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Energy Efficiency

Chip Makers Gear Up for Widespread Smart Meter Deployment

EDN reports that chip companies are gearing up to supply the widespread deployment of Smart Meters. Smart Meters provide real-time information on energy use so that homeowners can immediately see the effect of appliances, light bulbs, and computers on their energy usage and, their bills. Itron, Zigbee Alliance, Ember Corporation, and Teridian are some of the players in the smart metering arena that expect to ramp up production.

In the U.S., Smart Metering has been tried as a pilot program in several locations, including Chicago and the state of California. By all accounts, it has been a raving success. Duke Energy Indiana plans to install 800,000 Smart Meters starting this year. According to Energy Design, Strategy and News:

“Some 50 million old meters in the United States are likely to be replaced by advanced meters by 2010 at a cost of about $18 billion, according to a recent analysis by Deutsche Bank. Worldwide, only 6% of electricity, 8% of gas, and 4% of water meters are even automated, according to Texas Instruments Inc, which sells a variety of chips for meters. In fact, in the electric industry alone, 500 million meters worldwide could be replaced over the next 10 years, resulting in semiconductor sales of at least $7.5 billion..” Electronics Design, Strategy, News

Homeowners see the effect of their energy usage immediately. When a computer is turned on, the meter goes from 300 watts to 400 watts. An alarm rings when usage hits 500 watts. Said one homeowner: “I’ve become like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Every time it bleeps I think I’m going to take one of those pans off the stove. I’d do anything to make it stop. It helps you change your habits.” —New York Times


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Written By

Carol Gulyas is a leader in the renewable energy community in Illinois, where she serves as VP of the Board of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. Recently she co-founded EcoAchievers -- a provider of online education for the renewable energy and sustainable living community. She spent 18 years in the direct marketing industry in New York and Chicago, and is currently a teaching librarian at Columbia College Chicago. Carol grew up in a small town in central Indiana, then lived in the Pacific Northwest, Lima, Peru, and New York City. She is inspired by reducing energy consumption through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green building technology.


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