Good News: 8.3 Million US Homes Now Have Smart Meters

8.3 million smart meters us photo

Photo via Chron

That's over 6 percent of Americans who are now using smart meters to monitor their homes' energy efficiency--up significantly from around 4.7 percent last year. And the good news is, that number is expected to skyrocket in 2010--and quadruple by 2011.A recent study from the research firm Park Associates, as detailed in Greentech Media, reveals the promising numbers and projections. While 8.3 million certainly seems like an encouraging number, the report sees an exponential increase as market competition heats up and utility companies get more actively involved:

the real growth is set to come in the next few years, as large-scale smart meter deployments by the country's biggest utilities - as well as smaller scale installations by hundreds of smaller cooperative, municipal and public utilities – continue, according to Bill Ablondi, Parks Associates' director of home systems research.

Smart meter penetration is expected to grow to 13.6 million by next year and more than 33 million by 2011, he said.

So could 10% of all Americans have smart meters in their homes, enabling them to cut down on electricity usage and power bills? It certainly seems possible, even probable--heavyweight companies like Google, Cisco, and Microsoft have begun developing both online smart meter programs and hardware (guess which company's got a head start on the online software?).

But there's also a slew of start ups who are making their bids in the smart meter market--dozens of them, according to Greentech. The surging market is good news on every front--it means jobs, less wasted electricity, and less carbon emissions are on the way. But is 33 million smart meters a tad optimistic? Not if you ask Southern California Edison--it's already begun installing 5.3 million of them itself.

More on Smart Meters:
Texas Utility Spends $690 on Smart Meters
Smart Meters Hitting Everywhere - Even Idaho

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