Can smart meters be deployed on a large scale basis?
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Smart meters will be most effective if they can be deployed at large scale. As seen in IBM's recent Malta project, smart meters can be deployed for both electricity and water use and thereby significantly impact the use of resources and their cost. However, adoption of smart meters cannot be taken for granted. For the Malta project to succeed, the island's government had to educate consumers about energy consumption and convince them that the smart meter was worthwhile. Without a major policy shift to support smart meters, they will not be deployed on a large scale basis and the energy savings from them will be less important to utilities and generators.
A smart meter is usually an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting.
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