From SkyVision Solutions:
Northeast Utilities (NU) operates New England’s largest utility system serving more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
In a written submittal filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Northeast Utilities was highly critical of a proposed state plan that would require utilization of “advanced metering” or smart meters within the state of Massachusetts as part of an electrical grid modernization plan. In fact, the comments are quite remarkable in that they appear to reflect reality without undue political spin or bias. Let us hope that other utilities, public utility commissions, and politicians everywhere can soon come to similar unbiased conclusions that are based upon economic realities and reflect consumers’ and societal best interests.
What is presented below is a summary of key points made by Northeast Utilities in its filing of January 17, 2014, with only slight editorial changes, for example, replacing the term “advanced metering infrastructure” with the term “smart meters.”
Overall Perspective – No Rational Basis for Smart Meter Mandate
“There is no rational basis for …mandated implementation of [smart meters].”
Mandating smart meters “comes without due consideration of key issues such as:
- the immense cost attached to the technology choice;
- whether customers are willing and able to pay the price of this technology choice;
- whether the functionality provided by the technology choice will be utilized by customers or is even sought by customers;
- whether the imposition of significant costs … for this technology conflicts with other policies encouraging … increased penetration of distributed resources [like wind and solar];
- whether investment in distribution upgrades needed to accommodate distributed energy resources [would be] a better investment of customer dollars given the relatively small incremental benefit afforded by [smart meters]; and
- whether other issues such as market alternatives, time-varying rates, and cyber-security should be resolved before there can be any rational determination that this technology is a good choice for customers.”
Smart Meters Are Not a Good Choice for Consumers