The first use of smart meters was in 1977, which makes them relatively new technology. They were developed by a scientist named Theodore Paraskevalkos who was working at a Boeing facility in Alabama.
The advantage that smart metering offered utilities was a way to compare usage and generation at the same time. With the old style of analog meters that were read once a month, it was impossible to see, in real time, how usage patterns of water or electricity developed.
With the first use of smart metering, there were a lot of concerns about safety and accuracy. In fact, the use of smart meters today can provide precise information about any unusual usage on a property that may indicate power or water problem.
It is important to note that all smart meters have to be tested and meet specific parameters for the accuracy of measurement. This testing is done by an independent lab for certification. The major brands of smart meters meet or exceed these testing requirements and, with the ability for immediate detection of unusual readings, if there is a problem with the meter it can be quickly detected and the meter repaired or replaced.
Many landlords and property owners point out the cost of the purchase and installation of smart meters as a factor to delay upgrading to this technology.
While it is true there will be a cost to installation, the offsetting benefits of using the technology also have to be considered. With the addition of smart metering to a property, it is easier to attract new tenants and to retain existing tenants.
It is also possible to detect leaks, breaks in pipes or even uses of water or electricity in supposedly vacant units, helping to reduce these costs and offset the purchase and installation.