TEPCO to hold bids for 17 million smart meters


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It don't seem to be very smart to be spending ¥200 billion when it still hasn't paid for compensation and the enormous costs of the nuclear disaster clean up? Does TEPCO expect the taxpayer to pay for this too?

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In addition to doing away with the need for workers to visit customers to read their meters, smart meters can help cut power use during peak hours and make it easier for people to conserve energy.

They will be laying off the meter readers, those jobs will be lost. TEPCO seems to think it's cost effective and it probably is if you don't look at the human aspect of it.

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better change name to "Smart TEPCO" :(

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smart meters

US has been using the smart meters over 10 years for a cost cutting. The system allows the readings without utility men. Very cost effective.

Why all utility, gas, communication lines are still exposed in a big city like Tokyo? They are very ugly like webs in the sky.. Is it something to do with earthquake issues? The utilities, gas, communication lines are all undergrounds here in big cities USA.

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US is now re-installing some analogue meters, as the WiFi radiated from 'Smart Meters' has proven to be too disruptive, and in some cases harmful to householders - many cases pending in California.

Of course, a Japanese utility is not likely to care one iota about householders health...

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@globalwatcher - yes the issue is earthquakes - much easier and quicker to repair over ground structures and lines, though broken power lines can be a hazard in themselves. The locals have a unique form of tunnel vision that allows them to see scenic views in between transmission lines!

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The signal that the meters use are on 24/7 and are strong enough to be read from outside the building where they are located.It is also possible for the power use of a home to be monitored by hacking into the signal. Imagine a gang of thieves being able to target your house by knowing if there were was someone home or not!

Not so smart now, are they?

Until the issues of health and privacy have been addressed, I 'll be smart and say no to these meters!

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do the smart meters include geiger tellers and what is the Type HAL5000, "everything is ok dave"

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The ¥200 billion is just for the cost of the meters. Then there will be the installations. Last time they changed my meter it took five men three hours?

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The UK smart meters will have two-way radio and include a feature where the utility company can cut off the user's supply remotely (ostensibly for not paying the bill). Look forward to hacking into my neighbours' meters ;-)

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Where is T.E.P.C. O. going to get the cash to pay for the meters? They expect the goverment allready to assist them to pay compensation claims and the cost of making (safe?) the damaged reactors.

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I don't think there will be many mid aged housewifesthat would want to visit the are north and north west of Fukushima to collect to TEPCO electric meter numbers. putting it on auto takes away what some see as a dangerous p/t job.

I read this in this inTerrie's Take 646, see text below.

T E R R I E 'S T A K E * A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd. (

General Edition Sunday, January 22, 2012, Issue No. 646

*Ed: This move could have been made 10 years ago -- that's how long this technology has been available. But we suspect it was in TEPCO's best interest to keep power charges somewhat obfuscated. Still, better late than never. Also interesting to see that they are opening the bidding up to foreign companies as well.****

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You guys know I am at least as critical of TEPCO as the next guy.

But in this case, if they are expecting to keep the unit price under 10,000Y per smart meeter, the costs will be very quickly recovered in savings on meeter reader staff costs. Also I guess (hope) that these smart readers will, as the article state, help users save energy. And maybe most importantly I think that they are probably a prerequisite for feeding back electricity to the net for those who chose to install private Solar/Wind generators.

Smart meters, and more importantly a smart grid is a must for modernizing Japans archaic power grid infrastructure. I would however liked to have seen this initiative come from the government instead, insuring that new infrastructure investments are compatible cross providers.

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Also +1 for Denis Bauer for managing to sneak a HAL5000 reference into the discussion.

But I think it would probably be more like 'Sorry, I can not let you do that Dave' when you try to turn of your house Main power switch.

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I'm not sure I understood this... TEPCO will charge 10,000 yen per meter in order to reduce TEPCO's workforce & reduce TEPCO's costs?

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If there were no utility lines up and above all over this country, they would not be able to make a proper godzilla movie.

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50/60 cycle needs to be fixed too.

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No I don't think that is what the article said. TEPCO is hoping to pay something in the 10,000Y range per meter.

As always, if that cost can not be recovered elsewhere, it will end up on the consumers bill one way or another. But I don't think they will charge customers openly, it will be baked into the fee somehow.

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From experience, people's bills will go up, as the new digital meters are much more response to electrical surges from start up than the older analogue meters. An example might be, a laser printer starting up consumes quite a bit of power for a short time, but analogues meters are not sensitive to enough to measure this, but a digital smart meter will.

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I would be happy to see that ugly thing outside replaced with something more modern.

Maybe they can be reprogrammed to speak in Holly's Voice "Everybody's dead, Dave. They are all dead. Everybody is dead , Dave." Before giving the reading. ;)

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Yes, you are right Smart Meters are a necessary step for feeding back energy to the net.

But - it is not necessary that the utility (e.g. TEPCO) gets all this information directly. I am just imagining 10 Million smart meters are sending the information for example in 1 Minute intervals. Lets say, each 1 KByte. Then we are talking about 10 Gbyte per Minute or 166 Mbyte per second. This needs quite an information infrastructure and many servers and data links.

Such detailed information is most useful at the substation level. There the local information is collected and a summary is generated. Then the utilities (I hope not only TEPCO) receive this summary information from the substation and can acct accordingly.

Then, maybe just once a day, each smart meter can send a daily report to a central server. This would be manageable. However a nightmare for security, if there is no encryption of the data.

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So this is not new in the USA??

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I hate to say this, yet again, but Tokyo will not be around in least not in its current form. It simply cannot be given the events of the last year that are still ongoing.

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zichi, certainly.

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So this new spending venture will be paid by... who exactly? Zichi, I totally agree.

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The winning bid will be 9,980 yen per unit. ;)

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and that winning bid will be from a company in China or Korea...

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This is the best idea ever, they are asking the government for more money which supposedly will be easily recovered, claiming this will increase effeciency and save the people some much needed yen, AND has paved way to lay off people and reduce costs. Ingenius! Only thing is, if this is such a great idea, why did it take so long for them to make the investment.

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