Digital Electric Meters and the Future of Energy Pricing

In the not too distant future, many of us will have the option of switch from our standard analog energy meters to digital ones. Along with this will come the ability (depending on the level of deregulation in your state) to purchase energy in different ways.

For example, you will be able to control the energy usage of major appliances such as air conditioners, washers, dryers, etc. This will allow you to load balance your electrical usage. You will be able to set a budget for say your air conditioner. When the price of electricity goes up, the thermostat will automatically rise so you do not spend as much.

Even better, if and when battery technology improves, you will be able to purchase more energy in the evenings at a lower price and store it for use during the day when prices are higher. It is very cool stuff.

One possible additional benefit will be to allow you to purchase you electrical energy from different sources, or at least from different plans based on provider. This would mean that you could buy a “green plan” which will tell your provider to purchase more from green or alternative sources on the grid. Cool huh?

Now, what if I told you that these green plans will cost two to three times the traditional plan. Would you opt for the green plan? Why or why not?