Congressional Testimony: ‘Smart’ meters have a life of 5 to 7 years

Kit Weaver of SkyVision Solutions has written an outstanding article about the Oct 21 testimony of a utility executive indicating that smart meters only have a life of 5 to 7 years. If true, this makes them uneconomically viable for use on millions and millions of homes. The meters will be out-of-date by the time large utilities complete their phased-in deployments.

Testimony was provided last week at a Congressional hearing regarding “cybersecurity for power systems.” …

Mr. Bennett Gaines testified on behalf of FirstEnergy Service Company. He is a Senior Vice President and the Corporate Services and Chief Information Officer.
Although acknowledging some increased cybersecurity risks due to ‘smart’ meters, Mr. Gaines stated, “But I don’t see it as a huge threat.”

Then, however, Mr. Gaines made a surprising statement regarding the life expectancy of ‘smart’ meters as compared to existing traditional meters:

“These devices are now computers, and so they have to be maintained. They don’t have the life of an existing meter which is 20 to 30 years. These devices have a life of between 5 to 7 years. And so the challenge that the industry has is making sure they maintain their smart grid environment, not neglect it.”

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