Tantalus has announced, with Zpryme, a smart grid survey of 81 U.S. municipal utilities. The executive survey found that cost poses the most significant challenge for smart grid initiatives. Despite challenges with cost, many municipal utilities are embracing smart grid technologies, particularly AMI meters and data analytics.
“Now more than ever, public power utilities are increasingly focused on quantifying the benefits of leveraging access to real-time data to power smart grid applications,” remarked Tammy Zucco, Chief Marketing Office for Tantalus. “It is clear that the long-term benefits of smart grid extend beyond basic metering to all utility stakeholders.”
- Nearly all municipal utilities have some sort of smart grid effort. Many are at the planning and investigation phase (30%), while others are taking it to the next level. Up from 14% last year, 22% are taking on large-scale deployments.
- More than 50% of municipal utilities see a positive impact from smart grid programs. Those seeing no noticeable effect is largely due to programs just getting started, the negative effects are often due to consumer backlash.
- The most significant challenge for a smarter grid is budget limitations (42%), followed by concerns around technology maturity and availability (15%).
- Despite challenges, there is smart grid spending at municipal utilities. In the next 12 months many companies are spending up to $1M on smart grid technologies; the next 36 months will bring some spending closer to $5M or more.