In his blog on msnbc.com, John Roach discussed the inherent risks of smart meter technology. “Smart meter technology holds the promise of helping consumers save on their electricity bills by, for example, allowing consumers to opt-in to pricing schedules that have cheaper rates in off peak hours, such as late at night. Switching tasks such as running the dishwasher then could save a bit of money. One problem with sharing that level of detail with the utility company is that it can feel like a breach of privacy. You may get a cheaper rate for doing your dishes at two in the morning, but now the utility knows you’re doing dishes at two in the morning.”
A new report by the Northeast Group has determined that South America’s smart meter market will reach 104.5 million meters and $25.1 billion by 2020. The study, Smart Grid Market Forecast (2011-2020), projects other smart grid technologies including distribution automation will also grow quickly. Brazil is poised to be first to initiate large-scale deployments, followed by Chile and Argentina.
Despite the ongoing worldwide deployment of smart meters, a new survey suggests that, at least in the UK, consumers remain highly skeptical over claims the technology will save them money in the long run. Moreover, the report, published by T-Systems and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), finds that Government efforts to change the public’s perception are falling short.
Officials from the village of Frankfort, New York, have been were recognized by the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYSCOM) for their “forward-thinking and with an eye toward the village’s bottom line” for installing smart electronic water and electric metering devices throughout the town’s service areas.
Elster (NYSE: ELT) today announced that Companhia de Saneamento de Minas Gerais (COPASA), Brazil’s second largest water utility, is expanding its existing deployment with Elster Medicao de Agua S/A and installing 63,000 new Elster water meters.
More than 356,000 homes and businesses across northern, central, and southern are scheduled to get smart meters as part of four projects involving Cleco Power, Entergy New Orleans and the municipal utilities for Ruston and Lafayette. The deployments are funded in part through a United States Department of Energy grant. Meter installations are expected to begin in mid-2012 and will take about 18 months to complete.
Rogers Communications announced that its team in Quebec will enable the machine to machine (M2M) wireless connectivity across the province to Hydro-Quebec. Rogers will connect the utility’s central system with up to 600 Smart Meter collectors, which aggregate data relayed from the province’s 3.8-million Smart Meters. Rogers begins deployment on a trial basis of the M2M wireless connection of Hydro Quebec’s Smart Meter collectors this month.
Telecom equipment-maker Ericsson has famously predicted that there will be 50 billion devices connected to data networks by 2020. Those devices won’t include just computers and smart phones, but cars, homes and industrial devices, constantly sending and receiving a flood of data.
Scottish and Southern Energy Supply (SSE) has selected Elster for the first phase of their smart metering deployment, which is expected to be completed by mid-2012. SSE will deploy Elster’s next generation AS300 electricity meter and the BK-G4 gas meter, with its safety conscious smart valve and UMI modular communications interface.
The US believes consumers can become energy innovators. At the Building the 21st Century Grid event, it announced support for all Americans to take advantage of new tools and services to manage their energy use and save on their utility bills. This is part of a wider set of initiatives and policy framework announced to support ‘smart grid’ – applying digital technologies to the electric system – to enable a clean energy economy, ensure a secure and reliable grid, and foster innovation and jobs of the future. There are plans to track progress and push further on energy education programmes.