KEY POINTS

  • Because of large-scale implementation plans at the local and national level, smart meters have become one of the leading IoT devices and will account for 10% of IoT device shipments this year. These devices are attached to homes and buildings and route information on energy use back to a central hub — or smart grid — so the data can be analyzed and acted upon. 
  • Globally, we expect the number of smart meters to grow from an installed base of 454 million in 2015 to 930 million by 2020. This works out to a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15%. 
  • The cost of installing one smart meter is estimated to be about $200, based on labor costs and hardware. Over the next five years, we expect $107 billion to be spent on the installation of smart meters.
  • In addition to other benefits, like improved customer service, the devices save about $300 over the 15-year product lifecycle. We expect a net revenue savings of $52 billion from smart meters installed between 2015 and 2020. That savings will be fully realized in 2035, when the last meters installed in 2020 are phased out.
  • At the regional level, we see Asia as the leading adopter of smart meters, largely because of China's aggressive installation plans. Asia will be followed by Europe, North America, South America, and finally Africa.
  • Three security risks are associated with smart meters: physical risks, electrical risks, and software risks. The most notable risk involves a hacker trying to steal consumer information by accessing the smart meter's software or network.

bii Estimated Number of Smart Meters InstalledBI Intelligence

Defining smart meters and smart energy grids

Over the past five to six years, many local and national government officials and utility company executives throughout the world have announced plans for major installations of smart meters. Depending on who is spearheading the initiative, an official might set a target for a certain number of smart meters installed in a local municipality or across an entire nation over [...]