Week in smart metering - A change in name

Is a rose by another name still a rose, asks Claire Volkwyn, editor, Metering & Smart Energy International?
Published: Thu 23 Jun 2016

Our industry has changed significantly over the last 20 years and even more so since the first energy meter was patented in 1872.

It is appropriate then, that one of the most read articles on our website is The history of the electricity meter [http://www.metering.com/the-history-of-the-electricity-meter/], first posted almost 10 years ago.

As this article shows, electricity meters have evolved along with the development of distribution networks, first reflecting the ability to measure electricity as it was used for lighting. Thomas Edison’s contribution to the history of the meter "used the electrochemical effect of current. It contained an electrolytic cell, into which an accurately weighed strip of copper was placed at the beginning of the billing period. The current passing through the electrolyte caused a deposition of copper. At the end of the billing period, the copper strip was weighed again, and the difference represented the amount of electricity that had passed through.”

As time has progressed, we have moved from pendulum meters, to motor meters, induction meters to electronic and remote meters – each iteration making metering easier and more accurate for utilities and earning the meter the reputation of the ‘cash register’ of the utility.

Metering & Smart Energy International has been part of that journey for 20 years, and the addition of ‘smart energy’ to our title four years ago reflected a change in the industry and the meter as an enabler to a smarter grid and distribution network. What will the next step be in this journey, and do we, as a publication, need to reflect the changing dynamic through a change of name and an expansion on the content we already offer? We are asking you, our reader, to share your thoughts with us about the next step in our journey. Do we leave well enough alone or do we adapt with the times?

You can contact me directly at claire@metering.com with your thoughts.

More from Metering & Smart Energy International

US power utility ComEd said it will deploy an AMI project to enhance its operations in the city of Aurora in the state of Illinois, beginning this summer. Commenting on the development, Mike McMahan, vice president of AMI implementation for ComEd, said: "Technology has moved on, so our standard now is the smart meter." [ComEd plans smart meter rollout in Illinois]. The utility plans to deploy some 61,000 smart electric meters as from August through to the end of 2016. However the installation is more likely to stretch through to early 2017.

Honeywell’s smart metering business Elster has been chosen by regional network operator Enexis to deploy 1 million smart electricity meters in the Netherlands. The project follows previous projects between Honeywell/Elster and Enexis, which includes the installation of 900,000 gas smart meters in 2015, as well as, a complete meter data collection and meter data management platform for smart metering in 2008. [Honeywell’s Elster chosen for Dutch smart meter rollout]. The five-year smart meters award is also expected to contribute towards the country’s efforts to meet European Union energy efficiency goals. 

Itron has partnered with smart water technology provider WaterSmart to optimise water efficiency and consumer engagement applications and expand its water portfolio. Under the collaboration, Itron will add WaterSmart’s consumer engagement platform to its expanding water portfolio. WaterSmart's platform is designed to help utilities become more water efficient by engaging consumers with their water usage and delivering actionable data to utilities. [Itron and WaterSmart partner on customer engagement]. Under the deal, Itron will use and distribute WaterSmart’s smart water solution as part of its AMI technology for three years. WaterSmart's solution uses smart water meters, climate and property data to help residential consumers to save water and reduce their bills.

A US municipal power utility has selected Silver Spring Networks to deploy its IoT networking platform Starfish for its advanced metering infrastructure programme. [US utility selects Silver Spring for AMI connectivity]. Silver Spring’s “Starfish” platform is a worldwide wireless IPv6 network service for the Internet of Things, providing scalable connections to devices and sensors using a wide variety of standards-based wired and wireless communication protocols. The firm will begin deploying its IPv6 network to American Municipal Power (AMP) to help its member municipalities provide better customer experience and service for 60,000 electric and 30,000 water customers.