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Consumer backlash halts Smart Grid progress

The rising wave of opposition to the adoption of Smart Grid technology is having an adverse effect on the development in the industry across the US.

Reuters reports that American utility companies have invested more than $15.4bn in Smart Grids, but uncertainty about how regulators will react to the growing backlash has left some utilities unwilling to commit money to these projects.

Smart meter

Iowa utilities MidAmerican Energy Co. and Alliant Energy Corp. as well as Connecticut’s Northeast Utilities all told their respective states that they intended to delay proposed Smart Grid development programs as they evaluate the best approach to customers’ concerns. In all, more than $29bn in investment has stalled.

Consumers have raised several issues with use of smart meters in particular, with many claiming the costs outweigh the benefits, especially in some areas where such projects have seen major cost overruns.

Data privacy is also an issue, due to increased access to electricity usage.

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