So, how much do YOU think they cost?
"Various kinds of smart meters are available and in use around the country.
Depending on its capabilities, a smart meter - at a cost of about $200 per
home - also can play a role in how much information about energy use is made
available to customers and how much money can be saved."
My apologies. Nothing if all we're discussing are meters; that's why I
prefaced the observation with "Aside". Next time I'll use "OT" instead of
"Aside" so you won't nearly twitch to death.
How is that going to be $40?
If it took 3 minutes to read the meter, it was about a minute longer
to replace it. The guy had the power off for about 10 seconds and it
took another 10 seconds to wrap the ring around it and clip on the
seal. He was doing them 4 at a time (each trip from the truck)
I bet they do 16-20 an hour.
I was in the garage at the time and I tripped the main for him but he
said he does them hot all of the time, usually without even telling
the homeowner he was there.
On May 16, 1:29 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
utility companies are required by law in many areas to replace meters
every X years....
i they have to replace them anyway a smart meter is likely a good
i know a retired meter manager from duquesne light and will ask him
some questions the next time i see him.
he has a retirement business building meter testers
I asked the meter replacement man how many a day he does. He said "about
40." If the company absorbs about $30/hr for his labor ($240/day), that's
six bucks. Then there is the cost for the truck, paperwork, disposing of the
old meter, and other incidentals. My guess of $40 may be high, but not
Besides, $40 in the original computation made the numbers come out more
easily than if I had used $7.53.
Sounds like your power company uses the "Necessary Pole Management" system.
When the pole falls over, they replace it.
In my neighborhood, Houston, we had a hurricane four years ago (Hurricane
Yikes). The electrical distribution system was so dilapidated that four
million people were without power for up to ten days! Since then, the local
power distribution company has been beavering away to upgrade and rigorously
maintain the system. It seems like once a month, some tree-trimming truck
comes by whacks the bejesus out of everthing taller than a rose bush.
FPL got pretty aggressive about replacing bad poles after Charley and
Wilma. As a temporary fix they drive a piece of guard rail metal next
to the pole and strap it in. Eventually they come by with a new pole.
Maybe in an apartment building basement he can do that.
I live in a townhouse, and even here I think 3 minutes is unlikely,
even wiithout goofing off. At my house he'd have to move things out
of his way, garbage cans, etc, then squeeze past the motorcycle (1 or
2 minutes) then remove the old one (1 minute) and put in the new one
(1 minute) , then go back to the truck to get another meter (2
minutes, 3 if has to unlock/lock the truck) then go to the next house
1 minute. And he will probably relax for 30 seconds between meters.
So I think we're talking 6 to 9 minutes/meter. Not much more for
single family houses in small to modertate sized lots, except he has
longer to walk to the truck and has to move it more often.
i live in a town of 32 square miles with about 2600 residences of all
kinds (houses, ranches, apartments, businesses). it used to take about 8
days by a few people to read all the water meters manually. the town
replaced them all with remote read meters (radio based), and it can be
done in about 1 day by 1 person just by driving down the street.
most of the remote read electric meters being discussed here are
readable without ANY labor costs, as they can be polled from the utility
And if the utility gets home owners to foot the entire bill for the
meters, computers and software, then in this equation we have customers
forking over $500 over the lifespan of the meter just so the utility can
save $100 in meter-reading costs over the same period.
Brilliant economics there.
Here are some numbers for my jurisdiction (Ontario, Canada):
The startup costs for TOU meters are pegged at $240 / $250 per customer,
"In addition to these considerations, it is estimated that it will
cost about $3.00 per customer per month for the incremental costs
of the billing. Province wide this would be about $12.9M."
If you are not seeing any additional line-item charges on your
electricity bill, and if any of your existing line-item charges
(delivery, infrastructure, etc) haven't been increased, then you can be
sure that the TOU rates you're paying were juggled so that the utility
is recouping an additional few dollars per month for all costs
associated with the TOU meter (cost of meter, installation, cost of
installing / operating communications network, cost of billing
"The EDA believes that distributors should be properly compensated
for the premature retirement of existing meters."
In other words, someone is going to pay for the "loss-of-value" when an
existing (but working) analog meter is replaced by a TOU meter.
"The EDA opposes the creation of additional variance accounts
to implement this initiative."
They don't want customers to see exactly what the smart meter is costing
"The EDA believes that the capital cost of the smart meters and
associated systems should be allowed to be fully recovered within
a timeframe that recognizes the rapid change in technology and in
accordance with proper business principles and be placed in the
But they still want utility companies to fully recover the costs of
smart-meter implimentation, and naturally this will have to come from
customers - and in a timely (rapid) manner.
claims that analog meters have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years, while smart
TOU meters have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
This industry PR document:
specifies a 20-year lifespan for the "Edison SmartConnect" meter.
