by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions
The smart grid industry has continued to spend billions and billions of dollars to deploy smart meters into the population despite the mounting evidence that they are of no value to consumers and actually introduce significant privacy, safety, and security risks.
Recent research at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Booth School provides additional confirmation that smart meters are unlikely to benefit either the consumer or the environment.
Articles at this website    have already demonstrated that smart meters offer no net benefits to the consumers. It is naïve to expect that overloading the consumer with granular energy usage data from a smart meter is going to “empower” the consumer to save money. In fact, the claim is absurd. The fallacy of this claim was tacitly admitted by Patty Durand, Executive Director of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC), in March of this year when she stated:
“One of the concerns I have about smart meters is that they often don’t bring with them value to the consumer, not yet anyway.” 
The ‘last gasp’ hope for the smart grid industry is now to ‘sell’ these so-called ‘smart’ meters to the general population by claiming that time-of-use (TOU) rates will somehow help the consumer save money and be ‘green’ for the environment. Just envision a used car salesperson trying to sell you a ‘lemon’ to gain a better perspective on the nature of this fraudulent marketing scheme.
The research results reported at the Kellogg School of Management add considerable doubt to the smart grid industry’s consumer marketing claims. Here are some key quotes regarding the latest research  (with emphasis in bold font added):
“Who benefits from smart meters? (Hint: it’s not necessarily the environment or consumers)”
“Critically, the rich temporal data [collected by smart meters] allows utility companies to experiment with charging more for electricity used during peak hours.”
“Utilities promote these strategies by saying they’re environmentally friendly, but we find that’s not necessarily the case.”
“In their investigation of time-based pricing, Islegen and her colleagues turned to data from a field experiment in Ireland. ‘We wanted to know if these pricing schemes — charging a higher price during peak times and lower price in off-peak times — actually change customer behavior and shift demand,’ Islegen says.”
“Islegen and her colleagues found that time-based pricing strategies do indeed reduce peak loads in Ireland, from about 0.5 to more than 11 percent, depending on the season and the severity of the peak electricity surcharge. Time-based pricing did not, however, significantly change overall electricity consumption.”
“Although peak load was reduced when time-of-use pricing was adopted, greater efficiency in the supply chain did not necessarily translate to lower bills for customers. For this reason, the researchers are skeptical that customers will voluntarily flock to the new pricing schemes. They suggest instead that utilities and policy makers offer time-of-use pricing as the default model. Indeed, the researchers report that this default time-of-use pricing model has been adopted by Ireland and other electricity markets such as Ontario, Canada, and Italy.”
[Editor’s Note: We have previously reported how the mandatory TOU pricing with smart meters in Ontario, Canada, has been an unmitigated disaster for consumers; refer to reference  below.]
“Time-based pricing, the researchers find, is also no panacea for curbing greenhouse gas emissions. In Ireland’s case, emissions remained about the same when time-based pricing was applied.”
“’Utilities promote these strategies by saying they’re environmentally friendly, but we find that’s not necessarily the case,’ Islegen points out. ‘There is a possibility that, depending on the energy mix in the region, these pricing schemes can have a negative environmental impact.’ If base-load production is powered by coal but peak load is handled by ‘greener’ power plants like natural gas plants — as is typical in many parts of the U.S. — then a shift in demand from peak load to base load would trigger more emissions.”
In addition to consumers not being able to save any money with smart meters (and potentially paying much more money like in Ontario, Canada), we recently reported on a new study published in July from Bremen University on how time varying rates implemented through the mass deployment of smart meters can lead to consumer demand avalanches resulting in smart grid blackouts. 
Here is an idea. What we need is a “Lemon Law” to protect us against the costs and risks associated with smart meters sold to us by smart grid industry representatives (and colluding organizations) who are looking to make fast money at the expense of consumers.
Source Material for this Article and other References
 “Smart Meter Rollout a Waste of Money, According to Study,” at https://smartgridawareness.org/2014/12/21/smart-meter-rollout-a-waste-of-money/
 “President Obama Touts ‘Smart Meters’ at Clean Energy Summit”; refer to section on New Study Results on Whether Providing Energy Usage Information to the Consumer Reduces Electricity Consumption.
 “Smart Meters Are Not the Silver Bullet Many Seem to Think,” at https://smartgridawareness.org/2015/05/13/smart-meters-are-not-the-silver-bullet-many-seem-to-think/
 Video of Patty Durand, Executive Director for the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC), March 2015, Energy Thought Summit, ETS15.
 “Why Power Companies Love Smart Meters,” at http://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/why-power-companies-love-smart-meters and Kellogg School Tweet https://twitter.com/KelloggSchool/status/642145033563475968
 ‘Smart’ Meters Have Failed and Were a Dumb Investment”; refer to section on Warnings from the UK, Canada, and Australia on Costs, regarding Ontario smart meter program.
 “Smart Meter Time Varying Pricing Can Lead to ‘Catastrophic Consequences’ for the Grid,” at https://smartgridawareness.org/2015/07/27/smart-meter-time-varying-pricing-leads-to-catastrophic-consequences-for-the-grid/