As a time-limited $19.5 billion market opportunity, meter and communications suppliers with be working with utilities around the world on replacing typical home and business electric meters with Smart Meters. Be prepared for empowered decision making around your business’s energy usage and energy costs.
by Jeremy Gross, Green Economy Post
When was the last time your business upgraded the accounting software, the office’s lighting, or your marketing campaign? Recently, right? Well, how about the electric meter?
If your building is like most, the electric meter hasn’t been touched since its initial installation. The typical meter replacement cycle reaches a range of 15 to 20 years. Well, get ready because a handful of environmental, economical, governmental, and technological trends will soon bring your electric meter into the 21st century as a Smart Meter.
As a component of the Smart Grid [Smart Grid 101], Smart Meters and initiatives like Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) are integrating two-way communications with energy measurement. These new meters will help provide customers with detailed consumption breakdowns and communicate information back to the utility for monitoring and billing. They will help match consumption with generation, and promise major energy savings by changing how and when we use electricity. Along with the Smart Grid, businesses will be empowered with automation and pricing knowledge. For example, with real-time knowledge of what it costs to keep summertime office temperature at a cool 72 degrees, I might raise it a few notches and open the windows if costs are reduced significantly. (Or you might have more casual days and promote “cooler” clothing!) I would be able to immediately see the lower energy usage and cost in real-time. Now that’s motivation to make educated decisions around energy usage which immediately impacts the triple bottom line.
According to a new report from Pike Research [Report Link], major utilities worldwide, incentivized by savings and interested governments, are working to replace over 45% of North American and European electric meters by 2015. This represents a time-limited opportunity for meter and communications suppliers as a projected $19.5 billion of smart meters are deployed worldwide between 2010 and 2015.
Pike Research divides the Smart Meter market into two groups: basic meters and advanced meters. Basic meters transmit energy usage data over two-way communications networks. Advanced meters include basic functionality in addition to capabilities like remote connect/disconnect and home area networking (HAN).
Advanced metering will play an important role in enabling many new smart grid technologies and products. As home area networking merges with these meters, Bob Gohn, Pike Research Senior Analyst, says that smart thermostats, energy information displays, smart appliances, and other key tools for energy management will become widely adopted.
The concept of home area networking can also apply to businesses. For example, in the future you may use a cell phone or computer to connect remotely to the office’s digital appliances and devices. You may manage your security system, control heating, cooling and lighting, and other energy users.
Additional Facts and Figures
Here are some Smart Meter projections according to Pike Research’s report:
- The worldwide smart meter market will experience an aggressive 19% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) through 2015.
- Total smart meter shipments will reach 39.5 million units by 2015, representing a $3.9 billion global market.
- More than 250 million smart meters will be installed worldwide by 2015, representing a penetration rate of 18% of all electrical meters by that time, up from 46 million in 2008.
- North America will become the leading market in 2010, reaching 55% penetration of all electric meters by 2015, passing over Europe, the current leader in smart meter adoption.
- HAN capabilities will be included in 49% of all smart meters shipped worldwide by 2013, and the North American HAN-enabled meter penetration rate will be even higher at 81% by the same year.
How Will Your Business Benefit?
Your business will be able to:
- Monitor, track, and adjust real-time energy usage
- Get more accurate billing and create better forecasts
- Identify energy hogs and adjust consumption to lower bills
- Reduce the carbon footprint of your business – a trend which is sure to be impacting everyone as government regulations are implemented
- With real-time pricing, you may choose to run certain business processes based on off-peak pricing
- Depending on the business type, you may even benefit from shifting working hours based on energy prices (perhaps in manufacturing?)
Smart Meter – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_meter
Smart Meter News and Information – http://www.smartmeters.com/
Google Map of Smart Metering Programs around the World. Maintained by Smart Metering Project Team at the Energy Retail Association in the UK.
Will your business’s electric meter be getting an upgrade? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
© 2010, Jeremy Gross. All rights reserved. Do not republish.