The smart meter and a smarter consumer: quantifying the benefits of smart meter implementation in the United States
The electric grid in the United States has been suffering from underinvestment for years, and now faces pressing challenges from rising demand and deteriorating infrastructure. High congestion levels in transmission lines are greatly reducing the efficiency of electricity generation and distribution. In this paper, we assess the faults of the current electric grid and quantify the costs of maintaining the current system into the future. While the proposed “smart grid” contains many proposals to upgrade the ailing infrastructure of the electric grid, we argue that smart meter installation in each U.S. household will offer a significant reduction in peak demand on the current system. A smart meter is a device which monitors a household’s electricity consumption in real-time, and has the ability to display real-time pricing in each household. We conclude that these devices will provide short-term and long-term benefits to utilities and consumers. The smart meter will enable utilities to closely monitor electricity consumption in real-time, while also allowing households to adjust electricity consumption in response to real-time price adjustments.
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