How willing will the Utility Companies be to pass on savings made from the efficiencies gained from Smart Metering and other M2M initiatives? What are you seeing in your region? It is too early to tell? Are they recouping the infrastructure investments first before the consumers see saving later down the road?
An open and fair competitive market should always make sure reduced costs will result in reduced consumer bills. This will obviously not apply to every economy. Even the UK's energy market is is not truly competitve despite deragulation way back in the 80s. Some governemnts will also cover many of these costs as they encourage this new type of technology to meet their international CO2 reductioin commitments.
I think the utility companies would say that these upgrades are needed to defer the need to build new peaking power plants, thereby saving you money by not having to do a rate increases to recover the infrastructure costs. Addtionally, if properly deployed, with easy to use customer interfaces that provide a good look into how and when you consume your energy and the cost differences of time of day use I think some people would takle advantage of that and be able to reduce thier overall utility bill.
Thanks for the reply. You are correct, I think if customers had the tools to visualize their usage (peak vs. off peak) and the impact that this has on their bottom line bill, it would go a long way to help them manage their overall spending.
Another area of savings would be the fully connected home where one can control the appliances (heating, A/C, oven, etc.) in the home remotely via the web. This way temperature adjustments can be made based on schedule changes which impacts the arrival time at home. I personally would pay for a feature like this. I think M2M can make ideas like these a reality for the average consumer in the not so distance future.
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