Nowadays, energy is a much expensive commodity and not just a natural resource. Futhermore, it has been regarded as a economic, geopolitical and strategic resource. Therefore, nations are much concerned about their energy security. Energy and utility industry are facing challenges in keeping pace with the demand and supply, increased regulatory systems, intense competition and new technological developments among others.
Keeping in mind the challenges of the industry, inclusive of the adverse environmental effects, the use of smart grid is fast gaining popularity world-wide. Smart meter is a vital constituent of the smart grid system wherein, the energy meter records the consumption of electrostatic potential energy in intervals of an hour or minutes and communicates this data to the utilities player for billing purposes. Growing demand for energy, coupled with increasing investment in power sector is expected to drive the global smart meters market to US$18.2 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 10.2% during the period of 2014-2019.
UK government has planned to roll out more than 50 million new smart meters to 30 million homes and 2 million businesses in the country between 2014 and 2019, according to a WNS study. Although, the government predicts that roll-out of smart metering systems to consumers’ homes will incur a cost of approximately £11 billion overall, nonetheless, the benefits of this installation would be far greater than this – around £7.2 billion once the costs have been taken into account as noted by Consumer Focus.
Some of the costs associated with this new technology will be an issue in the early stages of the rollout as the government estimates that bills will increase by £7/year for the average dual fuel customer in 2015. The money saved will come from consumers saving energy, and cost savings for energy suppliers. Once the rollout is completed by 2020, the UK government expects an average dual fuel customer to save £25 a year on their energy bills, which is expected to increase further to £40 a year by 2030.
Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can collect information for remote reporting. Industry expects to make savings with lower cost of back office processes, and a reduced number of calls/complaints to the providers’ customer service teams as this metering would end estimated and inaccurate bills which are a major source of consumer complaints. It will also mean less inconvenience waiting in for the meter reader to arrive, or having to submit your own readings. Government believes these savings will be passed onto customers, and it will monitor the smart metering rollout to ensure that this is the case.
Author: Debaleena Debnath
Debaleena is a digital media consultant @ speradigital.
To know more about our services, please click here.