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The smart grid (SG) is envisioned as providing a communications network for the energy industry, similar to that which the Internet now provides for business and personal communications. The SG offers new business opportunities for different kind of industries, such as smart-meter vendors, electric utilities, and telecom operators from all around the world. This article deals with issues related to smart homes (SHs) and smart metering, which are key elements in the new SG. It introduces the key players in this field and points out the research challenges. Finally, SG pilot projects and field tests from all around the world and the deployment of advance metering infrastructure projects in North America, Asia, and Europe are summarized.