76 Million Smart Meters Have Been Deployed Across U.S.

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Smart Meters are instruments of surveillance that can monitor household and business activities with precision, based on patterns of power consumed. Control over energy production and distribution was an original goal of Technocracy in the 1930s. Currently, 60% of America is blanketed with these meters. ⁃ TN Editor

The Institute for Electric Innovation’s (IEI’s) new report, “Electric Company Smart Meter Deployments: Foundation for a Smart Grid,” identifies the innovations, benefits, and capabilities enabled by smart meters, and summarizes the deployments of smart meters to date.

“A major transformation of the energy grid is underway, and a key technology creating big changes for customers and electric companies continues to be smart meters,” said IEI Executive Director Lisa Wood. “Electric companies continue to find ways to create value from the data smart meters provide. Investing in smarter energy infrastructure, particularly in smart meters, is the foundation for a customer-facing, modern, and more resilient energy grid.”

As of the end of 2016, electric companies had installed 72 million smart meters – covering 55 percent of U.S. households. Based on survey results and approved plans, deployments are estimated to reach 76 million smart meters by the end of 2017 – covering about 60 percent of U.S. households – and are projected to reach 90 million by 2020.

The report also features examples of how electric companies are leveraging smart meter data to better monitor the health of the energy grid, more quickly restore service when outages occur, integrate distributed energy resources (DERs), and deliver energy solutions to customers.

Additional highlights:

  • Forty electric companies in the United States have fully deployed smart meters, and another 50 are actively installing the smart meter technology.
  • Electric companies are using smart meter data today to enhance grid resiliency and operations, integrate DERs, and provide customer services.
  • Smart meters provide a digital link between electric companies and their customers and open the door to new and expanded services, such as smart pricing options, budget billing, high usage alerts, and online energy management.
  • Recent approvals of full-scale smart meter deployments in Indiana, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio demonstrate the importance of a digital energy grid to seamlessly integrate DERs, ensure reliability, reinforce resiliency, and provide more services to customers.

The Institute for Electric Innovation focuses on advancing the adoption and application of new technologies that will strengthen and transform the energy grid. The Institute’s members are the investor-owned electric companies that represent about 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry. The membership is committed to an affordable, reliable, secure, and clean energy future.

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