Examining Whether Smart Meters Have Been Used Smartly: A Case Study of Residential Electricity Customers in Vermont
International Journal of Sustainable and Green Energy
Volume 6, Issue 5, September 2017, Pages: 76-83
Received: Jul. 10, 2017;
Accepted: Jul. 26, 2017;
Published: Oct. 16, 2017
Views 2646 Downloads 80
Qingbin Wang, Department of Community Development & Applied Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA
Samantha Lewandowski, Department of Community Development & Applied Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA
Approximately 92% of electricity meters in Vermont, and more than 40% across the United States, have been replaced with smart meters due to their potential to improve grid efficiency and reduce electricity costs, but there is very limited information on whether smart meters are benefitting or being efficiently used by electricity customers. In this study, quantitative analysis of primary data from statewide surveys in Vermont is used to address several questions on consumer behavior and opinions towards smart meters. The empirical results indicate that less than 50% of the surveyed customers reported having a smart meter and, for those who did report having a smart meter, less than 20% of them thought that the smart meter had reduced their electricity use. Also, there were significant differences in demographic factors and concerns about the potential impacts of smart meters on health and privacy between those who reported having a smart meter and those who did not. Furthermore, the respondents did report some interest in receiving additional information on smart meters. In all, these findings suggest that there are a number of ways utility companies and other educational entities, such as Extension, can improve the efficacy of smart meter utilization.
Examining Whether Smart Meters Have Been Used Smartly: A Case Study of Residential Electricity Customers in Vermont, International Journal of Sustainable and Green Energy.
Vol. 6, No. 5,
2017, pp. 76-83.
U. S. Department of Energy: Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability. (2016). “Recovery Act Smart Grid Document Collection: Key Documents from DOE’s Recovery Act, 1-18.” Accessed on May 22, 2016, https://www.smartgrid.gov/document/grid_impacts_benefits_and_lessons_learned.html.
The Edison Foundation: Institute for Electric Innovation. (2014). Utility-Scale Smart Meter Deployments: Building Block of the Evolving Power Grid. Washington, DC. Accessed October 28, 2016, http://www.edisonfoundation.net/iei/publications/Documents/IEI_SmartMeterUpdate_0914.pdf.
U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2015). “How Many Smart Meters Are Installed in the United States, and Who Has Them?” Accessed on May 19, 2016, http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=108&t=3.
Cook, B., J. Gazzano, Z. Gunay, L. Hiller, S. Mahajan, A. Taskan, and S. Vilogorac. (2012). “The Smart Meter and a Smarter Consumer: Quantifying the Benefits of Smart Meter Implementation in the United States.” Chemistry Central Journal, 6 (Suppl 1). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1752-153X-6-S1-S5.
Smith, R. (2009). “Smart meter, dumb idea?” The Wall Street Journal, Last modified April 27, 2009. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB124050416142448555.
Groothuis, P. A. and T. M. Mohr. (2014). “Do Consumers Want Smart Meters? Incentives or Inertia: Evidence from North Carolina and Lessons for Policy. Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, 3 (1): 53-67. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5547/2160-5890.3.1.pgro.
U. S. Department of Energy: Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability. (n.d.). “Vermont Transco, LLC.” Accessed May 19, 2016, https://www.smartgrid.gov/project/vermont_transco_llc_eenergy_vermont.html.
E. Goldman, personal communication, February 9, 2016.
U. S. Census. “Housing Vacancies and Homeownership.” Last modified 2016, http://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/data/rates.html.
Wang, Q., E. Trent, and R. Parsons. (2009). “Small Business Retirement Plan Participation and Needs for Information: Evidence from a Survey in Vermont.” Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 22 (2): 207-216.
Honebein, P. C. (2010). “We Got a New Digital Electric Meter. Our Usage Went up 123%. Our Bill Went up 65%.” The Electricity Journal, 23 (2): 76-82. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tej.2010.01.007.
Gram, D. (2014). “Big Push Is on for Smart Meters.” Burlington Free Press, November 14. http://bfpne.ws/1qJjQe4.
Jessoe, K. and D. Rapson. (2014). “Knowledge Is (Less) Power: Experimental Evidence from Residential Energy Use.” American Economic Review, 104 (4): 1417-1438. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/aer.104.4.1417
Mooney, C. (2015). “Why 50 Million Smart Meters Still Haven’t Fixed America’s Energy Habits.” The Washington Post, January 29. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/01/29/americans-are-this-close-to-finally-understanding-their-electricity-bills/?utm_term=.51444142c58a
P. Hines, personal communication, September 1, 2016.
D. Fredman, personal communication, April 22, 2016.
Hess, D. J. (2014). “Smart Meters and Public Acceptance: Comparative Analysis and Governance Implications.” Health, Risk, & Society, 16 (3): 243-258. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13698575.2014.911821.
Lineweber, D. C. (2011). “Understanding Residential Customer Support for – and Opposition to – Smart Grid Investments.” The Electricity Journal, 24 (8): 92-100. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tej.2011.09.005
Wynne, B. (2006). “Public Engagement As a Means of Restoring Public Trust in Science – Hitting the Notes, but Missing the Music?” Community Genetics, 9 (3): 211-220. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000092659.
Laquatra, J., M. R. Pierce, and N. Helmholdt. (2009). “The Consumer Education Program for Residential Energy Efficiency.” Journal of Extension, 47 (6). http://www.joe.org/joe/2009december/a6.php.
Romich, E. (2015). “The Role of Extension in Energy Education.” Journal of Extension, 53 (2). http://www.joe.org/joe/2015april/comm1.php.
University of Vermont Extension. “Environment and Natural Resources.” Accessed October 30, 2016, http://www.uvm.edu/extension.