Despite reluctance on the part of consumers in some communities, smart meters are becoming a new fact of life for Americans as we slowly upgrade to a smart electric grid. The installation of the new smart meters are one of the most visible signs that the improved grid is indeed on its way. While about 21 million smart meters will be installed across the country by the end of this year, Pike Research reports that nearly 58 million are slated for installation by 90 utilities around the US over the next few years. "Smart meter installations have grown by leaps and bounds in 2010," says research analyst Jevan Fox in a press release by Pike Research. "But while we estimate that about 21 million smart meters will be installed in the U.S. by the end of this year, utilities have already planned for many more as deployment programs continue to gain momentum over the next few years."
Leaders in supplying smart meters include Landis+Gyr, Itron, Sensus, GE Energy, Elster and Echelon.
Back in August we heard that smart meter numbers would reach 302.5 million worldwide by 2015, according to Berg Insight. The installations in the US will be a significant portion of that number if Pike Research's projections pan out.
As mentioned, some residential consumers aren't too confident about smart meters, and several communities have stated concerns about privacy, the accuracy of pricing, and health issues. Though some communities are balking, the majority of installations are flying, especially in states such as California and Texas where utility companies are pushing hard to get installations completed.
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