September 20, 2011 — Chris King, Chief Regulatory Officer at eMeter, a global smart grid software platform provider, is urging policymakers to adopt a universal smart grid vision for consumers in response to slow deployment of consumer-oriented smart meter functionality.
To meet consumer needs while fulfilling policy goals, global leaders are urged to share an emerging consensus vision of smart grid benefits:
* Huge financial savings via improved load factor and system efficiency.
* Faster and wider adoption of renewable energy and electric vehicles.
* Primary policy tool to achieve policy goals of energy savings, renewable portfolio standards, and emission reductions.
At the consumer level, empowerment via:
* Widespread availability of automated appliances and devices.
Worldwide experience has shown that these benefits are delivered most effectively when regulators establish specific smart meter installation and functionality targets.
"Financial savings due to higher system efficiencies and the wider adoption of renewable energy are possible if government leaders set uncomplicated compelling high-level vision for the smart grid," says King. "Leaders should leverage policies to allow the market to deliver creative solutions in order to fully achieve their smart grid goals and deliver benefits to both consumers and utilities."
The European Union's visionary policy of 80 percent meter installation by 2020 and 100 percent by 2022 is just one prominent example of forward thinking national policy. The United States on the other hand has visionary renewable portfolio standards and smart grid implementation policies on a statewide level but no cohesive national policy for the country to reach its smart grid goals.
Smart grid planning continues to progress in countries such as Brazil and the UK and as more national policies are created, consumers empowered by energy consumption information will make smart energy choices with positive global effects.