Help us end the fiscal year strong. Donate by June 30. Give Now

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.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.