From mechanical to digital meters: Smart meters make energy consumption more transparent and help save electricity.
They measure electricity, gas or water consumption by the second and help to reduce costs – smart meters are gaining ground: These intelligent electricity meters may still be expensive due to a lack of government incentives to buy them and there is still no standardized technology or uniform legislation. However, according to a study by data analysis firm GlobalData, the global market is growing rapidly: There were 63.4 million smart meters installed worldwide in 2012, 88 million in 2017 and by 2022 the number is expected to increase to over 135 million.
The projected market volume for 2022 is $10.4 billion – a growth of around 150 percent over 10 years. The biggest growth drivers are still the United States, Japan and China. In these countries, legislation should help to bring about the installation of smart meters in every household and business. And according to the European Union’s Third Energy Package, 80 percent of consumers in the EU should also be equipped with intelligent measuring systems by 2020.
SMART METERING: A BEAUTIFUL NEW ENERGY WORLD
According to analysts, one of the main reasons for the strong growth of smart metering is the increased environmental awareness of customers in the face of rising emissions and the scarcity of domestic energy resources. As part of the transition to renewable energy, smart metering will also help to efficiently integrate solar energy, wind power and thermal power plants into the electricity portfolio and optimize grid utilization. This not only eases the burden on power plants, because they then run less frequently in partial-load mode, for example during power peaks, but also can lead to new business models, such as dynamic electricity tariffs. Energy operators can then always offer electricity particularly cheaply if a lot of wind or solar energy is fed into the grid.
SAVING ELECTRICITY WITH IOT TECHNOLOGY
What's more, smart meters enable tenants and property owners to monitor how much electricity, water or gas they consume and when, as well as how much they have to pay for it. In addition, they identify which of their appliances, such as the washing machine, vacuum cleaner or refrigerator, are the biggest power guzzlers. And they see how and when they can save more energy – for example using standby mode for PCs, televisions or music systems. Property managers, on the other hand, save time and money because they no longer need to have the devices read manually. Companies can also use smart metering to improve their power consumption, optimize their energy management and reduce energy costs with IoT technology.
Electricity meters are often installed in the basement, usually without an internet connection nearby. That means it’s not possible to establish a network connection to a smartphone, tablet or computer. IoT solutions help customers to conveniently receive and evaluate this information via a data interface: NarrowBand IoT, i.e. broadband radio modules, transmits the smart meters’ compact data information directly to a tablet, PC or smartphone. NB IoT completes the digitalization process and makes it much easier for property managers and private households to take meter readings. A particular benefit is that it is cost-efficient to buy and operate, and the standardized LTE-based technology is very secure.
IoT Marketing Communication Manager
Pamela Buchwald has been part of the Telekom cosmos since 2016 and is very familiar with the Internet of Things. From general IoT trends to industry know-how and connected mobility, the blog highlights exciting topics related to connected things.