Trade group sees smart-meter growth

Posted: May 18, 2012

The Institute for Electric Efficiency, a utility industry trade group, said Thursday that 36 million smart meters are now installed, up from 27 million in September, and that 65 million households will have the devices by 2015, about half the American households.

In a report, the institute estimates that 22 electric utilities in 16 states will have smart meters fully deployed by the end of this year, including PPL Electric Utilities, Allentown, which rolled them out in 2004. Peco Energy Co. in March began installing the first of 1.6 million smart meters.

Energy efficiency advocates say the smart meters, which provide readings at least hourly and allow for two-way communication, will modernize the electrical grid and allow customers to better manage their power consumption. Critics have decried smart meters because of concerns about health effects from the radio transmissions and a loss of privacy.

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