SBI Reports has been leading industrial market research reporting for more than a decade. The brand established SBI Energy to address the complex nature of the Energy and Resources industry. SBI Energy reports capture data vital to emerging energy market sectors on a global scale. Growth of energy technology, manufacturing, construction, transportation and investment is exciting in its innovations and opportunities, and integral to the advancement of security and science.
This November, I asked Scott Smith, Vice President of Global Technical Architecture for meter data management company eMeter Corporation how utilities would handle the influx of data coming their way after smart meter installations.
According to Smith, finding the data storage and communications hardware to provide the necessary functions is not the biggest obstacle facing utilities in a smart meter project. The telecommunications industry has already covered the difficulties with high speed data transmission and large data storage requirements far exceeding what is needed.
The challenge, says Smith, is that utilities have to move away from the “historical model” of thinking about Smart Grid implementations from a hardware perspective. Instead, utilities need to be thinking about Smart Grid projects from a marketing (i.e. consumer relations) standpoint and from a business process perspective.
For comparison, let’s look at the smart meter rollouts of Toronto Hydro in Ontario, Canada and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) in California.
Toronto Hydro focused on developing its business plan around customer communication, implementing a time-of-use pricing model and effective use of the Smart Grid data. The strategy won the company three awards, including the Outstanding Achievement in Marketing and Communications Award from the Association for Energy Service Professionals in May 2010 for its smart meter project.
On the other hand, PG&E simply dealt with its smart meter project from the beginning as an infrastructure change. As a result, the lack of customer outreach has caused a customer relations nightmare for the utility. This has resulted in thousands of complaints and even a lawsuit in Bakersfield that claimed the new smart meters were not reliably reporting actual electricity use.
According to Smith, the difference is not that Toronto Hydro implemented a better system technologically, (although to be fair eMeter is the MDM for the Toronto Hydro Smart Grid project). The difference is that Toronto Hydro took pains to ensure that the business process and customer relations were in place to properly handle the transition to implementing its Smart Grid technologies before the first smart meter was even attached to a house.
-By Norman Dechampes, analyst for SBI Energy and author of ‘The Smart Grid Utiltiy Data Market’
Green building renovations are defying the downward spiral seen in the general market for renovation work. As a result, green building retrofits that promote efficient energy usage are anticipated to increase substantially through 2015 and emerge as the “new normal” in the building industry, according to leading market research firm SBI Energy in the recently released report Green Building Materials and Construction, 2nd Edition.
Green renovations currently account for about 7% of the total renovation market, and are anticipated to grow to 13% of the market by 2015. Much of the sector’s growth can be attributed to stimulus funding throughout the world for energy efficiency improvements, though green building materials have shown that they are cost effective alternatives to standard building components and are increasingly in demand by businesses and homeowners alike. Rising energy costs and diminishing fuel resources will also continue to push energy efficiency measures, both for construction and for manufacturing.
“The majority of the world’s buildings are old and waste energy. We anticipate the building industry will see a significant increase in green building renovation to make structures more energy efficient, particularly since these types of retrofits pay for themselves after only a few years,” says Bernie Galing, SBI Energy analyst and author of the report.
In the green construction arena, an increasing number of builders are building more green homes and offices as a means to differentiate themselves from their competitors and as a way to weather a poor building environment. Green homes and buildings are not only in high demand, but they command a price premium when they are purchased or sold. In addition, green rental properties have higher occupancy rates and also command higher rents. With better designs, improved green building materials, and advanced construction techniques, green buildings are more durable, last about twice as long, use less energy, and have less of an impact on the environment than standard construction.
Global Green Building Materials and Construction, 2nd Edition provides a comprehensive assessment of both green building materials and green construction, cost considerations that have limited their growth, government incentives that have spurred their growth, consumer and business demand, potential opportunities for additional growth, and an assessment of developing technologies that are making green building products and green construction the “new normal”. Projected growth through 2015 for both of these markets is provided including discussion of economic conditions, environmental impacts, consumer-business-builder acceptance, stakeholder concerns, and government activities as they affect growth rates.