Smart meters are one of the most representative examples of how IoT can make our lives more efficient, safe and sustainable. Recently massive campaigns have been launched around the world to replace old devices in favour of the brand new smart meters. But why are they so important? And above all, how do they work?
Smart meters are capable of obtaining precise data and information on electricity, gas and water consumption. These devices play a key role in monitoring and reducing energy consumption, a fundamental condition for environmental protection.
The readings collected by these devices are essential for strategic planning of energy consumption. Smart meters are indispensable not only for service providers, but also for consumers, who can be more aware of and therefore active in reducing energy consumption.
The smart meters use a pre-established protocol to record in their memory the total amount of energy consumed, and the amounts consumed at different times of the day for each day of the week.
All these readings are then sent to the distribution company by means of a two-way communication system, either via radio frequencies or via the PLC network (transmission of information via the electricity grid). Once the transmission is complete, the distribution company receives the data, processes and verifies it, and then sends it to the sales company.
This system provides important advantages:
Thanks to the communication protocols on which the smart meter's operation is based, it is always remotely reachable by the utility company. This means that it will always be possible to take consumption readings remotely, without having to do so manually, it will be possible to intervene remotely in the event of faults or anomalies to check the source of the problem, and it will be possible to schedule maintenance work remotely.