While smart meters will provide a lot of benefits to pretty much everyone who uses electricity - whether they charge an electric car at night or not - the cost of swapping out everyone's current meter with one that communicates with the grid won't be cheap. In the U.S., California is taking the lead on installing smart meters. Over in the UK, energy companies and the government are taking a look at the potential installation costs and have found that this won't be a cheap process.
While the energy companies have said they expect it to cost £5bn, the Guardian is reporting that government estimates place the number closer to somewhere between £10bn and £20bn. Yikes (I'm not sure exactly how much that is in U.S. dollars, thanks to the billion/trillion issue, but it's a lot). Who will get to pay this cost? Why, the customers, of course. The installation will likely start in 2010 and be finished by 2020.

[Source: Guardian via Smart Electric Newsletter]

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