The smart meter market increased 250 percent during the past two years and is set to triple during the next decade, according to ON World, a research and information services company. Relentless energy demand and intensifying challenges associated with building new power plants make customer participation a top priority for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) projects.

With 400 million smart meters planned worldwide, integration with a customer’s home area network (HAN) has become a major developer and startup opportunity. ON World recently conducted phone interviews with 109 utilities and found that two-thirds are planning in-home energy management solutions. Within the next five years, 78 percent of electric meters shipped in North America will have a HAN gateway.
“Smart metering projects and their needed solutions are driving new innovations for energy management and the smart home,” said Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “Smart Grid initiatives are paving the way for the ‘Internet of Things’ through open standards, cloud services, and Internet protocol (IP) addressability at every endpoint.”

According to ON World’s research findings, 13 million electric AMI meters were shipped last year in North America. By 2014, Europe will surpass North America, and Asia will be the fastest growing AMI market. Twenty-four percent of the surveyed utilities indicated that they are likely to use a public network for AMI within the next five years. Most in-progress smart grid standards use an IP stack such as ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, IEEE 802.15.4g, and IEEE 1901.2. By 2020, 150 million electric AMI meters are planned to have a HAN gateway.

ON World’s full report, which includes survey results, global market-size forecasts, and an evaluation of current AMI trends, is available at www.onworld.com.