S. Iswaran, the Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore, recently announced plans to expand the use of smart meters for electricity, gas and water supply. A joint project of the energy board, national water agency and Singapore Power, this smart meter trial will examine how consumer use of smart meters will aid in controlling consumption and how they can aid in greater efficiencies and cost reduction for the utility providers.
These goals will be accomplished in two ways:
Smart meters can be read remotely, rather than sending out workers to read each individual meter; and, a mobile application will provide consumers with real-time information on their electricity, water and gas consumption.
A smart meter uses a secure national communication network to automatically and wirelessly send actual, accurate energy usage reports to the utility supplier. Many come with an in-home display for monitoring usage. Electricity pricing usually peaks at certain predictable times of the day. It is hoped that these self-monitoring systems will encourage consumers to adjust their consumption habits accordingly. Smart meters can also be used for power outage notification and power quality monitoring.
“This would allow consumers to make informed decisions on their consumption and conservation of utilities,” said Mr. Iswaran. “The results of the test-bed will help us assess whether and how we can deploy advanced metering solutions nation-wide, in tandem with our plans to have full retail competition in the electricity market by 2018.”