Re: Just give us the numbers
Smart meters are a solution looking for a problem
Not really. In that particular case, the power companies still have to send people out to read the meter. This costs.
I think the main problem is the costs involved. Myself, I would suggest that they make it voluntary, charge for the meter and installation for those who want it, but allow the companies to charge a reasonable* fee for sending people out to read the meter. This would allow consumers to do a real cost/benefit analysis of their own: Are they happy to pay out for the meter, given that it may take N years to pay for itself? Are the other benefits involved worth the cost? And so on...
In the end, forcing the rollout at this stage is a bad idea, IMHO. I agree that the meters will probably be obsolete before they have paid for themselves. By then we may have things like smart appliances, more electric cars, more solar panels and/or home generation/storage systems, all of which will benefit from more advanced smart meter technology, but noone will be happy rolling out updated models so soon.
Let those who want them, get them and pay for them.