Report details growing deployment of smart meters

Published on January 08, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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U.S. electric companies have installed 98 million smart meters through the end of 2019, according to a new report from the Institute for Electric Innovation (IEI).

The report – Electric Company Smart Meter Deployments: Foundation for a Smart Grid — projects that the number of installed smart meters will rise to 107 million by the end of 2020. Currently, they cover more than 70 percent of all U.S. households.

“As the electric power industry continues its transition to a cleaner energy future, modernizing the energy grid remains at the forefront of the industry’s priorities,” IEI Executive Director Lisa Wood said. “Smart meters are foundational for two-way communication and data exchange between electric companies and their customers. By investing in and deploying smart meters, electric companies are enhancing the resilience and operations of the energy grid and gaining more detailed visibility into system operations, which helps companies to restore power more quickly or avoid outages altogether in some cases.”

The report also looks at how the technology associated with smart meters provides benefits to customers. Specifically, it points out that they provide a digital link between electric companies and their customers. This improves and expands customer services. They also support budget-setting tools and alerts that notify customers about their bills. Additionally, they enable electric companies to offer new pricing options to customers to incent load shifting and energy management, and to align usage with clean energy production.

The IEI is made up of 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.