5. Meter Data Management: eMeter
Once utilities have millions of smart meters in place collecting data in near-to-real-time, the question of how to manage it will arise. To meet that need, utilities have turned to a number of companies offering meter data management services – software that can integrate the new flood of data with utility systems for billing, customer account management and a host of new uses that are expected to emerge.
San Mateo, Calif.-based eMeter has emerged as one of the favorite stand-alone meter data management companies (see eMeter: Data-Keeper for the Smart Grid). It has contracts with utilities including with CenterPoint Energy, Alliant Energy and Southern California Edison, which plans to install 5.3 million meters through 2012.
Others are competing for the market, including smart meter makers themselves. Bloomington, Minn.-based Ecologic Analytics is a startup that has received attention for landing the meter data management contract for Pacific Gas & Electric's multimillion smart meter deployment, among others. And Oracle Corp., with its 2007 purchase of meter data management company Lodestar Corp., could be a big contender in the future.