25 Years: A story of evolution – 2001-2005


Part 2 of our walk through the archives as we document the changes and milestones in the evolution of the smart energy sector over the past 25 years.

Part 1: 1996-2000
Part 3: 2006-2010
Part 4: 2011-2015
Part 5: 2016-2021

The story of Smart Energy International’s evolution mirrors that of the dynamic sector we seek to serve. The energy transition has different characteristics in every region, yet the overarching story is the same: how we harness, trade, deploy and use energy is changing radically and rapidly. And it will continue to change. Here’s a recap of some of the milestones from around the world between 2001 and 2005:


Issue 1/2001
  • In California, as Apple releases the first iPod, an electricity crisis prompts calls for re-regulation and a review of the impact on other US markets.
  • In Italy, ENEL pioneers a large-scale rollout of smart meters. The country will deploy some 36.7 million meters between 2001 and 2011.
  • South African state-owned utility Eskom is named Financial Power Company of the Year, providing the cheapest electricity in the world. Darker times are to follow…
  • Wikipedia is launched


Issue 1/2002
  • AMR is becoming an international technology as increased rollouts take place outside North America.
  • Siemens withdraws from the metering business by divesting the renamed Landis+Gyr Group to American financial investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, symptomatic of the many mergers and acquisitions at the time.
  • The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) sign a cooperative agreement to establish global technical standards.
  • Chinese exports of electricity meters jump from 3.3M in 2001to 10.9M.


America Latina Edicion 1/2010
  • Metering International launches a Latin America edition as prepayment starts to be deployed by utilities in Argentina and Brazil.
  • The Northeast blackout, the US’s largest-ever power outage, leaves 50 million people in the US and Canada without electricity for several days, highlighting a growing inadequacy in the resiliency of the transmission grid. It shows the need for real-time or near real-time insight into grid operations.
  • The EU’s Second Energy Package requires functional and legal separation (separate businesses to be held in separate companies); and the Cross-border Regulation. It also demands that by 2007 all European customers should have the ability to choose their supplier.
Issue 3 /2003
  • Sweden passes a law requiring monthly meter reads for all 900,000 consumers by 2009.
  • US-led invasion of Iraq disrupts crude oil supplies.
  • Intel incorporates Wi-Fi in their Centrino chip, opening a floodgate of wireless internet adoption
  • Web services standards are developed making it much easier for different online programs to share data through API


Chinese Edition 2004
  • Chinese edition is launched
  • Google indexes more than 8 billion pages on the web as Facebook is launched.
  • IMS Research reports installed base of electricity meters in EMEA as 398 million meters, with 246 million in the Americas.
  • For the first time, all C&I customers in Europe can choose their energy supplier.
  • Australia launches first smart meter programme.
  • Meter reading functions across the different electricity, gas and water utilities are combined in a single service contract
  • A full colour range of the high-power LEDs is developed. Coloured LEDs reduce power consumption.


  • The IEEE begins work on five standards to create a multi-source, plug-and-play communications environment for meters.
  • US and Australia decide not to adopt the Kyoto Protocol.
  • The US Energy Policy Act 2005 is signed into law, setting out requirements for time-of-use and demand response initiatives and promoting the use of coal through ‘clean coal’ technologies and requiring increasing use of renewable fuels
  • Hurricanes Katrina and Rita cause huge damage to US energy infrastructure.
  • The governments of Thailand and Sri Lanka embark on power sector reforms.