- A Week in Smart Metering

The US Federal Government's investment in smart cities research will be a good catalyst for the market, writes Rose Bundock of
Published: Wed 16 Sep 2015
The US Federal Government will plough US$120 million into funding solutions to community-level issues such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime and improving city services delivery, as well as creating a research infrastructure for smart cities.
Compared to the Indian government’s budget of US$1.5 billion to develop 100 smart cities (a catchy concept), the amount seems modest but a federal-level push towards smarter communities can only be a good catalyst for the market.
Of the total amount, US$1 million will go towards funding a Smart Grid Integration Challenge for Cities to implement sensing, data sharing, and data analytics to achieve city goals for reducing energy consumption.
On the subject of grid modernisation, DTE Energy in Detroit has released its third update on a project testing how sensors in the field are improving stability and reliability. The results compound what has been found before - that line disturbances equal outages.
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In the UK, energy market regulator Ofgem last week opened a consultation on its proposals to improve services offered to smart prepaid customers by utilities. The energy regulator plans to monitor energy suppliers to see if they are passing on benefits of smart prepayment meters, according to Energy Live News.
In West Africa, Nigerian electricity distribution company Eko is urging consumers to utilise the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) scheme to install smart meters on their premises ahead of a wider scale roll-out, reported Business Day last week.
In the Netherlands, four distribution grid operators have finalised agreements with Landis+Gyr to supply 3 million smart meters towards the Dutch smart meters rollout.
In the US, a municipal water authority in Illinois state has secured a deal with Sensus to replace smart water meters that were registering false readings. The village of Glenview, a suburb of Chicago, last week approved an offer from Sensus to replace 1,500 iPerl smart water meters installed between 2012 and 30 July, 2015, as well as swapping the water authority's pre-existing stock of water meters.
As utilities evaluate smart metering technologies, it is not only the functionality of the meter, but the choice of underlying communications technology that is of major strategic significance and requires careful consideration. Factors such as cost, security, regulatory compliance, standards compliance, transmission range and power consumption are important in a communication platform.