Consumers have shown a willingness to pay more for green products. Now they have an opportunity to show their green side by using utility meters that serve as two-way communication devices. Until recently, smart grid and meter programs have been limited to pilot programs as utility companies worked out the kinks in the system. But the latest research shows these programs will be widespread across the U.S. next year.
Pike Research reports that 21 million smart meters will be in place by the end of 2010 and another 30 million installations are planned. Jevan Fox, research analyst, says, “Smart meter installations have grown by leaps and bounds in 2010.”
The key players in the meter manufacturing market include Landis+Gry (26%), Itron (24%), Sensus (21%) and GE Energy (20%). Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) also requires utilities to work with communication providers to transmit information. The market leaders in this segment include Silver Spring Networks (29%), Itron (22%), Sensus (17%) and Landis & Gyr (16%).
U.S. consumers have indicated a significant interest in metering technology that would help them use energy more efficiently. Up to 88% of surveyed consumers would like to use a smart meter, thermostat or appliance.
And the interest is not limited to electrical meters. Both consumers and utility companies are also looking to improved metering for water use. These intelligent meters will help utilities detect leaks and provide consumers with more data about use levels. In turn, consumers are expected to reduce water use once they review detailed bills about water use.
Look for more hardware and software vendors to promote their products to utility companies. Likewise, utilities will promote these new capabilities to their customers in the hope of encouraging more green behavior.[Source: U.S. Utilities Set to Install 57.9 M Smart Meters. Environmentalleader.com. 23 Nov. 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2010; 33% of Water Utilities Adopting Smart Meters. 11 Jan. 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2010]