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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Meters - a Global Snapshot

There are an estimated 2.7 billion meters in the world. These consist of 1,583 million electricity meters, 396 million gas meters and 736 million water meters. The three sectors have quite different patterns of usage.

Every country has an electrical supply and almost universally every electricity point has a utility meter or a sub-meter, although there are a very few cases where electricity is not metered, such as in some agricultural areas of India. Gas is nearly always metered but the number of countries with piped gas supply is much smaller because there may be no indigenous gas supplies or the cost of constructing a pipeline is disproportionate to the potential consumption. In some countries water supply is not metered for domestic connections but paid for out of a standing charge.

Annual demand for meters in 2007 was 221 million meters, consisting of 122 million electricity meters, 28 million gas meters and 71 million water meters.

Demand has started to fluctuate from year to year because of the increase in large contracts for solid state or advanced meters. These contracts inflate demand in the course of their duration and then depress it when they are complete and there is a reduced need for replacement of aged meters.

Growth in market volume will be 3.0% a year for electricity meters, 4.3% for gas meters and 4.3% for water meters. In value terms, demand will rise from $7.1 billion in 2007 to $8.8 billion in 2012 (in 2007 $).

Over half of the world’s meter demand is in Asia, and this region is dominated by China. Asia Pacific accounts for 59.5% of all meter demand, Europe accounts for 13.3% and North America for 13.7%.

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