This appears to be a professional study of smart-meter implimentation in
5 areas around the world:
===========Smart Meters do not necessarily bring environmental benefits. Like many
new technologies, their rollout requires replacing an entire, fully
functional, existing system. Their lifespan is expected to be short, at
only 15 to 20 years (rather than over 30 years for traditional meters)
and they use electricity to run which requires extra generation to
The overreaching conclusion of the study is that the policies governing
smart meters, are decisive in limiting or maximizing the positive
impacts of this technology. Smart Meters (AMI) are measuring devices
which send consumption information to the utility using communication
technology at pre-programmed intervals. They will also include more
advanced features such as outage information, two-way communication
capabilities, a remote on/off switch etc.
A fully functional AMI meter, such as those being rolled out in
Australia and California, will have approximately 30 separate
functionalities. Most of these functionalities will primarily benefit
the utility unless expressly employed toward end-consumer programmes
with the support of regulation and supportive market structures.
Main Conclusions of the Report
1) As a technology, (without appropriate regulation) smart meters
provide more benefits to the utilities than to the end consumers.
2) Smart Meters do not benefit the environment without proper
3) Smart Meter enabled programmes can provide substantial, long term
societal and environmental benefits if they are placed in their correct
position; namely as a platform for efficiency programmes supported
through appropriate regulation and market structures.
4) There are basic conflicts of interest caused when a utility which
earns off of electricity sales, is asked to lower those sales through
helping consumers lower consumption. Regulation and polity can overcome
this barrier if it takes it into consideration.
5) If the correct structures are in place, and efficiency measures are
rewarded, utilities and private companies tend to exceed the minimal
requirements set by regulators in their drive to maximize the benefits
of the new market structures.
6) Smart Meters and the communication technology required for energy
efficiency programmes are expensive at least 200 per household. They
are therefore not necessarily appropriate tools for developing nations,
or those were household consumption is low.
7) Regulators should calculate the impact of smart meter rollout,
dynamic pricing structures and new tariffs on vulnerable consumers.
8) Regulators and utilities should take into account that an increase in
costs for consumers should be included only with a method for
controlling those costs, through easily accessible feedback information.
Accurate monthly billing has not been found satisfactory enough by
residential consumers or consumer interest groups.
If you obstruct a meter here you get a nasty note on your door,
threatening to disconnect the power. Meter readers are usually college
kids and I think they get paid by the route so they move right along.
The meter swappers were contractors too so they were not screwing
It is probably different in a mobbed up northern union state but the
meter reader union probably stops the remote readers anyway.
On May 17, 12:29 pm, email@example.com wrote:
think of the cost per year to read meters. employee, vehicle expense,
workmens comp, social security, retirement etc etc...
the smart meters must save money over their lifetime, and the ability
to disconnect no pay customers saves bucks too
Well, I'm not a welfare queen, or a queen of any sort, or even
femaile, but I've neglected to pay my bill. Once the power was
disconnected in the afternoon and I had paid the billl soon after. By
5:30 I became convinced that the work day was over and I wouldn't be
reconnected until the next day. So I cut the seal on meter, took out
the meter, and removed the plastic covers on the 2 or 3 big prongs in
the back of the meter, and recconnected myself.
I was surprised when the Electric Co. guy showed up an hour or two
later. I told him someone else had come and reconnected it, and he
That sounded perfectly reasonable when I said it, but I eventually
concluded that he his job was disconnecting and reconnecting, and for
any location on a given day, only one person had that job. One guy
per region. The fact that he was working to 7:30 or so is what
convinced me. So he knew he was the only one who would come and no
one else had come, but he didn't let on. He also knew I had paid what
I knew it would be easy to reconnect, because the first time I was
disconnected, I found the plactic prong covers on the ground weeks
afterwards, and figured out what they were.
When I get a smart meter, I won't be able to do that anymore. ;-(
Very good question. Maybe they don't trust the electronics.
I just got an email today from BGE and it says the smart meterrs will
be installed within 3 years. Maybe when that happens I should write
down whatever is on the metal seal, so I can tell if they've removed
it again. I dont think I'll need the disconnect you wanted,
Maybe the people who run Mom's Gas and snacks
can figure out how to get the program code for
Pop's Fuel and Munchies, and shut down their
meter, to put em out of business?
Middle of the summer, Rachel, who works for
Progressive Gas and Electric shuts down the meter
of her ex boyfriend, Martin, right in the middle of
Martin's football game?
Right at the peak of the election, Progressive Gas
and Electric shuts down the meters, at the Republican
and the Tea party offices?
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
I've never seen anything in widespread use that couldn't be
hacked. It just means you'll have to know something about
smart meters and how they work rather than how to use a
pair of pliers.
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