Smart living is one of the buzz phrases of our times. But what exactly is a smart home? You might imagine it’s a futuristic, space age home with robot servants, a kitchen that chops up onions and potatoes and does the cooking for you, and a fridge that messages you at work and tells you when you need to stock up on eggs and beer.
Weirdly enough, some of those things are already on the market (at an eye-watering price in most cases). But the most important single device on the journey to smart living is more mundane and less eye-catching than you’d imagine. It’s a simple smart meter.
Smart meters are quietly transforming homes around the world without making them look any different. Their global penetration rate is predicted to rise from just over 40% in 2019 to almost 60% by 2028, according to a US study, and in Hong Kong, they are gradually becoming ubiquitous. Almost invisible but ubiquitous all the same.
CLP began rolling out smart meters in 2018 with the aim of installing the devices for all of its 2.65 million customers by 2025. By the end of last September, more than 670,000 smart meters were in operation, setting off a smart living revolution in homes around the city.
The advantages of smart meters are not immediately obvious but they are immense. While traditional electricity meters simply give a reading of the user’s energy consumption data, smart meters give insights on customers’ usage on a much more granular level, opening the door to a realm of new possibilities in energy-saving and the application of digital technology.
They not only capture electricity use in fine detail but can also track voltage and detect outages, benefitting customers, power companies, and society at large. They allow individuals and businesses to manage their power consumption effectively, contributing to a greener environment, and allow power companies to improve their products and services as well as provide a more reliable power supply. That’s precisely why they’re so smart.