Because commercial and industrial (C&I) customers are the largest users of electric power in a utility’s service territory, utilities have a strong incentive to meter them as accurately as possible. The market for smart C&I electrical meters continues to expand as utilities seek to lower operating costs and provide granular consumption data to C&I customers.
“Smart meters provide a number of benefits for both utilities and their C&I customers,” says Neil Strother, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Deploying smart C&I meters and the related infrastructure eliminates or greatly reduces the need for manual or walk-by/drive-by meter readings, and provides more precise measurement of consumption as it relates to billing. At the same time, smart meters can help savvy C&I customers drive down operational costs, especially when linked with building energy management systems.”
In many countries, regulators have set ambitious targets for reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency. This is particularly true in Europe, where European Union regulators have set goals of a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20 percent increase in energy produced from renewable resources, and a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020.
Smart meter deployments in North America are well underway, and China is in the midst of a massive deployment of advanced meters, many of which will be installed at C&I facilities. Penetration rates of smart meters in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific will rise to about 70 percent by the end of this decade, according to the report.