It would have been much better if they had just supplied everyone with an electricity monitor (OWL, is one, as Grendel has). There's not much the energy-conscious can do to reduce their usage, I know I can't. So a smart meter won't help me. What it will do, is allow for "period" pricing, i.e. at times of high usage the rate per kW will go up, and vice versa. Good for us retired old farts, but not so good for the working population, who will find their rates from say 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will go sky high. Make no mistake, the benefits are not for the consumer in this mess, it's for the companies.