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.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.