As energy prices increase, an increasing number of people seriously monitor their energy consumption (and also solar feedback if connected as well). Doing so can be quite a challenge, as there are a limited number of systems available, and the cost can be prohibitive. Although based in the UK, Dave Berkeley has documented a system that uses an Arduino to receive the infrared data from his "elster" brand electricity meter and send it to a PC for analysis via Python code. Furthermore, the data can then be sent to cosm (Pachube) for further display and analysis.
Although you may have a different type of meter, Dave's instructions should help inspire the efforts to work with your own types. For more information and code, visit the project page here. And we're on twitter, so follow us for news and product updates as well.