Ecovantage CEO Bruce Easton has weighed in to the Smart Meter debate, with a letter to the editor in The Age today.

It is reproduced below:

It is of concern that Julia Gillard is pushing smart meters as the way for consumers to reduce their bills. Smart meters with a display can provide information that can be used by some to modify behaviour. However, if your only use of electricity is to power the basics of life – such as a fridge and lighting – you really cannot take advantage of this technology.

Energy efficiency is where the emphasis should continue to be put. The Victorian, New South Wales and South Australian governments have provided support for such schemes, which have been running for several years. These have contributed to the reduction in energy consumption over recent years.

The main beneficiary of smart meters is the electricity retailer, not the customer. The retailer passes on daily price spikes by charging on a real-time basis. The only households that can really save money are those with luxury appliances like pool pumps and airconditioners, not those on low incomes.