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US government lays out cash for wall-based, in-home 'smart meters'

Google has its PowerMeter, Microsoft has its Hohm and Obama has his "smart meters." Got it? Good. Around two years after UK taxpayers began footing the bill for in-home energy monitors, it seems as if America's current administration is looking to follow suit. While visiting the now-open solar facility in Arcadia, Florida today, the Pres announced that $3.4 billion in cash that the US doesn't actually have has just been set aside for a number of things, namely an intelligent power grid and a whole bundle of smart power meters. Aside from boring apparatuses like new digital transformers and grid sensors (both of which are designed to modernize the nation's "dilapidated" electric network), 18 million smart meters and 1 million "other in-home devices" will be installed in select abodes. The idea here is to give individuals a better way to monitor their electricity usage, with the eventual goal set at 40 million installed meters over the next few years. Great idea, guys -- or you know, you could just advise people to turn stuff off when they aren't using it, or not use energy they can't afford. Just sayin'.