Although smart meters are mandatory in the UK, energy companies are trying to persuade consumers to embrace them by highlighting the benefits and cost savings of the new technology. British Gas is mid-way through a four-week Smart Meter Challenge, a publicity campaign to show how in-home displays can cut energy use and costs. [British Gas Smart Meter Challenge: week two’s results are in]
But then came the curve ball last week from the UK’s Public Accounts Committee, a group of MPs that oversee public spending. The committee’s review of preparations for the national rollout by 2020 suggested that UK energy customers will receive just a 2 per cent saving on bills for an investment in a smart meter of £215 per household. [Smart meters UK: gov report deals a heavy blow to rollout]
The findings make for cautionary reading for any other country on the verge of a national smart meter deployment and threaten the public trust in smart metering technology.
The global smart meter market, however, keeps turning and this week, we see how smart meters are proving their worth in customer behaviour programmes and playing their role in a smarter energy future.
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Energy management company Open Energi estimates that large power users in the UK could make GBP1 billion a year by redirecting unused energy to meet demand elsewhere on the grid. Dynamic demand claims to balance requests from the grid within two seconds.
US dual-fuel energy company Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) estimates its energy efficiency programme is achieving annual savings of 1.8 billion kWH, enough to power 165,000 homes for a year. Customers with a smart meter can join the BGE Smart Energy Rewards programme.
Danish metering manufacturer Kamstrup has put its weight behind radio frequency (RF) as the best way for a meter to communicate data with an investment of DKK 10 million (US$1.7 million) in a new test centre.
In the US, Sensus smart meters are being implicated as the cause of a number of fires in the counties of Reno-Sparks in western Nevada, with fire chiefs speaking out with safety concerns. The news comes shortly after Sensus offered Canada’s SaskPower compensation of US$24 million in cash.
“Metering assets are threatened by a multitude of threat actors,” states a new white paper by German cyber protection company Compass Security AG. The report identifies 43 controls or ‘areas of concern and uses the OCTAVE Allegro method to assess the risk of each.
With the prepaid meter market flourishing in Southeast Asia - particularly in the Philippines and Indonesia - Avanthika Satheesh from research analysts Frost & Sullivan looks at major challenges include resistance to new technologies, lack of skilled labour and financial constraints.
Metering.com is the sister portal to Engerati covering global smart metering news.