Smart Meter connections to reach 1.2 bn in 2022, says ABI Research

Smart Electricity Meter

Water utilities are driving Smart Meter connection growth to 1.2 billion connections in 2022, ABI Research forecasts.

Smart metering connections across the electricity, water, and gas markets will achieve double-digit growth through 2022 with smart water meter installation driving the market.

North America had the largest install base of smart water meters in 2016, while European market will marginally overtake connection growth and hold the largest install base by 2018.

Increasing water security concerns will fuel smart water meter growth. Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network technologies both cellular and non-cellular connectivity solutions will enable water utilities to incorporate smart metering into their organizational workflows. Smart meter rollouts are predominantly driven by regulatory mandates based on government policy.

“Except for China, the pace of smart electricity meter installations will slow down in the short term,” said Adarsh Krishnan, senior analyst at ABI Research. “This is due to the delayed implementation of large metering projects planned for Western Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region.”

The UK government, which first mandated a rollout of smart meters by 2014, is experiencing delays. UK smart meter penetration rates are less than 10 percent in 2016. In India, of 15 ongoing pilot projects, seven projects have not yet started. In Brazil, energy regulatory agency ANEEL changed its ambitious goal of replacing all electricity meters with smart meters to requiring only new builds use smart meters.

Sensus, now part of Xylem Group and an incumbent leader in smart water metering, will witness increasing competition from OEMs such as Arad and Kamstrupp, both of which added non-cellular LPWA network connectivity to their existing portfolio of solutions.

The roll-out of the cellular LPWA technology NB-IoT in Europe and Asia will drive market activity as telecoms offer managed smart water metering solutions.