A smart meter offers innovative features such as the tracking of utility energy consumption that takes place on the system or outlet it is attached to. For example, a smart meter linked to a natural gas line tracks the amount of ‘therms’ (unit of heat energy) consumed by the facility. The “smart” feature of the meter enables it to control and analyse the flow of the resource being used, such as natural gas, water, or electricity. The smart technology even allows the meter to be controlled from remote locations.
Smart metering is an ideal technology for businesses looking to keep tabs on how much energy they’re using so they can alter their usage if necessary. Along with measuring usage, smart meters analyse an array of data points on consumption, including when a resource is being used, how much of it is being used in a certain time-frame, and where it’s being used. With the help of network connectivity and a graphical interface, the data is transmitted to a console, where you can view a clear breakdown.
Most electric, gas, water and other utility companies have already embraced smart metering as an effective method of tracking usage across their customer bases to properly determine costs and infrastructure needs. Smart metering can provide both utilities and their customers clearer ideas of how energy usage affects their costs and help them explore new strategies to lower these expenses. Despite smart metering being relatively new, there are already vast applications for the technology. The Internet of Things (IoT) field has taken advantage of smart metering to extend a network of interconnected devices generating a massive amount of data.
Smart metering can be taken to another level (smart grids) with the help of new and better connectivity innovations, especially IoT. The same can be said for the applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence as well in smart metering. Smart meters can be applied to diverse devices and machinery, allowing businesses to oversee their power management. Another potential application is for devices that make use of consumable resources that need to be refilled. Smart meters that can identify that a resource is about to run out can indicate an IoT device to automatically order a refill. In the case of utility companies, the more smart meters they have linked to their infrastructure, the more data on customer usage they can collate to run their grid in a smoother way. They can recognise irregularities in real-time, go onsite to make proactive decisions before an outage occurs. While global players in the field of energy management such as #SchneiderElectric have already devoted large amounts of resources towards R&D in the field of smart metering, the scope for expansion and growth is bright #LifeIsOn.