Robert Gallaher says he was a little skeptical of smart meters. He’d heard the rumors, but hasn’t had one complaint after his meter was upgraded. The new electric meter was installed on his Midtown home last year. An analysis of Gallaher's consumption shows that his household’s electric consumption for the 12-month period starting in May 2014 (an electric smart meter was installed in April 2014) was 10.4 percent less than in the 12-month period starting May 2013. (In comparison, the average residential customer's electric consumption system-wide for the 12-month period starting in May 2014 was only three percent less than in the 12-month period starting May 2013.)
Gallaher’s reduction is consistent with the results of MLGW’s 1,000 smart meter pilot. The findings show customers with smart meters consume less energy than customers who do not have smart meters. For whatever reason, smart meters appear to make customers more energy efficient.
There are other advantages seniors like Gallaher and his wife Sylvia can enjoy. The remote meter reading capability means they don’t have to leave their gate open for MLGW to measure their consumption for billing, nor do they have to report an outage. The two-way communication of the smart meter tells MLGW when there’s a problem.
When Gallaher was asked about the perception of some seniors that smart meters are a threat, he replied, “People are afraid of change.” He added, “My wife and I are very well pleased.”