Gavin Dietz, “energy insider” and global executive of Landis+Gyr; the world’s largest manufacturer of smart meters, writes:
“…in reality, smart meters have failed hugely to deliver on the perceived promise that accompanied their global promotion and rollout in the early-2000s and since.
Today it’s become common to hear so-called ‘smart meters’ being condemned for actually being ‘dumb’. In the age of the smartphone, they are a clunky reminder of a bygone tech era.
Early notions that smart meters would be used as a key enabler for emissions reductions through energy efficiency and renewable energy have faded. They’ve actually been a bit player, at best, when compared to the transformative success of solar photovoltaics, wind farm technologies, energy efficiency programs, and low-emission products such as LED lighting systems.
In fact, depressingly, they mainly are being used to prolong the old energy order, protecting legacy energy companies and metering manufacturers alike, and keeping business and household electricity consumers at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the power of data.
The consumer-empowering marvel of the internet era has been blocked when it comes to the electricity sector, because, even if consumers officially own their smart meter data — which they do — they can’t control it nor even access it in useful and timely ways.
This isn’t how it was meant to be. At least, it isn’t how the people I worked with in the mid-2000s anticipated the smart meter story unfolding.
As the Australian-based investment group Bayard Capital, we went around the world buying up 14 smart meter manufacturers, rolled them all up into Landis+Gyr, then ultimately sold the lot to Japan’s Toshiba in 2011 for a successful exit valued at $US2.3 billion.
We also promoted smart meter rollouts for Australia, and globally, including seeing tens of millions installed in post-global financial crisis America to help to stimulate the economy; and nearly three million across Victoria – a mandatory rollout that many came to see as an expensive debacle, which killed off any plans for the whole nation to do the same.”