Smart meters different uses different markets
Different markets (or grids, power system operators) have different reasons for installing Smart Meters (SM). Different markets use different advertising pitches.
If the customers in one market are going to believe a saving power pitch the SM will be sold as a power saving device.
If the customers want the system to be more stable then it will be marketed as helping with that.
If the customers will accept the costs to lower CO2 emissions, it will be marketed as doing so.
When we as end consumers from around the world talk about SM those different sales pitches can be seen in the comments.
So I'll ask to consider why are sales pitches needed?A; Because these devices were never wanted or needed by the end user of electricity. If they were not forced by legislation it would remain a niche market, might not even be allowed in some markets.
What lead to you having a SM I do not know but I saw a bit of how it happened in one market.
The Utility, the power company, noticed the over the decades power consumption of household was increasing, obvious as the size of the services for each home were increasing. In itself that is a very good thing, standard of living and energy use is directly related, and it meant more money for the power companies.
But in the 80's and 90's another change was the increased use of VARS and production of Harmonics from households that previously were almost 100% resistive loads.
That added costs, none of which the end user could be made to understand and if most users did understand would cause problems for the Power suppliers and the industry. The main reason for grids to exist is to power industry, they are the largest users, they have the most money and influence.
Those big users use their big consumption and big money to get the best deal for them. When it comes to individual consumers, they have to look to politicians and regulators for protection, and the 20th century shows how well that model has worked for us.
Combined, individual consumers are a huge part of the grid, the largest by miles of conductors and connections so when that load began to change power companies started looking at what can be done to pass on extra hard to explain costs.
And they were trying to do that when our economy was shrinking, real wages falling, no one wanted to spend money on infrastructure, and of course the less people know about how we finance electrical infrastructure the better.
At roughly the same time other parts of the industry had issues to address. Billing is always looking for angles to generate more profit and they came up with great ideas, like connection fees, transmission fees, particularly effective and needed in deregulated markets. When billing first heard about SM they knew right away it was for them.
Special interest groups (many more of those involved than people know) saw that SM meant more information, more control for them and that means more money and political power for them. Lots of early promoters of SM there.
Politicians love taxes! Taxes are the governments food and there can never be enough. When SM were offered as a "solution" to electrical grid issues governments the "potential" for tax revenue seem only limited by the "resistance" of the goose to being plucked (to mix mets). Making it even more attractive was the suggestion that soon people would have electric cars.
So there was no one reason for SM showing up in residences around the world, there were many.
Having an idea with wide spread support among everyone but end users helps explain why there are so many myths and variations surrounding their use. We are being fed whatever line works on us.
Rest assured SM were never introduced to help customers. They will not save you money, BTW it isn't about saving power or electricity, nothing ever is. It is only ever about saving money, making money, not spending money. As some in the industry like to remind co-workers, we are not in the electrical business, we are in the money business.
That is another thing the industry does not want people to consider. It isn't about electricity or carbon or whatever people think, it is only about money. The industry and it's actions gets easier to understand when it is looked at as a money generating machine.
Electricity is in many ways just a distraction. Like wanting people to look at the per kWh charge on the bill rather than calculate the per kWh delivered. Notice you have to calculate that yourself, yet that and the money due, is the only numbers you really care about.
It is the foundation of our society, it's growth has allowed our growth, energy is everything and the industries supplying it are some of the most sophisticated we have. And that sophistication isn't just at the engineering end of the business.