@ Sir Runcible Spoon. One reason is because of the dogs
For some reason the building code is to put the meter behind the privacy fence where the meter reader has to go to read it. Even if you don't have a privacy fence if you have a pool you have at least a chain linked fence. A lot of rural meter readers carry quality binoculars to read the meter so they can avoid the dogs..
With a smart meter you can read and turn them off remotely if the bill hasn't been paid. Of course you can turn them off during periods of high use for rolling black outs too. This is one reason cities are pushing Smart Thermostats. The City will install them for free and give you a whole ten dollars if you give them the right to adjust your thermostat when they want.