You must have heard about the smart meter technology as a topic of discussion on many international forums or amongst people who are concerned about global climate change and how our energy consumption and its footprint playing a vital role in an environmental crisis.
A smart meter is at the fore-front of facilitating both energy supplied and home-owners by letting them monitor the consumption in real-time. It is really handy for a consumer to be able to follow their usage through an in-home display for an individual activity or overall consumption. Consumers can also monitor their daily, weekly and monthly reports to identify their consumption patterns; this enables them to; not only make changes in their consumption behavior but also utilize the energy in a more efficient manner.
A Catalyst for Change
Smart meters are proving to be a catalyst for an upgrade to energy infrastructure around the world. Based on the statistics and data provided by the smart meters, energy companies are planning to create ‘smart-grids’ incorporating the latest digital technology to predict how much electricity is needed at each specific location. It will help the suppliers meet the demand efficiently and accurately while aiding in reducing the carbon footprint by reducing the emissions created during the generation of extra-power from fossil fuels.
If you have solar panels installed in your home then you can actually link up your smart meter to it and monitor it as well. This technology is almost on the verge of evolving into something even better; you will be able to monitor; how much of your own solar energy generation you are feeding back into the grid to help the whole system become more energy efficient.
Empowering the Masses
Smart meters are empowering customers by giving them opportunities to benefit from new technologies such as solar PV, battery storage, and smart home technologies such as smart AC’s, TV’s lighting and heating installations, washing machines and other electric devices and appliances in a household.
Smart meters are also known as AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) technology and the sales of this technology are underpinned by the fact that it provides exception visibility and transparency at a very reasonable cost. Consumers are motivated by the fact that they are for once in charge of how they can choose to spend and modify their energy consumption in an efficient and pocket-friendly manner.
According to a report by the European Union the main ideology behind the initiative to install smart meters across all EU states is, to provide valuable consumption information to the customers. The ability to observe their energy patterns will encourage the consumers to change their behavior and routines and invest in energy-efficient technology such as insulations and smart technology enable appliances.
Isabella O’Dowd, a WWF climate change specialist emphasizes that people need to insulate their homes and equip their households with energy-efficient appliances. She also said that being able to have access to the smart meter will encourage and motivate people to go for electric heating than the traditional gas heating system, which in return will help reduce the carbon emissions on a macro level.
Now that consumers have access to smart meters, it will allow them to make small money-saving changes and motivate them to turn off the devices and appliances that are not in use; all the above-mentioned steps will help with reservoirs of renewable energy. Recently 40 percent of Britain’s electricity needs were facilitated by renewable energy according to a report published by the UK government website.
Although technology continues to evolve, it is safe to say that all the signs look promising, and smart meters will open new venues for both consumers and suppliers to explore the energy-efficient practices.
Diana Zebian is a marketing specialist at a leading smart grid solutions provider, Networked Energy Services (NES).