These are the key findings from a new report from The Edison Foundation, Electric Company Smart Meter Deployments Foundation for A Smart Energy Grid, published this week. The study reported the current levels of smart meter deployment, with future projections, as well as providing examples of how utilities are using the information provided by the two-way smart meters.
A total of 65 million smart meters were deployed by the end of 2015, covering more than 50% of US households, a figure which The Edison Foundation expects to increase to 70 million by the end of this year, before increasing to 90 million by 2020.
Smart Meter Installations in the U.S. Approach 70 Million; Projected to Reach 90 Million by 2020
And while there are a lot of smart meters out there, there are still some areas of the United States bereft of the new technology. Nevertheless, according to Edison, more than 30 of the largest electric companies in the country have fully deployed smart meters.
Smart Meter Deployments by State 2015
Smart meters are the un-sexy face of energy efficiency technology, located somewhere probably undetected outside your house. Useful only when you need to work out where your fuse box is because something tripped, you’ll see this giant grey box-type thing with a digital display, shake your head, and go back inside. Except, smart meters are the next step forward for utilities to better respond to problems on the energy grid. As the authors of the report explain:
“The data from smart meters, when integrated with other enterprise data and systems — such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Customer Information Systems (CIS), Outage Management Systems (OMS), Distribution Management Systems (DMS), and/or Demand Response Management Systems (DRMS) — give electric companies “visibility” into the distribution grid that allows them to proactively solve problems.”
“We have made remarkable strides in our ability to monitor and manage the electric system today compared to just a few years ago,” explained Eric Silagy, President and CEO, FPL. “Thanks to smart grid technology, we have unprecedented visibility across the grid so we can more quickly detect and prevent many issues before they become problems for our customers.”