Should the government invest in smart meters to help monitor and regulate energy consumption in homes?
This really isn't a good question. The real question should be "Should the government regulate energy consumption in homes." Once that is agreed to, it is obvious that energy usage ought be monitored, since one cannot regulate something without monitoring it. Then the debate becomes, "what is the best way to monitor such energy usage."
We are always looking for ways to save energy and costs of energy. It may help us all if the government gets involved by investing in the smart meters to help us see what we use for energy and to help us monitor what we use and what we don't need.
It is the government's business to govern, not to monitor individuals. For example, a city government may look at overall energy consumption in their city in developing a plan for conserving energy, but monitoring individuals' homes does not give the city any advantage in moderating overall consumption. Just the same, governmental policy (and actual governance) in the United States was not and is not developed according to the will of individual people, but through the collective will of the people.
The federal government should have an agency that tracks where the most energy is being used around the country. Those areas that are using more energy than is normal need to have their energy regulated by the government. This is because our energy resources are not infinite, but are very limited. If the public won't reduce their energy consumption, then it is up to the Federal Government to tell them they are.
If we don't limit energy consumption now, we will run out of affordable energy and be forced to limit consumption, making it only available to the super rich. If we limit it a little now and make energy more efficient, we won't have to once we reach the end of carrying capacity.
If the government could come up with a way to monitor our energy use, this could benefit everyone. We could see where energy is being wasted and find ways to stop it. If people could see the amount they are using, throughout the day, it would help to educate them about how much they are wasting, so they can be more conservative in their use.
Local and Federal governments should invest in smart meters for consumers. Consumers of electricity should be given the tools to monitor their electricity usage in more detail. With this additional information, consumers can use their electricity smarter and utilities can charge consumers for said electricity based on more than usage, but also time of the day. This will go a long way towards efficiency gains and lowering carbon emissions.
The United States (both private companies and government) should promote and invest in the smart meters. More and more Americans are investing in renewable energy sources and having more smart meters will provide the ability to people to add energy back into the electric grid, not just be consumers. This should be a major goal for the next few decades. It only makes sense to have more diverse energy, and more focus on conversation in our society.
Smart meters would certainly do the job of monitoring energy use in the home, but it's highly doubtful that these monitors are going to do anything to actually change the consumer's habits of using energy. Only if the electric companies offered the consumer some incentive to use less energy would these monitors be worthwhile in the long run. We need to cut back on the energy we use, and simply installing a tool to show how much energy is used is not enough.
We don't need the government even more involved in our personal lives and choices then it already is. If the government was to force us to use smart meters that it monitored, what else are they going to monitor next, how many miles we drive our car in a year? Plus, the government's deficit is growing rapidly, it seems like the last thing we need is for the government to spend more money that already doesn't exist to further some social experiment.
Although the government should encourage wise use of energy in American homes, using smart meters purchased by tax dollars would be a wasteful approach. The cost of purchase and installation of smart meters would be vast for the millions of American homes, and would likely only benefit the manufacturer. Those individual home owners that did not want that type of monitoring would quickly find a way to unhook the devices. Lastly, the largest wasters of energy resources, such as large corporations or wealthy individuals, would likely find a back door deal to release them from having to comply with the program. Therefore, the investment would be ineffectual, costly, and create antipathy towards more government encroachment on personal freedom.
Government money invested in smart meters is a total waste of money. Regulating the people's use of energy is not a choice of freedom for the people. They should be using the tax payer's money to invest in solar power and wind power that is provided for free and can provide lower cost of energy to tax payer's instead of using costly resources such as coal, natural gas, and oil.
The use of government funds to invest in smart meters to help monitor and regulate energy consumption in homes would not be a wise allocation of resources. The cost would far outweigh any supposed savings. However, the government should install such devices in buildings they own and use including subsidized housing such as those on military bases where waste and fraud is a standard of life.
The government should not invest in smart meters to regulate consumption, but rather in efficiency and low-impact energy sources. Monitoring of any kind, including personal use of energy, is an invasion of privacy, and does not address the goal of reducing reliance on fossil fuels as efficiently as other methods. The government should encourage use of on-site renewable energy production, such as solar, wind and geothermal. Also, they should encourage energy-efficient home design. These solutions will better address reduction on fossil fuel use and privacy.
The power companies have taken advantage of the America public for years; they should be made to pay for the upgrades to their own equipment. The American tax payer should not have to foot the bill to help them make even more money off the public than they already do. It should not become the burden of the tax payer to bail out every company that can't keep up with modern technologies.
The government should not invest in smart meters to monitor and regulate energy consumption in homes because it would be a waste of federal money. It would also probably lead to higher taxes and other fees for homeowners. Instead, it might be wiser to have all electric companies take the initiative to ensure that their meters are "smart" and make the homeowners aware of their actual usage and how to increase their energy efficiency.
We presume a right to privacy from the government. No one has discussed a higher electricity rate to decrease demand with rebates to the poor. No one has brought up fines for those who have exorbitant electricity rates above average. Why jump to "smart meters"? Because it allows government intrusion and monitoring. What it can monitor and regulate can also be taken away. Annoy a government bureaucrat and be left to swelter in the summer because of a smart meter set to "ration". Question the government too much, and they can now turn off your TV and computer in the name of saving the Earth. Why not turn off electricity to medical devices when medical costs for a person get too high? Just switch off the nebulizer, feeding tube or breathing machine. Save money and energy at once. How can we have a right to sexual privacy, reading, and opinion when the government can take turn off the TV, take away the car, and shut down the radio at will?
This is in my own opinion and I don't have any supporting evidence but if you think about it, it is going to take more hot water to wash ten people than one person and that would make your gas or electric higher because you have to be able to heat the water so I believe this is unfair.