Economy, Sci & Tech

Smart Meter Apps Visibly Slow to Arrive

Smart Meter Apps Visibly Slow to ArriveSmart Meter Apps Visibly Slow to Arrive

Local utilities are pushing ahead with plans to overhaul the ageing residential and commercial electric metering infrastructure. One key feature of economic growth is smart utility meters and the ecosystem that surrounds this advanced technology.

A smart meter is a new kind of gas and electricity meter that digitally sends meter readings to energy suppliers. It ensures more accurate energy bills. Smart meters also come with monitors, so users can better understand their energy usage.

With the end sanctions by the European Union and deals signed with Italy’s Centro Elettrotecnico Sperimentale Italiano (CESI) in October 2016 to install smart meters across several regions, a new arena for smart meter applications is becoming a potential area of growth for the application market.

However, so far, state-owned companies and private local technology firms have not yet found a way to push app usage with smart meters en masse.

The first phases of smart meter pilot demonstration projects in the country are now well underway, according to reports over the past year by Financial Tribune.

Even if the program’s ambitious goals are not met, it will still create one of the largest smart meter markets in the region.

Apart from the national smart metering program, several other drivers are contributing to the expansion of Iran’s smart meter market.

The Islamic Republic is emerging from exclusion from international markets and will be the recipient of increased foreign investment over the coming years that would also give some vigor to economic growth.

Subsidies for electricity are being gradually phased out as a result of the so-called subsidy reform policies. However, transmission and distribution losses are high along with electricity theft and tampering  --   a strong motive for the national smart metering program, Business Monitor writes.

 Local Smart Meter Tech

In markets in several countries state utility firms and private enterprises have pushed ahead with plans to develop the new app sub-sector, but Iran is just at the beginning of this journey.

The first company to move into the smart monitoring industry is Payesh Energy -- a local firm involved in big real estate development contracts according to its website.

It purportedly offers a range of smart monitoring meters to understand how much electricity and heat subscribers use.

Payesh has also developed a Persian language application for both iOS and Android where users can check their daily usage and learn to become judicious and more efficient.

The company says it has installed the new technology in Chahrsou Mobile Phone Mall. The shopping center is highlighted by the firm as a flagship use of smart meter monitoring technology.  

The delays and poor performance of those who decide for the key utility sector notwithstanding, one small startup is playing with smart control ideas and taking them to the next level.

A local science graduate, Edward Baboomian recently developed an intelligent monitoring system for greenhouses to lower the amount of energy used when growing food.

Called Smart Been, the software targets owners of greenhouses (3,000 square meters), medium greenhouses (100,000 square meters) as well as hydroponic centers.

It uses sensors to find the optimum temperature and lowers energy consumption, cutting  electricity bills for companies.

Nevertheless, with these two initial offers, the industry is still woefully underperforming. The market remains open for a potential startup to indigenize foreign tech for home users.

The implementation of smart meters will be advantageous for Iran as it embarks on the arduous task of reducing its emission footprint, better ensure energy security and move towards ‘real’ prices.

For instance, some countries in Europe such as Italy, Sweden, and France have opted for rapid deployment of the technology, owing to the European Union directives for energy end-use efficiency by 2020.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints