A big push for small electricity meters

Marketplace Staff Apr 5, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

A big push for small electricity meters

Marketplace Staff Apr 5, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: Some of America’s biggest companies, including Google, General Electric and AT&T, have written President Obama a letter today. They want him to help install smart electricity meters in every home and business in the country to save billions and cut greenhouse gas emissions. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Brett Neely has more.


Brett Neely: The problem is we know more about how much gas goes into a car than power goes into a house, says Michael Terrell, who works for Google:

Michael Terrell: People drive miles to save pennies on gas. We should have the ability to do that in our homes.

Smart meters can show you which of your appliances suck the most power. But the meters are expensive. Companies like Google and Whirlpool think the technology will mean big business.

Amy Davidsen works with Google through the nonprofit Climate Group:

Amy Davidsen: You know, you go to your office and you’re able to log in on your computer or look on your telephone, and you can see, eventually, that there might be an appliance on that you forgot to turn off.

Google has that service right now. The stimulus bill gave states and utilities billions for smart meters. But the meters are still in short supply, says Ed Legge of the Edison Electric Institute:

Ed Legge: Everybody didn’t go one day having landline phones and the next day having cell phones. It takes time.

Amy Davidsen says if the country gets serious about smart metering, Americans could slash their energy use by 15 percent within a decade.

I’m Brett Neely for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.