If there is one thing that Germany is widely respected for, it is it ability to develop and implement technologies. Therefore, that Germany has departed from the recommendation of the European Union that smart meters be adopted is important news. The German Federal Ministry of Economics retained Ernst & Young, a widely respected accounting firm, to evaluate the economics of a full smart meter rollout. Its conclusion -- smart meters are not in the interest of German consumers.
The study says the savings from smart meters do not justify the costs, particularly for residential customers. Instead, it recommends an alternative deployment whereby smart meters would be installed only when an existing meter needed to be replaced anyway. This conclusion is based purely on economics because Ernst & Young study did not include health effects or fire safety.
The Federation of the German Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) applauded the results, which confirm the long-standing position of that industry Association.
Of course, for countries such as the US, where growing the economy is a high priority, smart meters provide a wonderful mechanism for stimulating the economy. First, you throw away perfectly good meters. Then you replace them with new meters, thereby incurring manufacturing costs and installation costs. Then you use electricity to power these meters that broadcast, then you create incentives for people to buy new products that will lower electricity use during peak hours. On top of that, you have new health problems for which people will seek medical attention, perhaps resorting to pharmaceutical solutions to their headaches and sleep problems. Smart meters were brought to us with the Federal "stimulus money" because they would not have been justifiable without it.