The key point is in the last paragraph - to save on labor costs. Whilst consumers will have to pay for installation (short term costs), expect power companies to make long term profits from sacking meter staff and some support staff. More for the multinationals, less for the consumer.
The problem is possible biological effects, if the meters use wireless communications to store or report usage.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.