Education Is Key to AMI, Telemetry Success

Despite a slow uptake, around 75% of utilities in North America prefer AMI and telemetry solutions

Denise Culver, Online Research Director

December 13, 2011

2 Min Read
Education Is Key to AMI, Telemetry Success

According to a recent survey, smart grid technology is becoming more popular with consumers for several reasons, including: lower utility bills, less energy waste, more reliable service and better control of home energy usage.

These findings should not surprise vendors and suppliers in the advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) and telemetry industries. For years, these technology providers have struggled to educate consumers -- as well as the utilities that service them -- about the benefits of smart technology.

But much of that effort has taken place parallel to a sagging economy and depressed consumer confidence. In other words, while consumers may understand, support and desire to have AMI and telemetry options from utility providers, they absolutely do not want to pay for such services from their own pockets.

That mindset is bolstered by politicians like Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who in September 2011 did away with legislation that would have paid for the widespread installation of smart meters and other smart grid improvements. Quinn, who cited excessive financial burden on consumers without the guarantee of improved service, said he would not "support a bill that contains sweetheart deals for big utilities, which could leave struggling consumers to pick up the tab for costs, such as lobbying fees and executive bonuses."

This ongoing struggle is discussed in more detail in the latest Heavy Reading Insider, "Utilities Get Smart About Benefits of Telemetry, AMI." This report examines utilities and how they are expected to incorporate telemetry and AMI over the next two years. It examines the benefits of telemetry and AMI, as well as how different utility verticals likely will implement the technology. It also examines drivers in the market, including areas with the most growth potential for the next 24 months. It includes a comparative analysis of solutions available in the market and details the geographic implications of the technology.

Despite setbacks like that in Illinois, the reality is that AMI and telemetry in the utility market are proven technologies that result in several benefits for consumers. And the overwhelming majority of consumers that have tried smart technologies – whether at their own cost or through trials undertaken by electric, gas and water utilities – approve of the change once it is implemented.

What this means for utilities is that successful telemetry and AMI implementations will occur only as they continue to focus a great deal of attention on education – at the consumer, regulator and policymaker levels.

— Denise Culver, Research Analyst, Heavy Reading Insider

The report, Utilities Get Smart About Benefits of Telemetry, AMI, a 22-page report, is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Heavy Reading Insider, priced at $1,595. This report is available for $900. To subscribe, please visit:

About the Author(s)

Denise Culver

Online Research Director

Denise manages Heavy Reading's Thought Leadership Council, which uses a focus group approach to glean insights from CSPs on topics ranging from automation, IoT, 5G, B/OSS transformation, SD-WAN and emerging technologies. Additionally, Denise covers the test and measurement industry as an analyst, focusing on how T&M vendors are addressing telco transformation, as well as the impact that technologies such as IoT are having on service provider networks. Denise also continues to oversee development of Light Reading's Pedia projects, including Virtuapedia and Testapedia. Previously, she was a Contributing Analyst with Heavy Reading for seven years, covering a wide range of areas, including mobile, IP transformation and T&M. Her career in technology journalism began in 1996, and she is a past winner of the American Business Media Association's Jesse Neal Award for editorial achievement. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University.

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