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This paper presents a novel algorithm for real-time continuous electrical waveform compression and transmission. The proposed algorithm achieves a high data compression ratio by processing the stationary and non-stationary components of a power waveform separately. It works on integer data which simplifies the computation process, and can be run on a low-cost digital signal processor. The proposed algorithm has been implemented on a prototype meter successfully. Experimental and extensive field tests have confirmed the effectiveness of the algorithm. The prototype smart meter can communicate through a low-power, low-bit-rate sensor network protocol such as ZigBee.