Adding “Smarts” to Meters

The smart grid is here, and growing at a rapid clip. In fact, ABI Research forecasts smart-metering connections across the electricity, water, and gas markets will witness double-digit growth through 2022 with smart-water meter installation driving the global market.

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

As more people migrate from rural areas to urban cities, increasing water security concerns will fuel smart water meter growth. This is where tech can help. For instance, LPWA (low power wide area) network technologies, both cellular and non-cellular connectivity solutions, will also further enable water utilities to incorporate smart metering into their organizational workflows. Across all metering markets, smart meter rollouts are predominantly driven by regulatory mandates based on government policy, according to ABI.

The U.K. government, which first mandated a nationwide rollout of smart meters by 2014, is still experiencing delays. The U.K. smart-meter penetration rates are still less than 10 percent at the end of 2016. Meanwhile, in India, of 15 ongoing pilot projects, eight have started.

The surge of smart meter projects will give a much needed boost to the water utilities construction today, as well over the next several years.

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