9:45 AM EDT, April 3, 2012
Letter writer Bob Bruninga is right ("Smart meters are safe," April 2), smart meters are safe and can save us money, if we choose to save money — which most Americans don't chose to do. Finally, the U.S. is getting smart about saving energy.
I lived in the United Kingdom more than 40 years ago, and they had smart meters way back then. They charged you a different rate for different times of the day. There were three different rates. Obviously, the middle of the night was the cheapest time, so we set our dishwashers and clothes washers to come on and run in the middle of the night. We had electric storage heaters that soaked up heat during the night and gave it up during the day. This evened out the power use, allowing the power stations to work more efficiently. And it saved everyone money, in at least three ways. It cut your electric bill directly, it cut the number of power stations needed (which cut your cost as you had to pay for less power station building), and it cut pollution (which cut down on your health costs, prescription costs, clothing costs, cleaning costs for everything and gave cleaner air to breathe, water to drink and on and on).
The average European uses less than half the energy of the average American! They drive smaller, more efficient cars, insulate their homes, keep the temperature lower in winter and higher in summer, just live smarter for themselves, their country and the planet.
By contrast, Americans seem to be determined to be Top Dog in everything, including using as much energy as possible. We turn the heat way up in winter and way down in summer so that our homes are warmer in winter than they are in the summer, and we drive the biggest car possible, even for just one person. We seem determined to make our air and water as dirty as possible to keep our health care the most expensive in the world, and our kids and ourselves the unhealthiest in the world.
Any attempt at making us more efficient is at best laughed at and at worst labeled as socialistic or communistic instead of what it really is — smart!
David Liddle, Pasadena
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