What kind of effect have smart meters had on water conservation?

It’s difficult to measure the effect of smart meters in increasing water conservation.

Wattier said Long Beach has seen water usage decrease on a case-by-case basis for customers with smart meters. In one single-family home, a fixed irrigation problem reduced consumption by 70 percent, he said. In another case, a duplex reduced consumption by 98 percent after fixing a leak.

Here is an example of costs associated with smart meters:

Smart meters can cost two to three times more than traditional meters, House said.

When Glendale replaced 85,000 electric meters and 34,000 water meters in 2008, the project cost $70 million. It was partially funded by a $20-million grant from the federal Department of Energy and a $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission.

The smart meters cost $312 each and with installation constituted about $10.5 million of the total cost, Zurn said.