhouse-gas emissions, no more meter readers, and more accurate meter readings.