You are surely familiar with this scenario: you receive a letter from the electricity company, and the time scheduled to have your meter read is right in the middle of the workday. With smart meters, you no longer have to take a half day to let the meter reader into your home. Utilities can use the smart meter to see your usage online, and you can monitor your usage in real time using the Internet. This allows you to see exactly when your appliances use electricity and how much.
Silent electricity guzzlers, such as old televisions in standby mode and lights controlled by motion detectors, can be identified very easily. Smart meters are thus intelligent, digitally connected measurement devices for electricity, water, and gas. They are therefore an important component of the intelligent electricity network, and in the future, they will be a prerequisite for efficient energy management. Smart meters are already legally required for new buildings, and every meter in Germany will be replaced with a smart meter by 2020.