Here is their chart showing projected growth:
The benefits to the utilities are listed: Utilities also are drawn by the prospects of reducing labor hours by remotely addressing service orders such as power connect and disconnect, outage detection and other power delivery issues.
And the article describes how smart meters are just a piece of the whole puzzle - which most everyday people have no idea is gradually being put in place.
Smart meters are not the end goal, but they are important. The goal for most utilities is to tackle inevitable external changes that if unaddressed will compromise grid reliability and availability. Noticeable external changes include the anticipation of electric vehicles, federal and state pressure to accommodate renewable power, and the growing gap between power supply and demand.
Smart meters are just a piece. Real-time visibility and data collection will set the platform for engaging customers in time-of-use and dynamic pricing programs. Eventually the transition to an AMI that integrates meter data management and potentially distribution automation will provide a more complete picture. Recognizing this development, meter vendors are positioning themselves more as holistic solution providers that include consulting services to integrate meters with home area networks, demand response offerings, distribution and substation automation and utility back-office applications. Offerings most likely will include meter data management systems and customer-oriented appliances, and they will support on-network and communication infrastructure.For anyone who cannot tolerate wireless emissions, or who values their privacy, the Master Grid envisioned is a nightmare. Remember, smart meters are the first piece, a good place to resist before the grid is ingrained.
And look out because smart meters are definately on the move:
...smart meter deployments are underway and utilities are moving to the next strategy for implementing consumer service and demand response programs for residential customers. This will allow utilities to demonstrate what smart meter investments are worth.
Frost & Sullivan identifies 2012 and 2013 as critical years for expanding demand response programs because major regions including California and Texas will be close to completing smart meter deployments. The three largest California utilities—San Diego Gas & Electric Co., PG&E, and Southern California Edison—together have installed more than 11 million smart meters and expect to complete installation of a total of 24 million by the end of 2012. Similarly, the three largest Texas utilities—Oncor, American Electric Power.