In today’s world things can change very quickly. This was illustrated very starkly with the recent housing market crisis in the United States, which almost overnight threw many of the world’s economies, particularly those in developing countries, into turmoil.

Not quite so sudden but no less striking has been the intensification over the past year of interest and debate on the environment, which has now reached unprecedented levels. One international meeting follows another and commentary in the press is ongoing, and indeed few of us now remain untouched by the environmental changes that are sweeping the earth, whether it is experiencing above average temperatures, stronger winds or heavier downpours of rain.

This environmental awareness is also turning upside down all aspects of our industry, from generation through transmission and distribution. With technological advances newer and more advanced tools are becoming available for monitoring and communication, from the point of generation to the point of consumption. “Smart” metering is being increasingly widely deployed and in turn is opening the way on the one hand for home monitoring and control and on the other for the smart grid. And these in turn are leading to more efficient energy management as well as a whole range of new products, from the appliances we use in the home to the cars we drive – and together ultimately to a lifestyle likely to be quite different from that we are used to today.

What an interesting and exciting era to be living in! – and not surprisingly topics such as the smart grid, the home area network and the futuristic femtocells form a strong focus of the content in this issue.

We also look forward to debating some of these issues in depth at our events during this year. We kick off this quarter with our flagship Metering, Billing/CIS America in San Diego in April, which will provide the platform for discussion and networking on the latest in metering in North America. Then we move to Bogotá, Colombia for the nd Metering Central America & Caribbean, followed by Metering, Billing/CRM Africa in Cape Town, South Africa and Asian Energy Week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in May. We look forward to meeting up with friends and colleagues from around the world at these events!

In the meantime we would also like to remind you that our website www.metering.com is updated daily with industry news and information from around the world, and highlights are featured in a weekly electronic newsletter. Visit the site to update, sign up and subscribe.

Jonathan Spencer Jones
Editor
jonathan@spintelligent.com