Sense & Guidehouse Insights Release New Report

Report Delivers Insights on Current State of Next-Gen Smart Meter Market, Future Growth Prospects

65 million US Smart Meters Set for Replacement in Next Five Years

Today, Sense announced the release of a new whitepaper produced by Guidehouse Insights that explores the emerging market for next-generation smart meters and how advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will drive a transformation in home energy use and grid intelligence. The whitepaper provides insight into the history of smart metering, the evolution of next-generation smart meters into edge-based computing devices, and how next-generation smart meters can enhance utilities’ energy efficiency and demand response programs. A copy of the report can be found here.

The report forecasts that global markets will experience a surge in smart meter upgrade and replacement projects throughout the next decade, and provides an in-depth look into how meter lifetimes vary across various utilities in North America and Western Europe.

“In the US alone, an estimated 65 million smart meters will need to be replaced by the end of 2027. This dovetails with ambitious energy efficiency and electrification goals codified by the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Michael Kelly, Senior Research Analyst & Managing Consultant at Guidehouse. “Now is the time for utility decision-makers to make smart meter decisions that will have a real impact on their programs for addressing climate change.”

“As utilities across the country evaluate next-generation smart meter capabilities, it is imperative they understand the potential of advanced inside-the-meter intelligence and how it can support energy efficiency and demand response priorities,” said Mike Phillips, CEO of Sense. “Sophisticated next-generation smart meters enabled with technology like Sense have the potential to transform the utility-consumer paradigm by providing new capabilities around device recognition, proactive notifications, and a real-time experience, all of which will enable everyday consumers to have more insight and control into their home energy use.”

Key Findings:

  • Three key capabilities are required to transform smart meters into powerful grid-edge computing devices: (1) high resolution waveform data capable of enabling real-time device identification, (2) edge computing in the meter itself and (3) low latency networking via WiFi or cellular to support real-time consumer experiences
  • Nearly all smart meters installed across the globe still classify as first-generation devices and lack the technical requirements (sufficient computation, memory, programmability) and data capture capabilities (high resolution waveform data) to qualify as second-generation or next-generation devices.
    • The share of second-generation smart meters in the U.S. is expected to grow from approximately 4% in 2021 to more than 25% by 2030.
    • The average lifespan of smart meters in North America varies by utility, but most are expected to last around 10-13 years.
  • The transition to inside-the-meter analytics is similar to the transformation that occurred with the proliferation of smartphone devices. The telecom sector saw a radical and rapid transition from consumers using phones primarily for voice calls to using smartphones as computation and application platforms.
    • Sense CEO Mike Phillips recently emphasized this key point in an op-ed in Cipher News.
  • The value proposition behind smart meter deployments has yet to be fully realized. Immediate benefits around workforce optimization, billing accuracy, and outage detection represent the tip of the iceberg in potential value creation.
    • This paradigm shift in edge computing is expected to deliver enhanced benefits to utilities and their customers while also supporting larger climate and decarbonization goals.
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