Smart Meters for Smart Cities

By Rick Rys

ARC Report Abstract

Highly networked, “smart cities” can use a variety of smart metering approaches for their various utilities to improve efficiency and service levels, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) technology in a secure fashion to manage a city's assets. In addition to cities, the concept applies to small towns, business entities, buildings, or anywhere an entity or group might improve the efficiency of services by better communications and coordination. In all cases, smart metering plays a critical role.

The recent hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida caused extensive damage to the infrastructure of both states. The high winds damaged electric power and cell towers and excessive rain and storm surge closed many roads and contaminated drinking water. Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was even more destructive.

In 2013, Florida Power and Light installed a highly advanced smart energy grid at a cost of almost $3 billion. This new grid was credited with fast power recovery following hurricanes Matthew and Hermine in 2016 and helped the state recover from the more extensive Irma damages. A map on the FPL web site provided live updates that showed progress on the restoration of electrical service. FPL can reach out to each smart meter to more accurately identify where work needs to be performed and assess the overall state of power across its service area.

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Keywords: Smart Cities, Smart Meters, IoT, Energy Management, Asset Management, Cybersecurity, ARC Advisory Group.


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