Evaluating smart meters and public backlash.
Mike Rutkowski leads the pusiness planning and performance improvement group in Navigant Consulting’s energy practice, and Todd Lester is a director in Navigant’s disputes and investigations practice. This article is based in part on Navigant Consulting’s Evaluation of Advanced Metering System (AMS) Deployment in Texas report. Standing alone, this article doesn’t provide a full understanding of the facts and analysis underlying Navigant Consulting’s observations and conclusions from that report, and shouldn’t be relied upon for such.
The envisioned smart grid includes the digital automation of the power supply system to improve the security, quality, reliability, efficiency, and safety of electric power, as well as to make the system more environmentally friendly. Advanced (i.e., smart) meters and the associated smart metering systems are an integral part of the smart grid. According to the Edison Foundation, 38 states are pursuing deployment of smart meters and almost 60 million smart meters are expected to be installed in the next 10 years—approximately 47 percent of U.S. households. The worldwide installed base of smart meters is expected to reach 302.5 million by 2015.1
The shift to smart meters and smart metering systems in Texas has been widely supported by both electric utilities and the legislative and regulatory bodies in the state of Texas. Much of that support derives from the significant perceived benefits to the utilities and their customers that are expected from the deployment of smart meters and metering systems, and the overall development of the smart grid.