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Smart meters promise lower bills, but could also reduce your privacy. AAP Image/David Crosling

Sharing your meter data might help cut your power bill, but it needs secure regulation

Smart meters are being rolled out across Australia, offering the opportunity to share data with third parties who promise to help you find a cheaper deal. But this requires strong consumer protection.
“No Linky” posters in Montreuil, near Paris. The first one reads “Linky: You can say no.” The second reads “Linky spies on your private life.” Some residents fear data surveillance rather than looking at possible advantages of smart meters. Carole Salères

Linky: Do smart meters actually help reduce electricity consumption?

A recent study suggests that smart meters can help households reduce their electricity use by as much as 5%. Are France’s anti-Linky households listening?
A technician checks a smart meter data in this file photo. Research suggests the technology fails to affect consumer behaviour. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Are smart meters delivering on their promise?

Data suggests a smart-meter plan to shift electricity use to off-peak hours has had almost no impact.
Who’ll switch on to time-of-use tariffs now we have the choice? 55Laney69/Flickr

Choosing the power price you pay: voluntary time-of-use tariffs

In Victoria, households now have the option to take up time of use tariffs - if they do, they’ll pay more for electricity during peak times, and less off-peak. Taking up the tariffs will be voluntary and…
In the short term, reducing demand could be bad for the environment, but the long-term view is brighter. Gustavo Durán

Reducing peak demand: lowering prices, but what about emissions?

The past year has seen several processes to reduce the price of electricity to consumers. Each has highlighted the importance of “demand management” - consumers reducing use at peak times to reduce the…
Smart meters worldwide use conventional cell phone networks to transmit their data. portland general

Smart meters are about as dangerous as …

Most fairly well educated people recognise pseudoscience as bunkum when they see it — astrology, young-earth creationism, alien abduction, pyramid power … Yet some of these same people are now being sucked…
A cleaner, more efficient Australia will blend smart grids and meters with renewable power’s growing capacity. Pictured: Spain’s Gemasolar concentrated solar thermal power plant. Gemasolar

Challenge 13: smart energy demand and renewable supply

In part 13 of our multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Mark Diesendorf argues that it is high time we got smart about power: how we generate it and how we deliver it. Global challenge 13: How…

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