Smart meters for power, gas, and water are spreading worldwide. Smart meters have two-way communication, which enable to track utility usage in real time by both the utility supplier and the consumer, and also enable start / reading / cutoff of supply remotely by supplier. Implementation of a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) or Building Energy Management System (BEMS) that enables visualization of the power usage in individual homes or in entire buildings is also possible.
Further advances can be anticipated that will make the entire power grid smarter. Smarter power grids capable of dynamically optimizing supply will be essential once power grids begin to supply large amounts of electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar power.
In Japan, following the April 2014 revision of the Act on Rationalization of Energy Use, 10 major power companies decided to introduce smart meters. Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to complete the transition to smart meters within its service area by 2020, and a similar transition is expected to be completed nationwide by 2024. In the United States more than 55 million smart power meters are already in use, accounting for more than 40% of households. In the EU the European Parliament issued a directive (Directive 2009/72/EC) in 2009 encouraging a transition to smart power meters and directing member nations to prepare a legal framework for the introduction of smart meters. Already both Sweden and Italy have reached nearly 100% adoption of smart meters. In addition to the advanced economies, interest in smart meters is high in emerging economies, with more and more countries planning adoption.