Published on July 23rd, 2008 | by Carol Gulyas6
Chip Makers Gear Up for Widespread Smart Meter Deployment
July 23rd, 2008 by Carol Gulyas
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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