Smart Metering - the Base for Smart GridsAs the world gets exposed to newer technologies the demand for electrical energy, managing power transmission and distribution has become one of the most difficult and lucrative challenges. With the implementation of smart grids come new challenges in delivering electrical power to those that need and to meet the growing demands of changing infrastructure. Most power grids, were designed and built decades ago, are struggling to cope with these new challenges. To cope and provide a solution to this problem a smart solution will need to be implemented.Forget the conventional idea of a utilities grid. A smart grid can be thought of as flexible bi-directional operating infrastructure. That’s why it’s called the Smart Grid. The Smart Grid is characterized by bidirectional communication among all relevant users of the energy conversion chain. The result is a participatory network in which consumers, utilities, and service providers share responsibilities and benefits. Although in South Africa reselling into the grid is not an option for the end user or consumer, it might be an option in the future.The benefits for a smart metering system are mutual: Consumers can monitor and optimize their energy consumption based upon the real-time price of energy and individual needs. Utilities have at their immediate disposal the information they need to keep the power supply in line with actual demand, which enables precise customer analysis and segmentation. It provided detailed reporting.Consumers will have exact billing based on their tariffs and accurate information on the amount of electricity, water, and gas actually being used. They will also be able to see in real-time what their consumption is and that helps monitor and optimize their budgeting. There will be substantial savings in automated customer processes and faster problem resolution for both the reseller and the consumer.So when we do have access to smart grids which will soon be upon us or to help the load on existing grids a smart meter will do more than just provide your utilities.