The smart in smart meters

It is time for the public to think ahead. We can’t be using all these modern gadgets and still insist on the frontier mentality.

I am somewhat surprised and dismayed by the controversy surrounding smart meters. Those opposed to this program should read the article “The 21st Century Grid” by Joel Achenbach in the July 2010 issue of National Geographic. This describes how our current electrical grid is made up of very old haphazard technology with our house meters being basically 1920s technology.

The new smart meters would enable householders to run appliances or charge electric cars at off-peak hours, thereby saving money and reducing the necessity for utility companies to build more power plants for those peak usage times. The electrical companies will be able to predict much more accurately power usage by consumers and find outages immediately.

Those opposed to smart meters should quit buying all those electromagnetic wave-emitting electronic gadgets like computers and cell phones and turn off the ones they already have. Or maybe they just like wasting money and helping ruin the environment for our children and grandchildren.

Much of BC’s electricity now comes from the general North American grid which includes a lot of coal fired power plants in the US and Alberta. Without a better electrical system, we haven’t a hope in slowing climate change through conservation or incorporating intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

Smart meters should even make it possible for home owners to sell electricity back to the power companies if they have excess from their own renewable power plants (solar, wind, micro-hydro).

It is time for the public to think ahead. We can’t be using all these modern gadgets and still insist on the frontier mentality.

Ursula Lowrey

Nelson