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Published on Feb 9, 2010
While developments in Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) and Demand Side Management (DSM) have been taken place over many decades. This started with the utilities to modernise the meter network which would amongst other things, allow them to capture electricity usage in 30-minute intervals. This enables differential pricing by time-of-day and enables utilities to discourage certain types of non-time-critical use during periods of high demand. Reducing peaks has a major impact on electricity generation costs alleviating the need for new power plants and cutting down on damaging greenhouse emissions. Based on the latest environmental challenges, the focus needs to be shifted to smart grids, and smart meters should only be considered in the broader context of the modernisation of electricity networks through the introduction of sensing, communications and information technology into the grid. If that isn't done these smart meters might, in the end, prove to be not so smart. www.budde.com.au