Smart meter

Verizon Wireless at CES: We’re not just a phone company

Touring Verizon’s booth wasn’t quite what I expected, but that’s not a bad thing. Instead of focusing on new consumer devices, the company is using the venue to show off partner products from its Innovations Center, illustrating the benefits of connectivity where you’d least expect.

Building a business case for smart meters

Utility regulators tend to put investments in newer technologies such as smart meters under a microscope. Fortunately policymakers in over 30 states and countries have already found that the benefits of smart meters have exceeded the costs.

What the utility of the future looks like

As the smart grid grows up and reaches its full potential, Adam Lesser, GigaOM Pro green IT analyst, sees five important ways in which how we interact with our utility can be revolutionized and why they matter.

GE’s smart grid services highlight a move to the cloud

Two recent wins for GE signal not just where GE is headed, but also two important trends for 2012. First, the move to “cloud-based” hosted services is under way in earnest. Second, many of the sector’s biggest players are targeting coops and municipals.

Smart meters now make up 13 to 18% of meters in U.S.

You might only read about smart meters when media reports cover people pushing back on them, but smart meters are steadily being installed across the U.S. The penetration rate of smart meters has jumped from 6.5 percent to 13-18 percent, according to a report from FERC.

There will be 600M smart meters by 2016

The Internet of energy is rapidly approaching. According to research firm Berg Insight, there will be 602.7 million smart meters installed throughout the world by 2016. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 26.6 percent between 2010 and 2016.

Solar: Now for renters, too

California regulators have approved a program, called virtual net metering, for residents who until now have been underserved by the state’s popular solar incentive program.

How Federal Legislation Could Change Digital Energy Data

Will utility customers across the U.S. be legally entitled to their own energy usage data? We’ve already seen how California is planning to tackle that tricky subject, and a Senate bill announced last week would bring the same issues to a national stage.

Landis+Gyr at Any Price? Smart Meters’ Second Act

Landis+Gyr is on the auction block, and big smart grid suitors like General Electric, Toshiba and Honeywell ABB are rumored to be interested in paying $2 billlion-plus for the smart meter giant. Strategic buyers could find value by integrating into their own lines of business.

Why The Future of Greentech Needs to Sound Awesome

Greentech feels like it’s hit a slump recently, but as Saul Griffith recently said: the future of the planet needs to sound awesome for kids, while also combined with science-based realism. Here’s 7 reasons why I’ve been worried lately, followed by 7 things to still get excited about.

PG&E Replacing 1,600 Broken Smart Meters

Utility PG&E has hit another snag with its smart meter roll-out. This afternoon, the company announced it will replace 1,600 of its smart meters, which were manufactured by Landis+Gyr, because of a defect that causes the miscalculation of customer energy bills.

Smart Grid 3.0: Getting There from Here

A new report describes the idea of the “Smart Grid 3.0,” which will connect mobile devices and location-based services in real time, and critically, an ecosystem of applications that can run across multiple utility networks.

PG&E’s Smart Meter Opt-Out Plan: What’s Next?

How will PG&E’s plan to turn off smart meter radios for complaining customers — and charge them extra for service — affect its smart meter plans, and others around the country? Here’s 3 things I’m paying attention to:

Coming Soon: PG&E’s Latest Plan to Calm Smart Meter Foes

Smart meter companies take note: the battle over smart meters in California isn’t going away, will likely get more complicated, and could impact tech companies banking on the rollout of a massive amount of smart meters connected to wireless networks.

Tropos Gets to the Point-to-Multipoint for the Smart Grid

Can the municipal Wi-Fi concept make the leap to all-inclusive smart grid communications solution? Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Tropos Networks is trying it out, and unveiled new products and networking architecture Monday morning for everything from super-fast distribution automation gear to millions of smart meters.

Smart Meters Are Not a Health Risk. The End.

According to a recently-released independent report from the California Council on Science and Technology, which compiled a lot of the already available research done on the subject, there are no known health risks associated with living with a smart meter.

Why the Smart Meter Backlash Story Isn’t Going Away

I can see it now: utility execs and smart grid entrepreneurs shaking their collective heads over the recent (and seemingly never ending) spate of media attention on consumers pushing back against smart meters. This story seriously won’t go away. Here’s why.

Bringing Utility Billing to Telecom Speeds

Smart meter systems, like cellphone networks, transmit and crunch a lot of real-time customer data, and customers don’t particularly like it when their bills don’t come out right. But tools that phone companies use to make sure bills are accurate can also help utilities.

The Case for Powerline Communications

Powerline communications — sending data over the same wiring and power lines that carry electricity — could be set to capture increasing market share from wireless in the smart grid space. Here’s why.

Intel, Grid Net Launch Assault on Home Energy

Intel has made no secret of its ambition for a fat slice of the home energy management market, but here’s the chip maker’s official play: a hardware design blueprint based on its Atom chip for any manufacturer that wants to build and sell home energy monitoring devices.

Report: PG&E’s Smart Meters Work, but Outreach Lacking

The official verdict is out — Pacific Gas & Electric’s smart meter technology has been working properly, but its customer service hasn’t. That’s the conclusion of a state-ordered report released Thursday from independent analysts at the Structure Group.

Baltimore's Smart Meter Project Is Back On Track

After weeks of testimony, Baltimore Gas & Electric has gotten itself back into the good graces of Maryland state regulators. The utility announced Monday that the Maryland PUC approved the redrawn project on Friday, meaning BG&E won’t have to return a $200 million DOE stimulus grant.

REVIEW: Microsoft Hohm's First Gadget

The first wireless and web-connected gadget for Microsoft-Hohm is now available in the form of an electric meter sensor, a wireless LCD monitor and a Wi-Fi adapter. With this combo, I’m able to track my electric usage, determine my home’s carbon footprint and get green recommendations.

The After School Special of the Smart Grid: Education

The mantra about what utilities need to do for their smart meter deployments is like an after school special: customer education. Another report out this morning from Boston Consulting Group, finds that smart meter deployments are being held back by utilities not properly educating customers.

Making Smart Meters the Must-Have Gadget of the Year

According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, 68 percent of Americans haven’t even heard of the smart grid. And without a sense of how the smart grid and an ecosystem of devices, apps and services help consumers save money on electricity, the whole concept remains an abstraction. The challenge therefore is not merely to prepare consumers for the smart grid’s arrival, but to make the wait unbearable.


New Opportunities in the Smart Grid

A lot of the interest in the smart grid industry tends to swirl around consumers and home energy management. It can be fun to picture consumers one day buying gadgets at big box retailers that will let them micromanage their home heating, cooling and lighting, and it’s an especially attractive venture option for investors and entrepreneurs who cut their teeth on Internet and telecom startups. But utility execs say they are looking very hard at other types of software platforms, tools and applications that can help their networks automatically manage grid functions much deeper in the power grid, with distributed computing and with as little manual and human interaction as possible. That presents a largely untapped opportunity for startups and incumbent players alike.

App Review: Tap Tap Revenge 2 — New Tunes and Achey Fingers

[appreview] title=Tap Tap Revenge 2 image= price=FREE url= rating=gold [/appreview] Taking the iPhone’s potential even further, Tapulous is here to show us…

OLPC Has A Network Problem

I have been fairly skeptical of the One Laptop Per Child project, not because it’s not a worthy cause, but because it…