In the rapidly developing world of the "connected home," one of the biggest technology rollouts now underway is the smart energy meter. Of all the systems that a utility company can offer its customers, the smart meter is the most direct link between its core business supplying energy and its customers, who want to control their costs while interacting with utility companies on an automated (and much easier) basis.
In all of the machine to machine (M2M) world, the scale of the smart meter rollout (often now mandated by governments and regulators) is one of the largest. Telecoms firm Telefnica, for example, in a report entitled "The smart meter revolution," notes that the installed base of meters will be about 830 million worldwide by 2020, with China alone taking half of this number.
A gateway into the connected home market
In countries such as the UK, supplier British Gas has already installed one million smart meters, adding that its "net promoter score" (a customer loyalty metric) has zoomed up. Consumers feel more in control with detailed reports on their usage (and those of neighboring similar homes) and more engaged with their energy provider for what has been seen previously as a commodity with little added value.
Smart meters are also a gateway into the connected home market. They are paving the way for much more than just basic energy monitoring, as interest grows in smartphone apps for heating controls and other systems such as home security.
5 steps to head off problems
There has been some consumer resistance to smart meters as Telefnica notes, 'vocal consumer groups in Europe and North America cite concerns about meter accuracy and data security." With such massive existing and planned rollouts around the world, it is critical that utility companies ensure that their testing and quality programs are in shape to head off these concerns. In particular:
Rigorous, high quality test programs can help allay these concerns.
Source: Smart Grid News
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