Germany may reject smart meters, this wasn’t supposed to happen

A cranky minority in Germany doesn’t want smart meters, fearing they will report back to to the utilities (and presumably the government) how much electricity is being used and then regulate usage. Smart meters were supposed to be a slam dunk in Germany, but even a new government study says smart meters may have no economic benefit. The upshot may be that smart meters are not installed nationwide in Germany, a country that is hugely friendly to renewable energy.

Before Snowden’s NSA revelations, I was in favor of smart meters. I no longer am. They are invasive and of no real benefit to them. The primary reason for smart meters is that utilities and the government want to be able to control how much electricity you are use and when you are using it.  It’s a hot day and you want to lower the thermostat on the air conditioning to 75 and do a load of laundry. Instead, a Robovoice says “I can’t let you do that” before informing the Electricity Police of your potentially profligate wasting of energy. Don’t think this can’t happen.

Germany has been one of the top European investors in smart grid technology, along with the UK, France and Italy. But in August Germany’s federal ministry of economics published a report which concluded that a full rollout of smart meters, in compliance with the EU Energy Directive’s requirement that 80 percent of European households have smart metering by 2020, would not deliver economic benefits for German consumers.

“The report shocked the industry and could have major ramifications, although it should be pointed out that the report could still be rejected by the German government,” said Vikash.

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