- A Week in Smart Metering

Utilities should demonstrate to their critics the wow factor of using advanced metering, says Rose Bundock, content editor of
Published: Wed 06 May 2015

A story broke this past week that must make smart meter manufacturers want to drum their fists on their circuit boards in frustration.

Of a group of 20,000 utility employees surveyed in the US, the majority said they still rely on customer calls and SCADA to alert them to power outages. And these are utilities WITH smart meters.
Admittedly this is a small sample and not truly representative of a whole country or industry, but it does raise the point that technology is only good when you know how to use it.
Most of us will never benefit from the full technological capabilities of our PCs or smart phones because it takes time and training to learn them. Is this true for utilities?
And the customer-side benefit of smart meters isn't being realised either as only 25% of utility staff questioned said they deploy the estimated time to restoration function to keep homeowners and businesses in the loop when the power goes off.
At a time when smart meters and their advantages are being strongly challenged, utilities should up their game and demonstrate to their critics the wow factor of using advanced metering for better service delivery and customer communication.

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In the US, Kamstrup's flowIQ smart water meter has passed certification tests in the drought-stricken state of California for use in individual metering applications.The Danish metering company announced last week that the State of California had tested the smart water meter using ultrasonic measurement to see if the unit is precise enough to detect small amounts of water, such as a dripping faucet.
In southern Europe, KIB-TEK, an energy company in Northern Cyprus, has awarded Danish smart meter manufacturer Kamstrup a contract for the deployment of 36,000 smart electricity meters. Kamstrup is deploying 30,000 OMNIPOWER single phase meters, along with 6,000 OMNIPOWER three phase meters, enabled by GPRS communication.
In the US, utility regulators in California are inching closer to approving time-of-use tariffs (ToU) after a three-year review of rate reforms for the state's largest utilities Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison.
In Southeast Asia, the Singaporean Public Utilities Board (PUB) and SUEZ Environnement, a resources management company, have agreed to collaborate on a smart water grid project. Under the agreement, Singapore PUB and SUEZ will leverage information and communication technologies and analytical software to develop a decision support tool for storm water management, automated meter reading and water consumption tracking.

In southern Europe, Turkey’s Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Fikri Işık said that energy production in the country would be doubled by 2023. To this end, the ministry announced that it is currently working on future technologies to transform current networks into smart energy networks.