Thursday, December 17, 2009

40 million U.S. homes will have smart meters by 2015

All aspects of American life will be inventoried. It doesn't matter that the Copenhagen summit is a total laughingstock. They're going to do it all anyway, whether we, whether congress, likes it or not. Oh, you just now realized you're living in the former United States, now known as Amerika? Welcome to the real world.

    USA Today -

    A new report by Vice President Biden, which President Obama mentioned briefly in an appearance Tuesday, projects that the number of U.S. homes with smart meters will jump from about 8 million now to 40 million by 2015.

    By Darin McGregor, AP
    In a memo to Obama, entitled "Progress Report: The Transformation to a Clean Energy Economy," Biden says the Recovery Act will help fund the installation of smart meters in 18 million homes. As of January, he says 8 million homes had such meters, which track energy usage by month, week and even hour.

    Biden projects that, through a mix of public and private investment, the number of homes with smart meters could skyrocket to 40 million within six years.

    These meters, as noted in an earlier Green House post, have sparked criticism in California, where some users say they do not accurately measure power usage and their installation costs have increased utility bills.

    Biden said the administraion, along with industry, is funding the installation of 877 sensors on the electric transmission system to improve reliability and security. He says there were 160 sensors in place when Obama took office.

    The report describes the impact of these changes:

    It will result in a future in which smart appliances can make decisions about when to turn on and off and consumers can program their homes to use energy most efficiently. It will result in a grid that can detect outages before they happen, and re-route power where it is needed. The $4 billion in Recovery Act smart grid investments will likely result in 43,000 new jobs, and be matched more than one-to-one by private sector funding that could support up to 61,000 additional jobs on smart grid projects that will reduce cost, increase reliability and give consumers more choice and control over their energy use.

    The report says the administration, by making "the largest single investment in home energy efficiency in U.S history," will weatherize the homes of half a million low-income Americans through retrofits by the end of next year.

    It also says about two dozen tougher energy standards will be finalized in the next few years for everyday appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves and washer/dryers.

    Biden says the Recovery Act's $23 billion for renewable power generation will likely create 253,000 jobs and double energy production from solar, wind and geothermal sources by 2012.