Utilities limiting potential of smart meters
In the next five years, more than 100 million smart meters will be deployed with integrated home area network (HAN) gateways to enable communication between the smart meter and devices within a home energy management system (HEMS), according to IMS Research.
In the U.S., integrated HAN gateways are common, although not within the utility industry where many are not activated. Most smart meters are deployed with a fixed RF mesh solution for the backhaul network and ZigBee.
"Here, there's been a penetration rate of more than 90 percent of households for a number of years. However, the main focus at this stage was not on developing HAN solutions, and the smart meters were deployed without integrated HAN gateways," Lisa Arrowsmith, senior analyst with IMS Research, said.
"As a result, the Energy@Home Initiative is working to develop a common system which can 'retrofit' these smart meters with HAN gateways, most likely via a powerline-ZigBee gateway, to give home energy management systems access to consumption data and other information available via the AMI network. This is an example of a very commercially-driven approach to deploying HAN solutions and home energy devices."