Report sees big uptick in use of ‘smart’ electricity meters

Scottsdale, Ariz. “Smart” electricity meters, which enable two-way communication between the meter and the utility, and may enable greater consumer control over consumption, are being deployed at an increasing pace, especially in North America and Europe.

According to a new study from ABI Research, the number of smart electric meters deployed worldwide will rise from a 2009 level of 76 million to about 212 million in 2014.

“As momentum for infrastructure renewal grows, a number of factors are driving the process,” said Sam Lucero, practice director, ABI Research. “High on the list are government regulators. In the United States, $3.4 billion in federal economic stimulus funding was directed to smart grid development in November 2009. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) directly encourages smart grid technology adoption by the states, and funds NIST’s [National Institute of Standards and Technology] efforts to develop a standards-based technology framework to facilitate smart grid adoption.”

Other drivers include: efficiency and reliability gains; environmental concerns; improved customer service; and increasing energy market competition.

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