Assessing ICT’s enabling effect through case study extrapolation – the example of smart metering

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In recent years, numerous studies estimated the potential environmental benefits of ICT products and services.

These studies usually extrapolate the results of small case studies to society-wide potentials. We analyse one of the most popular ICT services envisioned to induce such benefits, smart metering. Reviewing existing pilot studies, we establish an inverse correlation between the size of the case study and the resulted average energy reductions, casting a shadow over such extrapolations. We discuss several possible reasons for this inverse correlation, most importantly the representativeness of the case study. We also estimate the own life-cycle impact of smart meters, another topic often ignored in the literature. Building on these insights, we then present three own future scenarios for smart metering, which analyse the potential for energy and emission reductions in Sweden, the EU, the US and the world.


Jens Malmodin, Ericsson Research and Vlad Coroama, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH

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Presented at Electronics Goes Green 2016+, September 7-9, Berlin, Germany © 2016 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.