- A Week in Smart Metering

This week's news serves as a reminder that utilities cannot ignore the tide of change within the industry, says Rose Bundock, editor of
Published: Thu 22 Jan 2015

New technologies that initially seemed remote and maybe fanciful are taking root within customers homes and utilities’ infrastructure.

First up, ran a story that there are now twice as many smart thermostats installed in consumers’ home in Europe and North America than in 2013.

Clearly, the figure of 3.2 million is small compared to the total number of households, but a 100% hike in sales figures should be evaluated, especially as this market opens the door for other non-traditional energy companies such as Google’s Nest, to enter the field and gain brand territory.

A trend highlighted by our sister portal Engerati this week is how energy storage is becoming a real solution for energy companies.

One California energy insider has said that the cost of storing energy is now on a par with generating it, in light of environmental penalties of making power in certain areas such as the LA basin. Technological change is rapid within this industry segment but is regulation keeping up?

And then there is meter data. Smart meters are online, gathering consumption data and these volumes will only increase as more edge devices are fitted with sensors. And this is one area where can offer a solution - check out Elster’s guide to unlocking the value of meter data.

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Western Australia buys Silver Spring solution to cut meter reading costs

In Western Australia, Horizon Power, a government-owned utility, has contracted Silver Spring Networks to deploy an advanced metering system in one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world. Under the agreement, Horizon Power will connect its 47,000 customers spread across 2.3 million sq kms (888,000 sq m) to an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) program using Silver Spring’s IPv6 network platform.

eMeter goes deeper into Magic Quadrant for meter data service

Siemens big data software company eMeter has received industry recognition for its meter data management service among other big players such as Itron, Landis+Gyr and Oracle Utilities. eMeter, the Silicon Valley company acquired by Siemens in 2011 to compliment the solution giant’s smart grid offering, was named in the ‘leaders’ quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Meter Data Management Products 2014.

Smart meters New Zealand: Marlborough customers report cheaper bills

Residents of New Zealand’s Marlborough region have responded positively to smart meters according to local media. Three power suppliers in Marlborough have committed to installing advanced electric meters. Genesis Energy has new metering in place, Contact Energy has installed 500 units to date and Trustpower has plans to begin a pilot early this year.

Smart water meter: installation problems derail rollout in US city

A US municipal utility’s experience of installing smart water meters has highlighted stumbling blocks that water companies can face when deploying metering programmes. Bay City, with a population of 35,000 in the US state of Michigan, admitted to local media last week that Bay City officials won’t finish installing new smart water meters for at least another eight to 12 months, overshooting a deadline of March 2015.

Deal watch: Semtech buys EnVerv to tap into global PLC market

US semiconductor supplier Semtech Corporation has bought out power line communications company EnVerv for an undisclosed amount. Under the acquisition agreement, EnVerv’s staff have joined Semtech in a deal that Semtech will balance out against its 2016 fiscal results.

Deal watch: Romania water utility chooses Itron to upgrade water meters

In Eastern Europe, Romania’s largest water utility Apa Nova Bucureşti has announced that Itron is its supplier of choice to help upgrade its metering system. Under the deal announced this week, Apa Nova Bucureşti will deploy Itron-manufactured water meters over the next four years to high-consumption customers and in multi-family buildings in a bid to allow the utility to better manage and conserve water resources. is the sister news portal to Engerati focusing on smart metering