photo: Steve Ryan via flickr.
Saying it would "unleash the forces of innovation in homes and businesses" Google and The Climate Group have sent a letter to President Obama asking him to adopt the goal of giving every household and business in the nation a smart meter. Doing so will give people "access to timely, useful and actionable information on their energy use" and enable the nation to "harness the power of millions of people to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save consumers billions of dollars." The letter went on to say,
Studies and experience show that when people have access to direct feedback on their electricity use, they can achieve significant savings through simple behavioral changes. Investments in home energy efficiency, along with automating appliances and other devices, can lead to even greater savings. These savings could be substantial when added up: if all U.S. households saved 15% on their energy use by 2020, for example, the greenhouse gas savings would be equivalent to taking 35 million cars off the road and would save consumers $46 billion on their energy bills, or $360 per customer each year.
Which is indeed a good of energy savings, and smart meters are certainly part of the solution to reducing our energy usage, as GreenBiz points out, the Obama Administration has already signaled support for smart meters on numerous occasions.
Which makes the fact that most of the companies adding their names to The Climate Group's letter having vested financial interests in rapid rollout of smart meters (even if that does make good policy sense), make it all seem a bit more like grand PR push than anything else.
Read the full letter: The Climate Group [PDF]