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

The study forecasts that revenues for smart meters will continue to steadily rise as revenues for non-communicating meters 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 smart metering solutions, driven largely by new regulation in the European Union (EU).

“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,” says Jacob Pereira, an IMS Research analyst and lead author of the study.

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

Asian markets are also beginning to see a significant shift toward smart 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,” says Pereira. “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 toward advanced metering. In fact, by 2016, we have calculated that Asian economies will consume twice the number of advanced utility meters as [the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region], the next-largest region.”



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