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What We're Listening To: NPR On 'Smart' Meters

Dickson On the Air

'Smart' Meters

Yesterday in an NPR "All Things Considered" Podcast, Audie Cornish interviewed Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California Energy Institute, about the phenomena of power companies across America installing 'smart' meters for their customers.

Borenstein describes how smart meters are a recent innovation, and their installation and use began to take hold during the American economic stimulus package in 2009. These meters send consumer energy consumption data directly back to the electric company.

Smart meters go much further than convenience, however. These devices will, or do allow customers to see when they are consuming the most energy, and give quicker feedback to energy companies on down power lines and electric outages.

The devices have been met with resistance however, from those that believe their privacy is at stake. Borenstein states that over time, power companies could theoretically discover a consumers daily habits from their energy consumption, such as when they wake up in the morning, when they typically go to work, etc.

What it means for Dickson

While power companies provide these devices and services to customers to reduce customer energy consumption, Dickson provides it’s customers with wireless data monitoring for quality assurance. Our monitors don’t tell you how much energy a refrigerator is using, rather if the valuable contents of that refrigerator are being kept at the proper temperature. DicksonOne employs 'smart' technology similar to 'smart meters,' in that the Software as a Service gives companies the ability to monitor the temperature and humidity data of multiple environments from one location.

For more on DicksonOne, go to