With all the warmÂ talkÂ going onÂ aboutÂ "Smart City",Â "SmartÂ Billing Systemâ€ and so on,Â IÂ thought it would be a good opportunity toÂ shareÂ someÂ informationÂ about smart meters in this blog. This discussion is equally valid forÂ other smart devices as well.
The first question that pops inÂ our mind when we hear the phrase "Smart Meter"Â isÂ thatÂ "HOWÂ AÂ METER CAN BE SMART???".
A smart meter is usually anÂ electrical meter that records consumptionÂ across various time periodsÂ andÂ communicates that informationÂ back to the utilityÂ for monitoring and billing purposes.Â Smart metersÂ enableÂ 2-way communicationÂ between the meter and the central system where the meter can beÂ remotely operated (reads, disconnects/reconnects, etc.) and can gather the data for remoteÂ reporting.
The benefits of Smart (Advanced) Metering deployments have been quantified in many different waysÂ by established business cases from major Utility companies. But, has the industryÂ been able toÂ reach a state where we can measure the true benefit realization from Smart Metering deployments? It is interesting to note that adoption of Smart MeteringÂ by the utility companies isÂ primarily intended to change the way consumersÂ perception about their Utility companyÂ as a mereÂ provider ofÂ electricityÂ toÂ someone who provides innovative products and services. .
By deploying the smart meter at the customer premises, we canÂ help them understand the difference in the cost of using electricity at peak versus non-peak hours. With this information in hand, customers canÂ lower their usage during peak hours and in turn reduce their electricity bill. This has helped the utility company in conductingÂ their business in a much more cost effective and environment friendly manner.
But is this really helpful to the endÂ consumer?Â The question whichÂ I want to ask directly to the consumersÂ is "AreÂ they really changingÂ their consumption behavioral pattern based on the new services beingÂ provided by different utility companies such as online usage analysis, alerts to energy savings programs such as Demand Response, etc.?"
- By Ashish Gupta