1. Problem: Outdated Metering Infrastructure
The electricity sector is approximately 25% of U.S. annual greenhouse gas emissions. Outdated energy infrastructure generates damaging environmental impacts with higher energy costs. Residential and commercial customers lack visibility of their energy consumption. Antiquated systems provide inaccurate meter readings that impact billing and generate operational and energy inefficiencies. As electric vehicle adoption increases alongside distributed energy generation sources, new measurement infrastructure is needed to prevent the grid from being overloaded. Utilities play a critical role in decarbonization yet face many challenges.
2. Solution: Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) enables utilities to gain visibility of energy usage to make more informed decisions and meet customer demand. AMI enables utilities to predict outage risk and respond faster. AMI also provides customers more control over electricity consumption with new tools and techniques. Features include:
— Near real-time smart grid predictive management of energy supply and demand.
— Edge computing over 5G networks to provide scalable IoT cloud integration.
— Advanced streaming analytics with AI that collects and reacts to energy data.
— Energy insights surfaced on a dashboard to inform data-driven decisions.
— Platform to trade electricity among customers and provide energy services.
Smart meters are electronic devices that measure energy use with data captured in 15-minute intervals. This data is securely sent to portals that can be accessed by customers and utilities. As smart meters are widely adopted, utilities can provide customers energy at the lowest cost and lowest environmental impact. ConEdison is installing 5 million smart meters over the next year.
Key constituents in the AMI and smart meter ecosystem include:
— Utilities: ConEdison in New York, PG&E in California, and Oncor in Texas are examples of utility companies that provide AMI solutions and smart meters to customers.
— Technology Providers: Companies such as IBM provide AMI cloud services and Siemens develop smart meters used by utility companies.
— Commercial and Complex Billing Customers: These customers gain insights on cost and usage trends. This includes tracking consumption to uncover energy efficiency opportunities.
— Residential Customers: These customers track near real-time energy usage with comparison to similar homes and saving tips.
— Electric Vehicle Charging Companies: Charging stations integrate AMI and smart meters to collect and share energy consumption data with utilities.
— Policymakers: Federal and State politicians impact the financing of energy budgets and the rollout of programs that promote AMI and smart meters.
Once a residential, commercial, or complex billing customer decides to get a smart meter, the following steps are taken:
1. The customer contacts the utility company to request smart meter installation availability.
2. Once eligibility is confirmed, an approved vendor completes the installation on location.
3. Approximately 2 weeks after installation, customers access tools on their account dashboard.
4. Near real-time usage, comparison, and analysis data surface energy efficiency opportunities.
— Enable an advanced metering infrastructure. IBM: https://www.ibm.com/industries/energy/solutions/smart-metering
— Smart Meter Features and Benefits. ConEdison: https://www.coned.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters/how-will-a-smart-meter-help-me
— Sources of Greenhouse Gases. EPA: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions