When smart meters began emerging, many customers viewed them as costly automated meter-readers that made life easier only for the utility companies, possessed no real benefit and compelled little customer interaction. Beneficial or not, in a GTM webinar, eMeter estimated the installation of 150 million smart meters globally to replace the out-dated mechanical meters- it was called Smart Grid 1.0. If 1.0 was the push for distribution of smart meters to the public, then Smart Grid 2.0 is doing something with the data those meters produced.
New data analytics technologies and consumer-centric options from the utilities will be the driving force of Smart Grid 2.0. Now the question is can the utilities live up to their promise- can they make smart meters smart?
Along with increased rates for implementing the smart meters, utilities promised that smart meters would offer consumers benefits beyond simple meter-reading like outage detection, remote connect-disconnect, power quality sensing, home area network connectivity and demand response. Not only do the utility companies need to make sure they can deliver on their word, they need to make sure what they are delivering is accurate.
If those feats can be met, utilities will really begin to utilize the valuable data the smart meters are producing. Some customers are already beginning to see dynamic time-of use pricing options that rewards them for shifting their energy usage during peak hours or prepayment options as a result. However, the key to successful adoption of dynamic pricing is good communication on the part of the utility- good means of notification, and flexibility on the consumers part- adapt to the regulatory changes.
With a network of communication in place, smart meters data analytics have made way for the meter data management sector to create hardware and software to monitor, control, and manage the creation, distribution, storage, and consumption of energy. The launch of the Green Button initiative has made it easy for consumers to access and share their usage information with third party MDM to allow for more intelligent energy choices- Is solar power right for you? What rate plan options are available to you? With the acquisition of eMeter by Siemens and Ecologic Analytics by Landis+Gyr earlier this year and big box players like Verizon and Lowe’s throwing their hats in the ring, it would be safe to say MDM is the next big wave for Smart Grid.
And that’s where Genability fits in. Genability enables those companies to help their users take advantage of all the beneficial decisions that could be made using real-time usage data. Electricity pricing is driven by usage in real time and with Smart Grid 2.0 and tools such as the Lowe’s home energy management software, Iris, Genability is helping companies and their users make intelligent, money saving decisions, and in turn bringing elasticity to the grid.