To provide consumers with information to better manage utility costs, Gothenburg Energy has ordered and will deploy 90,000 GE smart meters.

The project will meet a Swedish government mandate, which requires all utilities to have an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) in place by June 1, 2009. The new meters will provide the utility with real-time data access.

“We are very impressed by the functionality and quality of the GE Smart Meter,” said Tomas Arnewid, AMI project manager for Gothenburg Energy. “We look forward to installing GE’s polyphase meter, as well."

Gothenburg Energy, Western Sweden’s leading energy company, is the first utility in Europe to implement a ZigBee-based communications infrastructure for a full rollout of an AMI system, which is focused on electricity, but is planned to include district heating, gas and water meters in the near future.

ZigBee is economical wireless mesh networking. The low cost allows this technology to be deployed widely, and its low power usage allows smaller batteries to have a longer life. ZigBee mesh networking provides higher reliability at a larger range.

“With the new AMI system in place, Gothenburg Energy will be able to provide accurate monthly bills, even down to daily consumption,” said Diarmaid Mulholland, general manager, GE Energy Services Europe. “This allows customers to be better informed about their actual consumption and then adapt their energy usage accordingly.”

GE is supplying the meters to NURI Telecom Co. Ltd., which will then install them for Gothenburg Energy as part of the overall AMI-system. Installation will be completed by the end of May.