When Will you get “Smart?”

In tonight’s “Ask Amy” segment, we answered your questions about the deployment of digital meters by CenterPoint Energy. They’re calling them “Smart Meters.”

CenterPoint says they started installing the meters on March 1st on homes and businesses inside 610, North of I-10 and east of 59 North.

Got that? If not, you can check out the “Deployment Maps” on CenterPoint’s site.

I was just curious what might become of the 2.2 million meters CenterPoint is replacing.  They said the old meters on our homes now will likely be sold to a third world country.


12 Responses

  1. Just wanted to know with the replacements of the meters will homeowners
    be notified when they will be in my area? We have 1 big dog!!!

  2. Does this mean that when meter readers are no longer required, my rate will be reduced?

    Who owns the meter?

  3. Surely the long term benefit of electronic meters is Centerpoint’s not the consumer’s, as they’ll be able to lay off all their meter readers. This raises 2 questions: why should they be allowed to charge us for the new meters, and why would anyone think for a minute that this should qualify for a stimulus payout when the long term effect eliminates jobs?

    As for the whiners, rates are going down – if you have the nerve to sign up for Reliant’s PowerTracker, last month’s rate was just 10.5c/kWh.

  4. Will those of us who purchased these smart readers for both electricity and gas still have to pay this monthly fee? Do I get a refund?

  5. What I would like to know is, after the meters are paid for, who do they belong to?

  6. Hi Amy,
    In your segment you mentioned that the total price per meter that we will pay over the 10 years.” ..making the total cost per meter $443.76. ”

    There wasn’t anything in your segment from the electric company as to why the consumer has to pay for this meter that I may not want.

    This sounds like a win-win for centerepoint. There costs will go down in labor alone by not having meter readers and others in the field to turn on/off electricity since they will be able to do it all remotely. CP will also get cash for selling most of these meters to “3rd world countries”.

    So I ask again why do I have to pay for this meter.Why is CP buying a model that is 2x the cost of the model in Dallas? CP should absorb this cost so that they can save money. Why am I paying for their investment.

    This is nothing more then a new revenue source for CP. Plus you know that CP will start charging a fee to use the new web tools.

  7. Although I’ve enjoyed your coverage of the electricity issue, I was disappointed by your lack of followthrough about the question of why Dallas/Fortworth is paying so much less than we are here, for the same meters. Some vague promise of savings, maybe, from the stimulus money. We’re being taken for a ride here by Centerpoint and no one is doing anything about it. Seems to me that the savings from selling the old meters and getting rid of all the meter readers would reduce our price or cover the total cost.

  8. They are going to save a ton of money on labor and truck rolls. Why are we having to pay for a tech upgrade. No normal business would get away with this!

  9. I agree wit Steve, I don’t get it either, they should transfer the saving to the consumer, they will be saving in employees reading the meters plus saving on fuel and maintenance of vehicles plus the data input employees etc, etc, plus the sell of the old meters….. Centerpoint is the only one making money here; again we are being taken for a ride.

  10. This is nothing more than a money grab by CenterPoint….heres the point. They STILL need to come out to read all of the GAS meters so exactly what are they saving???? Well, the homes that do not have gas meters they will not have to visit. We, as homeowners, have to unlock our gates when we think they are going to read our meters thanks to our lovely state legislature….some incredulous creatures tried to break in twice during these times, but I will get “fined” if they (centerpoint) cannot come in!! Now they add insult to injury by charging me a fee for a meter that is NOT needed, because they still need to come into my yard AND read my gas meter!!! What a bunch of company hoohaa!!!

    I am sick and tired of getting the royal shaft by these big companies and our state legislature.

    And Steve is correct, exactly why are we paying about $220 more for the meters?? Austin has lower bills then Houston, no deregulation there, and Dallas is lower on the meters….probably no deregulation there either…..but who really cares about how much money comes out of our pockets? I am sure that Centerpoint doesn’t care, our legislature surely doesn’t care, and Amy never did get an answer to her question, do YOU care?

    Perhaps the way to go is to add solar panels to our homes, Texas has a nice little program for that where they are almost free and we can then sell power back to the electric companies. I for one am looking into it.

    Andy Rooney I am not, but I think I made my point.

  11. Not only are our rates high,but now they are charging us for these “smart Meters”—They fail to mention what will happen to the meter reader,if he goes away because we are buying the SMart Meters ,how come the savings isn’t passed on to the consumer. In fact the savings should pay for the Smart Meters don’t you think??

  12. Wonderful information. hope to definitely come back soon.

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