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Almost 1 in 3 US households have smart meters

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The number of households in the United States that have smart meters installed has increased from 1 in 4 in 2011 to almost 1 in 3 as of this month, according to a new report from the Institute for Electric Efficiency (IEE).

By 2015, IEE projects that more than half the households will have the smart meters fitted.

The report Utility Scale Smart Meter Deployments, Plans, & Proposals, finds that as of May 2012, 36 million smart meters had been installed in the U.S. This number is expected to increase to 65 million smart meters by 2015, amounting to an installation rate of approximately 675,000 smart meters per month.

“Our results show that electric utilities are committed to upgrading their customers’ meters as part of the industry’s overall goal to modernize the nation’s electric grid,” commented Lisa Wood, executive director of the IEE.

By the end of this year, 22 utilities in 16 states will have smart meters fully deployed to their entire customer base, representing 29 million customers.

The basis of the study is from information gathered from AMI business plans, responses to survey questions and public information. The report shows that utility companies are using the information to advise customers on conserving energy, set spending and usage goals and receive alerts when the usage is too high. Benefits include customer access to energy usage information, customized tips on energy management, enhanced outage restoration, and others.

One of the initiatives is the Green Button which is a voluntary industry effort to create a standard format for energy consumption data gathered by both smart meters and AMR meters.

As of this month, just under 10 million customers have access to their energy consumption data in the Green Button format, and 21 utilities and electricity suppliers in almost half the states of the country have committed to bringing the Green Button to 30 million customers.

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