smart meters

Public Policy and Those Pesky Smart Meters

The controversy over “smart” electric meters doesn’t want to go away.  The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the President of the California Public Utilities Commission has directed the Pacific Gas & Electric Company to come back within two weeks with a plan for allowing customers to pay some additional “reasonable” amount for the privilege of …


Of Smart Meters, San Bruno, and Regulatory Action

When the Pacific Gas and Electric Company and California regulators confronted recent health and reliability concerns related to smart meters, they stumbled because of a failure to address these concerns upfront — before committing billions to statewide meter conversion.  The loss of public confidence in the aftermath of the tragic gas pipeline explosion in San …


Smart Meters and Smart Regulation

The poor little smart meter…it keeps catching all kinds of grief when all that it wants to do is save the planet. It is all things to all people. To utilities, regulators, and many environmentalists, it is the doorway to a modern green grid that will teach you to turn down your air conditioner when …


As Digital TV Goes, So Goes the Smart Grid?

Today, we bid a nostalgic farewell to analog television, as all broadcast stations are required to deliver a digital signal.  Do the challenges the nation has faced in making this not-so-momentous transition suggest a bumpy road ahead as policymakers push for a “smart” electric grid?  Should low income and minority consumers be especially concerned? Most …