The WV Consumer Advocate Division just submitted discovery requests to FirstEnergy in the WV PSC billing investigation case. The questions are good and should yield a lot of important information that First Energy did not provide in response to the PSC’s initial questions.
But the CAD’s list of questions did not mention an important step that FirstEnergy could take to improve billing in WV – smart meters. Not only would smart meters increase the direct reading of meters by FirstEnergy, but these meters could also be connected directly to homeowners’ computer systems to give us instant records of our electrical use.
Smart meters would also give West Virginians the technological ability to enjoy time of use electric rates so we could change our usage to lower our electric bills.
There was no mention of smart meters in the PSC’s initial questions, nor were they mentioned in the CAD’s first set of discovery questions.
According to the US Dept. of Energy, by the end of 2011, almost 38,000,000 smart meters were installed in the US. The number is no doubt much higher now. Not one of those meters was in WV. Why not?
Isn’t this billing case a good time to ask that question?