Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hide and Bill, Time to Change the Ugly Box

Minimizing electricity consumption is one of the simple ways people can contribute to climate change mitigation. But the location and design of electric meters don't help. For strange reasons, electric meters are hidden somewhere far away from the users' eyes. And why not? That is where they serve the power producing and distribution companies best. Hide and bill!
The time has come that we innovate a green electric meter. Some of the features in the new meter should include: Good designs so that it can be installed inside the house/offices (the current ones are really ugly), Large display of meter reading with illumination (we want to be able to see it even in the dark), provision to set limit-alarms for various appliances/electric points, provision to set a total cap on the electricity that can be consumed (the system will shut off the suppy when the cap is breached) and show the total amount ($$) spent as well (showing only the units consumed is not good enough).
The question is why power producers and suppliers will do this which will potentially shrink their sales? Fair enough. Then governments should legislate requiring installation of such meters. Civil society too can campaign for such a legislation.
Smart electricity companies should pre-empt legislation and civil society campaigns by taking a voluntary action.

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