US utility expands smart meter rollout

According to a local publication, the utility approved a budget of $181,125 for the installation of 680 smart electric meters for commercial customers under a smart electric meters programme kick-started in 2015.

The Coldwater Board of Public Utilities launched the smart electric meters programme under efforts to improve revenue collection by accurately billing its customers.

The smart meters are also purposed to help the energy provider to reduce expenses associated with manual meter readings.

CBPU Manager Paul Beckhusen said, “This is a big milestone for us. It will let us change our billing cycle to make it more efficient for us.”

The smart meters programme began with the replacement of existing analogue meters in industrial and commercial premises. The project will be expanded to the utility’s residential consumers.

Global smart electric meters programme deployment

Meanwhile, a new study conducted by Navigant Research reveals that China continues to lead the global smart meters market.

According to the study, utilities in China have installed over 408 million smart meters representing 68.3% of tracked smart meter installations in 2017.

Michael Kelly, a research analyst with Navigant Research, commented: “As expected, progress in China continues as the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) approaches the tail end of its nationwide rollout in 2017.”

In the Asia-Pacific region, the rate of smart meter installation at mass scale is still low.

According to Navigant, the North American smart meter market has seen a handful of new project announcements and some notable project updates, while in Europe, smart electric meter activity remains high as multiple national rollouts continue in varying stages of deployment.”

Although announcements and plans to engage in mass scale rollout of smart meters have been made in Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, the rollout is still limited as these regions still face significant obstacles which further delay rollout.

The deployment of the smart meters in the three regions will be driven by efforts by utilities to reduce and avoid energy theft, reduce labour costs and modernise grid networks.


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