The connected home concept will be firmly established by 2020, a study has predicted, completely changing the way in which we interact with devices.
A report by Navigant Research and commissioned by telecoms firm Telefónica Digital has revealed that the UK is expected to have installed 53 million electric and gas meters by 2020.
Rob Searle, smart metering industry lead at Telefónica Digital, said: "Smart metres play a vital role in the connected home of the future, which itself is a fundamental part of 'Connected Living'. It will accelerate our transition to a more sustainable economy, and revolutionise the way in which we interact with our devices, our surroundings and each other."
"The research we conducted provides confirmation that smart metres are to become a part of everyday life. Our report further outlines some important global trends which the whole industry must be aware of in order to plan effectively and make the most of what is a substantial opportunity for both sustainable living and lowering costs for consumers."
However, the paper found that globally, markets are at widely differing stages in the implementation and deployment of smart metre initiatives with penetration rates for electric smart meters specifically varying significantly between 2012 and 2022.
Europe and Asia Pacific show healthy growth potential, with the former seeing an increase from 14% to 86% in market penetration. This is largely due to the EU smart metering policy which requires 80% of households to have smart meters installed by 2020. Driven primarily by China, the forecast penetration rate in Asia Pacific will reach 68% by 2022.
In North America, growth is much steadier following legislative incentives, which led to an initial boom between 2009 and 2012. Electric smart metre installations in this region are expected to make steady progress over the next 10 years, reaching 91% penetration by 2022.
Latin America, Middle East and Africa are expected to see significantly lower penetration rates through the forecast period.
The global electric smart metre installation figure is set to hit almost 800 million by 2020. China will be by far the leader with more than 435 million devices expected by 2020, followed by the US with 132 million devices. Japan (58.7 million) and France (35 million) appear next, with the deployment of their first wave of meters imminent and projects expected to last through the majority of this decade. The UK and Spain are on track to meet the EU smart metering policy guidelines by 2020. The UK is expected to have installed 53 million electric and gas meters by 2020.