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28/11/2012 - USA Smart Grid Funding misspent

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 26, 2012. A new policy report focused on the electric grid and economy of energy, "Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid", was published today by the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy (NISLAPP) in Washington, D.C.

The report states that billions of dollars in federal subsidies for "smart" utility meters have been misspent on meter technology that will not lead to energy sustainability or contribute to the possibility of a more efficient and responsive electricity grid.

Authored by engineering and policy consultant, Dr. Timothy Schoechle of Boulder, CO, an expert in smart grid technologies who serves on several international smart grid standard setting committees, the new report "Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid" states:

  • Congress, state and local governments, as well as ratepayers, have been misled about the potential energy and cost saving benefits of the new "smart" meters, paid for in large part with taxpayer dollars, as well as ratepayer dollars.
  • The present policy approach to electricity infrastructure in the United States depicted in the report, Policy Framework for the 21st Century: Enabling Our Secure Energy Future, issued by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) of the Executive Office of the President, evidences a fundamental lack of understanding of the problems associated with the future of electricity and energy.
  • There are inherent conflicts in the monopoly utility business model preventing the nation from moving to a renewable energy economy, and utilities may eventually require a government bail out.
  • Because Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) are paid on a per-kilowatt-of-energy-sold basis, and also receive a guaranteed ROR on assets, they do not have a financial incentive to encourage less energy usage, or to invest in technologies that would help citizens reduce energy consumption.
  • Investors in utilities gain from the smart meter deployment, as they would from any other capital expenditure, while there is no clear gain and significant new risks (financial, privacy, security, health and safety, and cost) for the ratepayer and consumer.
  • We must stop subsidizing a centralized, wasteful infrastructure approach that will not lead to sustainability and that puts the nation at long-term global economic disadvantage

Background to this detailed 55 page report may be found here: more details.

» usa-smartgrid2012 Download the report (1.1 MB PDF file).

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