Smart Meter Use Continues to Rise

The Connected World magazine featured an interesting post discussing how the number of people in North America smart meter and smart grid deployments rose dramatically in 2011. As energy use continues to rise and energy demands become harder and harder for energy producers to meet, you can expect these types of monitors to become more and more common.

Navigant Research says the number of smart meter and smart grid deployments have risen significantly during 2011, particularly in North America. In the second and third quarters of 2011, these deployments have included several million customers from three major North American utilities.

According to Pike Research, these deployments include Consumers Energy which enlisted metering company SmartSynch to help build an AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) system for 1.8 million customers. Overall, Pike Research says global smart meter shipments reached 19.2 million in 3Q 2011, representing a 5.3% increase over 2Q 2011.

The article also discussed how some customers are upset by the conversion to smart meters. There is a good chance that much of their frustration is linked to the fact that smart meters charge customers more during peak load times leading to larger electric bills for some customers.

For people living in areas moving to smart meter systems, installing a radiant barrier can help reduce peak energy use. In 2001, Florida Solar Energy Center showed that radiant barrier reduced the peak-load by 16%. A study by Sluing 2009 showed radiant barrier could result in cooling load reductions up to 22%.