Smart utility meters to account for half of all meter market revenues by 2016

The overall utility billing meter market is expected to reach nearly $13 billion in 2016, according to a study recently published by IMS Research, now part of IHS. 2016 is also anticipated to be the first time that revenues for advanced utility meters match those of their basic, non-communicating counterparts.

The study forecasts that revenues for communicating electricity, water, gas, and heat meters will continue to steadily rise as revenues for their non-communicating counterparts stay relatively stagnant over the next few years.

IMS Research predicts that 2014 and 2015 will see an especially dramatic jump in both shipments and revenues of advanced metering solutions driven largely by new regulation in the European Union.

Lead author of the study and IMS Research Analyst Jacob Pereira describes the trend as follows, “Although North American advanced utility meter shipments are slowing down after the boom years of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the rest of the world is moving full-steam ahead.

“The EU, in particular, is projected to see phenomenal levels of growth, as countries move towards replacing most or all of their basic gas and electricity meters with communicating ones over the coming years.

“The U.K. alone has about 50 million gas and electricity meters installed, most of which will have to be replaced by 2019. Factor in all the countries that are mandating, or will mandate, advanced meters as part of the EU directives, and growth will be very strong, both in unit and in revenue terms”, he explains.

Asian markets are also beginning to see a significant shift towards communicating utility meters, a trend that is expected to continue in the coming years. “China, in particular, is expanding utility infrastructure and investing in large-scale advanced metering projects,” Pereira continues.

“As both the most populous country in the world, and the world’s largest market for utility meters, it has an outsize effect on the overall market. But that’s not to say that other large markets in Asia such as Japan and South Korea are not also moving towards advanced metering. In fact, by 2016, we have calculated that Asian economies will consume twice the number of advanced utility meters as EMEA, the next-largest region.”

These trends and others are discussed in greater detail in IMS Research’s latest study, The Utility Meter Yearbook – 2013. The report is the result of a collaboration by subject-matter experts in the fields of electricity meters, water meters, gas meters, and heat meters, and contains over 150 tables and figures illustrating the utility meter market.

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