Barak Obama,
US President
 
Boston, MA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 6, 2009 – The North America market for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and smart grid is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.6 percent over the next five years, rising from $1.8 billion in 2008 to over $4.7 billion in 2013, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.  

According to the study automated meter reading (AMR) growth in the U.S. and Canada has been driven by the need to reduce operational cost, including the reduction of labor costs, improve operating cash flow with shorter read-to-pay cycle times, and enhance customer service. Now AMI technology is enabling cost-effective, robust solutions that provide more benefits than remote meter reading. There is growing interest in using advanced metering for demand response, grid automation applications, and other customer benefits. AMI also enables two-way communication between meters and the utility, which is essential for the smart grid.

Deploying the smart grid became the policy of the U.S. with passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The law, Title 13, sets out $100 million in funding per fiscal year from 2008-2012, establishes a matching program to states, utilities, and consumers to build smart grid capabilities, and creates a Grid Modernization Commission to assess the benefits of demand response and to recommend needed protocol standards for the smart grid.
 
The stimulus spending recently enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama includes over $49 billion to transform the nation’s energy system, and over $17 billion of that will be aimed at grid infrastructure upgrades.

“This evolving intelligent power distribution network includes the possibility to reduce power consumption at the client side during peak hours, and the increased efficiency and reliability of the smart grid is expected to save consumers money and reduce CO2 emissions,” commented Steve Clouther, principal author of the report.