Smart meters play a role in electricity deregulation

The smart grid has been envisioned as a solution for many problems in the energy industry, but the new development could actually prove crucially important for the development of competition in deregulated markets, according to Intelligent Utility. 

Electricity deregulation, separating the generation, transmission and supply of electricity, was designed to rationalize the electricity market, bringing prices more in line with costs of generation and allowing for competition. 

However, competition has been limited substantially by the inability to offer distinctive products. Now, however, the introduction of smart meters in states like Texas and Pennsylvania have allowed for a growing number of pricing options such as charging for electricity based upon the time of day and demand at the time. 

Some companies have even begun to use the information to develop applications that can be accessed online or through smartphones and tablets, offering greater control than ever over electricity usage. 

Public sentiment has not been purely positive, as many fear residents could see higher rates to pay for the implementation of these smart grid systems.

Detailed assessments of the global smart meter market can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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