According to a report from Pike Research, 57.9 million smart meters are slated to be installed by 90 electricity companies in the USA.
Current “non-smart” metering systems are based on technology that is 100 years old. Smart meters are electricity consumption metering devices that can be read automatically over the network and can include a display that tells people about their current rate of electricity use and its cost, updated every 30 minutes. The devices are a crucial element of a “smart grid” system that will lead to greater efficiency and control over energy use, plus better support for renewable energy inputs.
Pike Research says that 21 million of the devices will be installed in the USA by the end of this year. The firm reports Landis+Gyr is currently the market leader in terms of smart meter devices installed in the USA, accounting for 26% market share; with Itron holding 24%, Sensus 21%, GE Energy with 20%, Elster with 5% and Echelon with 3%.
Closer to home, a major rollout of smart meters is occurring in Victoria; with 2.5 million smart meters to be installed over the next four years in all Victorian homes and small businesses. So far over 200,000 have been installed, with the roll out now ramping up to nearly 4,000 per week.
The topic of time of use pricing associated with smart meters has created some concerns, so before new pricing structures are introduced, the Victorian Government says it will work with consumer groups to make sure consumers benefit and disadvantaged groups are protected.