## Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

## US utility revenue metering markets will make $3.1 billion in 2002 US utility revenue metering markets will make$3.1 billion in 2002

Keywords Metering, Utilities

The US market for metering equipment and services is intensely affected by the current deregulation processes of the electric, natural gas, and telecommunications industries. Most importantly, the introduction of retail competition to the natural gas and electric industries presents new types of transactions to be supported by metering, and new communications and data processing technologies are playing a critical role in support of these new transactions.

According to a recently published Business Communications Company, Inc. study, RE-085, Metering for Utilities: Riding the Wave of Deregulation, the total market for utility revenue metering was valued at $2.4 billion in 1997, and is expected to reach$3.1 billion in 2002, representing an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 5 per cent (see Table I).

BCC points out that significant growth (11 per cent AAGR) is forecast for electric meter sales. Electric meters' sales growth is expected to be driven by the information requirements of open tariff electricity markets. Electric meter sales are valued at $264 million in 1997 and will increase to$449 million in 2002.

Gas and water meter sales projections (5 per cent AAGR) probably represent a mature rate of growth, serving new accounts and meter replacements. Gas meters made $181 million in 1997, and will reach$236 million in 2002. Water meters, on the other hand, made $202 million in 1997, and they will increase to$255 million in 2002.

BCC states that meter reading systems will have the highest AAGR of 16 per cent over the next five years. Meter reading systems were valued at $254 million in 1997 and are expected to rise to$525 million in 2002. Operating economics offered by AMR systems (e.g. in revenue services, customer information, and demand management), the information requirements of newly deregulated tarriff energy markets, and new communications-enabled services all drive the market for AMR systems. AMR meter modules also will have an AAGR of 16 per cent. They were valued at $98 million in 1997 and are projected to increase to$210 million in 2002.

BCC concludes that electric meter reading (EMR) system sales are driven by utility operating cost reduction strategies for manual meter reading. EMR systems are the only area expected to decrease to $20 million in 2002 from$45 million in 1997. As automated meter reading (AMR) systems replace manual meter reading, AMR also replaces EMR. For the most part, meter reading services still represent utility expenditures on manual reading. That is changing. Over the next five years investments in AMR are expected to be driven by open access in tariff energy markets, especially by the service requirements of large commercial and industrial accounts, and by opportunities to reduce operating costs.

For further information contact Business Communications Company, Inc., 25 Van Zant Street, Norwalk, CT 06855, USA.Tel: +1 203 853 4266; Fax: +1 203 853 0348; e-mail: rrandyw@aol.com