Powering Secure, Scalable Smart Meter Deployments: A guide for Utility Companies

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming how energy and water are provisioned around the world. Smart devices, connectivity, and infrastructures are accelerating that transformation, creating new opportunities for utility companies.

Smart Meters: Gauging the Potential

According to ABI Research’s Q42018 “Utilities and Smart Grids” report, the smart meter market is expected to generate $14 billion in revenues by 2026.

We see smart meters as the most tangible elements of a profound transformation taking place in energy generation, delivery, and consumption. Smart meters, smart grids, and smart energy infrastructures can make energy delivery and consumption far more efficient, reducing costs for providers and consumers. They can also provide unprecedented levels of information about energy usage patterns, to providers and users alike.

Smart Meter Deployments Face Multiple Challenges

The benefits of reduced costs, greater efficiencies, and more usage information are tempered by the need to provision, deploy and manage millions of new devices. This includes:

• Diverse devices and complex platform management- the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), smart meter regulations and the networks that support them are complex enough. And that’s before they even begin to leverage all the insights their devices create. Each element will have its own level of maturity and interoperability, which often means dealing with numerous platforms, feeds, and systems.

• Complexity in connectivity management– multiple devices, data feeds and services often require the management of multiple connectivity services, sometimes from different providers. This is complicated further when rising cost and business requirements mandate a change in provider.

• Cost and financial management– customer billing must be 100% accurate if customers are to trust the utilities that serve them. Cost management and transparency are often mandated for utilities by government regulation. This means the effective collection, rationalization, and management of cost and financial data is essential.

• Security management– the robustness and manageability of security features vary widely across the available device, platform, and connectivity options. Robust, consistent security is essential to avoid breaches that can cause high profile widespread power outages, and place consumer privacy, utility revenues, and reputations at risk.

Utility companies pursuing transformation need IoT solutions that are easy to deploy and manage, and create a secure ecosystem, from the microchip inside the meter to the data generated. Such solutions enable utility companies to focus on their strengths, get more smart meters deployed effectively, and manage them with ease once in the field.

Delivering Faster, Better, More Secure Smart Meter Deployments

Korea’s sole energy provider, Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO) is embarking on a digital IoT transformation that involves complementing their infrastructure with 30 million AMI compliant smart meters and deploy an additional billion IoT nodes across their vast grid.

KEPCO partnered with Arm to help overcome concerns over:

• Device security
• Lifecycle management of deployments at a vast scale
• Wireless connectivity
• Real-time billing data collection

It’s estimated that by 2035 there will be a trillion connected devices delivering orders of magnitude more data than we see today. And the partnership between Arm and KEPCO is another example of how we can help contribute to that forecast with 30 million smart meters sooner. Read our full case study to see how we're facilitating this utility provider's digital transformation at scale.

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