An Introduction To Smart Meters
Companies have historically used metering to assess the usage of electricity, gas, and water in every household. These meters track how much energy is used in each home so that the provider may bill its users accordingly. The company must verify energy usage in order to obtain correct consumption data.
What is smart metering?
The smart meter measures and records information about energy consumption, just like your regular meter. However, the smart meter is unique because it is digital and capable of remote communication with your utility provider. It sends your consumption data to your utility at regular intervals or as and when needed. In addition to recording your energy usage, the smart meter can notify the utility right away if there is a localized outage.
How big is the market?
According to Smart Electric Meter Global Market Report 2022,
“The global smart electric meter market is expected to grow from $18.44 billion in 2021 to $20.51 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.22%. The smart electric meter market is expected to reach $29.29 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 9.32%.”
For the expansion and development of the global smart meters market, the key market participants are implementing distinctive strategies. Both emerging and developed nations have embraced smart meters extensively for use in commercial, residential, and industrial settings. On the other hand, concerns like rising maintenance and installation costs provide a significant obstacle to the expansion of the global market for smart meters. However, the expanding market for smart meters around the world is being afforded profitable opportunities by the rising demand for energy and power. The expansion of the global smart meters market over the forecast period is also being driven by the government's increased spending on infrastructure projects.
How does it save energy?
The capacity to monitor energy usage is one of the main advantages of a smart meter for consumers and businesses alike. Some smart meters are fitted with a digital face that shows real-time data on energy usage. Although it won't tell you what in your home or office space consumes the most electricity, being conscious of energy usage can help one make improvements. In some countries, users may also track their energy consumption data online with some state governments' or utilities' online services. Smart meters enable us to determine how changing our energy use affects our daily and monthly energy consumption.
Who benefits from smart metering?
Adaptive connectivity technologies, particularly IoT, have improved smart meters. We can delegate some of our decision-making to automation supported by machine learning if meters are connected to the processes that manage the resources they are measuring. For instance, a smart meter connected to a thermostat may enable the thermostat to decide when to adjust the heat based on changing energy prices. Smart meters can also be used on a variety of machines and devices, giving businesses the ability to control the usage per machine.
Smart meters lack the intelligence to recognize their location or the type of client they are servicing. A meter would function equally well in a house or office as a fundamental tool for monitoring energy use. Since the data is transmitted through a safe and independent network managed by the utility provider, the meters don't need a Wi-Fi connection.
Your ability to accept or reject a smart meter relies on who owns the facility and what system is being monitored, both in commercial and residential contexts. Numerous jurisdictions have implemented legislation and rules requiring the installation and use of smart meters for municipal equipment including gas and electricity outlets.
The downside of using smart meters
The adoption of smart meters is a topic of intense debate. The fact that some smart meters have caught fire has been one problem. Some people think that the problem is with the home's malfunctioning meter panels, not with the smart meter. The device's proponents contend that when utility personnel removes the old meters, occasionally they jar a damaged component of the meter base. It overheats due to its malfunction, which has occasionally resulted in house fires.
The amount of radiation that smart meters emit is another problem. Some allege that the meters lead to migraines, memory loss, nausea, and even cancer. These assertions aren't supported by science, though. The radiation threat from smart meters is even smaller than that from smartphones, which have relatively low radiation levels thanks to the same technology. Smart meters are frequently installed outside, on the side or back of the property, away from where people would normally linger. Therefore, there is even less chance of radiation exposure.
In commercial setups, the downsides are different. Smart meters pose potential cybersecurity threats because they need connected networks to operate. Anyone who understands how to hack the device theoretically has control over it. This is conceivable wherever there is an open public outlet, such as an IoT gadget using the internet, as several hackers have demonstrated in the past. It's considerably more difficult to enter closed signal channels without authorization. This is why it’s important for enterprises to assess their connectivity requirements and choose a secure network.
Deployments of smart meters are time and resource-consuming, high-volume operations. Due to the utilities market's regional fragmentation, developments typically take place within national borders and require certifications. Utility companies and metering service providers are seeking to develop standardized, international devices, nevertheless, to obtain economies of scale. It is hard to produce a single, global device due to the requirement to account for national utility restrictions and communications regulations; however, this allows for the creation of regional versions or variants that can be easily customized for national usage. One of the difficulties in rolling out smart meters is the metering equipment itself. A smart meter must be linked by definition in order to transmit data, hence choosing the right connectivity is of paramount importance to sustain operations.
The cost, security, range, consumption of power, and possible throughput of the connectivity are factors that drive the choice of connectivity providers. To achieve the best result, each of these factors must be carefully balanced against one other. This assessment has the potential to make deployments successful or unsuccessful. In terms of coverage, nearly complete national coverage is required in order to reach meters in challenging areas, like below in basements or plant rooms of big buildings. To accomplish this on a national scale, more than one connectivity option could be needed, necessitating various versions of meters. ConnectedYou offers a wide range of network options to keep you covered.
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We orchestrate the critical components that include - eUICC-enabled SIMs/ eSIMs, global IoT/ M2M connectivity, unified monitoring & management, and remote SIM provisioning capabilities into a single solution as a one-stop-shop. Here’s why our product is the best solution for your enterprise -
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Get in touch with us to understand more about connectivity resolutions for smart meters and we would be happy to help!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1. How to block smart meter radiation?
One of the simplest ways to block smart meter radiation from reaching people is to get them installed in open spaces with limited access to humans. Companies have also started designing shields and tools to provide further protection to interested parties.
Q2. How to read smart meters?
This will vary from one device to another. If you have an A & B button display, then you can press button A in case it’s showing zeroes. Usually, the smart meter readings are standardized and you should be able to see your reading on the display.
Q3. What does a smart meter look like?
They would look similar to your standard gas and electricity meter barring a display screen with buttons that allow you to navigate through several displays.
Authored by - Neha Verma & Parag Mittal @connectedyou