Re: “Consumers still waiting for smart meters to pay off” (July 19):

I am a little confused regarding Central Maine Power’s smart meters.

Back in the late 1970s and early ’80s, when my wife and I and our family moved back to Maine, we lived in Lyman.

At that time, we were offered a meter by CMP that basically measured our usage at different times of the day and we were offered two rate categories, or time-of-day rates: peak daytime and off-peak night rates.

From what I recall, we actually had two meters – one day, one night – and they were the old-fashioned spinning-wheel meters. We were encouraged to switch as much usage to the night meter as possible, and I believe the rates were on the high side of 8 cents and low at 4 cents.

CMP actually had a photographer (one of Edmund Muskie’s sons) come to our house and take pictures of the meters and our family using the system. We did change our schedule and did clothes washing and drying and lots of baking in the evening. We did see a significant savings with the system.

We eventually sold that house and have no idea what happened to that very good money-saving program.

This, of course, did not save CMP money by halting the use of meter readers, but it did save the utility from having to purchase power at peak demand times. It also cost them money to install two meters, but I’m sure that was less than the cost of installing “smart meters” that do not seem to be saving consumers any money at all.

What ever happened to that earlier, truly money-saving program?

Richard Cohen