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Can Advanced Metering Help Reduce Electricity Costs for Residential Consumers?

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Advocates are promoting advanced metering as a way to help utilities meet growing demand for electricity and help consumers manage increasing costs. Yet it is not clear that all consumers would be able to reduce their electric bills using advanced metering systems, and there are concerns that such systems might have adverse impacts on some vulnerable populations. This Insight on the Issues explains what advanced metering is, how it works, and what the potential benefits and concerns of using an advanced metering system are for residential electricity consumers. The paper by Neal Walters of AARP’s Public Policy Institute also offers key design principles for advanced metering that take into account consumer concerns. An appendix provides AARP’s position on advanced meters and alternative rate structures. (8 pages)

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