A recent study from researchers at University of Twente (UT) and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) has found that three-phase static (electronic) energy meters, which are replacing traditional electromechanical meters, can exaggerate energy consumption by as much as 582 per cent.
Estimates of the number of households in the Netherlands with smart meters range from 750,000 to 1.5 million. In the US, smart meter penetration at the end of 2016 has been estimated at 70 million, according to the Edison Foundation [PDF].
The government of the Netherlands aims to replace at least 80 per cent of the energy meters in the country with smart meters by 2020, in keeping with EU goals. EU authorities suggest that smart meters, on average, result in energy savings of 3 per cent.
But as researchers Frank Leferink, Cees Keyer, and Anton Melentjev report, “Some consumers are complaining about their energy bills after replacement of the energy meter, because the registered energy is higher with the static meter compared to the old Ferraris meter.” Smart meter billing problems have also been documented in the US.
So what problem are these smart meters solving anyway? Nowadays the energy companies don’t need to send someone to the house to check the meter, a photo will do?