Smart Meter Installs ‘Gain Momentum’

Getting smart meters into homes and businesses has hardly been a breeze — in California, the big utility PG&E has had more than its share of missteps.   But the latest tracking report from Pike Research paints an optimistic picture, saying this has been a great year for the potentially energy- and money-saving devices, and that utilities are ready to boost installations to 57.9 million within a few years.

“Smart meter installations have grown by leaps and bounds in 2010,” analyst Jevan Fox said in a press release. Fox said Pike’s research showed around 21 million smart meters will be installed in the United States by the end of the year, and he that deployment programs will “continue to gain momentum over the next few years.”

smart meter, PG&E

image via PG&E

Pike said the Swiss manufacturer Landis+Gyr passed Itron as the leader the smart-meter market, with a 26 percent share as of the end of the third quarter. Itron’s share stands at 24 percent, followed by Sensus (21 percent), GE Energy (20 percent), Elster (5 percent) and Echelon (3 percent).

Landis+Gyr (16 percent) and Itron (22 percent) both have solid slices of the market for the communications modules required to support advanced metering infrastructure, but they’re outpaced by leader Silver Spring Networks, with 29 percent of utility vendor selections. Sensus is in the mix, too, with a 17 percent share, Pike reported.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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