Global smart grid investments have been decreasing for the third consecutive year. Despite digital technologies continuing to account for greater shares in total grid spending, smart grid investments fell to roughly 271 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. The greatest portion went towards power equipment components, while smart meters received 21 billion U.S. dollars in financing.
Smart meters enable utilities to secure revenue collection through accurate reading and energy billing. Automation in the sector is expected to be dominated by investments into self-healing energy networks that are able to remotely identify and fix faulty areas in the system. These capabilities will allow for a reduction in time spent on restoring services during outages, such as those caused by storms. Integrating distribution automation and the sharing of infrastructure will help to further reduce operation costs in the industry. As of 2018, nearly 87 million smart meters had been installed in the U.S. Owners of residential housing units were by far the most common recipients of smart meters.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is the leading U.S. advanced meter supplying utility. As of 2019, the California based company had provided 5.3 million advanced meters to customers in Northern and Central California. The state on the Pacific Coast is also home to the greatest number of public electric vehicle charging stations and charging outlets.