Week in Smart Metering - A Changing Industry

Smart water metering appears to be a burgeoning industry sector, writes Rose Bundock, digital editor of metering.com
Published: Wed 09 Mar 2016

When we relaunched the website of Metering & Smart Energy International (some three months ago now), it was a chance to revise our content categories. Had some topic areas become less prominent and were we missing out on using the newer industry buzzwords?

Prepayment metering in its most basic form, a prominent subject at the website's inception in 1997, no longer warranted its own category. Likewise revenue protection for the majority of our readers isn't as front-of-mind as it might be in other areas of the world. 

So while some topic areas were stripped out, we introduced new categories that better reflect where the market is today, including smart water. Every week we cover about two to three smart water meter stories, suggesting that what has been predicted - that the market will surpass the US$1 billion mark in 2019 (according to IHS) - is starting to unfold.

In the past week alone, we have reported that Itron has completed a water AMI project in the Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate of Palestine. While in the US, a municipal utility has announced plans to spend US$6m to fund the implementation of a water meters project and in Australia, Frost & Sullivan predicts that Australia’s state of Victoria will be the first to rollout AMI smart water systems by 2017.

Whether this a true barometer of a burgeoning sector remains to be seen but we’d like to know what’s happening on the ground in your region of the world. Are you involved in smart water networks and metering? And are you feeling momentum growing in the industry? Write to me at rose@metering.com and share your experiences with our community.

More from Metering & Smart Energy International

NSW customers may face ‘bill shocks’ if opt out of smart meters

In Australia, customers in New South Wales may have to pay AUD600 to install smart meters or negotiate its inclusion in new contracts to avoid increased bills. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that electricity customers in the Australian state of New South Wales may be faced with “bill shocks” at the end of the year, should they not have a smart meter installed or negotiate its installation in new contracts. The impending “bill shocks” come as a result of the closure of the solar business scheme, under which residents that own solar panels can sell electricity back to the grid at a rate of 60¢ or 20¢ per kilowatt hour.

SMS secures GBP150m smart metering operations loan

UK smart energy meters supplier Smart Metering Solutions (SMS) this week secured a GBP150 million (US$212.8m) loan. The loan, which was from a club of lenders including Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Santander, will be channeled towards improving SMS’ operations, according to local media. Commenting on the development, Alan Foy, CEO of SMS, said: “Our lenders continue to show such great support for SMS and its strategy. The improvement to an already competitive facility will provide SMS with a significant additional source of finance.”

Solar Data Systems’ smart meters receive UL certification

Californian Solar Data Systems last week confirmed its Solar Log smart meters and technology for residential solar PV plants has received UL certification. In a press statement, Solar Data Systems said the UL (Underwriter Laboratories) 2735 certification approves safety and standards adherence of the smart meters for installation in any home in the US and Canada. The certified 350, 360 and 370 smart meters combines Solar Data Systems’ solar PV monitoring technology Solar-Log with Aclara's residential I-210+ utility meter.

Japan smart water meters: Sensus reports on Tokyo FlexNet trial

In Tokyo, Japan, global meter communication company Sensus will complete a demonstration trial of its FlexNet LRR network at the end of this month. Sensus, which has a country office in Japan, kickstarted the pilot in May 2015, working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) to demonstrate that its FlextNet communications platform is well suited to smart electricity, water and gas meter utility rollouts. Speaking at International Smart Grid Expo in Tokyo this week, Masanori Fujita, solution architect, technical sales for EMEA and Asia Pacific, said the results of the trial were "very good" and validate FlexNet's long range radio network connectivity reliability in dense urban areas.

Scotia Gas Networks selects Orbital gas metering skids

In the UK, gas systems integrator, Orbital this week won a contract with utility, Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) for the provision of large-scale metering skids. Under the £1,4 million ($2 million) contract, Orbital will design, develop and supply two gas metering skids for installation at Tatsfield AGI in England by September 2016, and at Drum AGI in Scotland in early 2017. The installation will include a 24" gas metering skid and a 16" gas metering skid respectively. In a press statement, SGN said the skids will be utilised to accurately meter gas at points where the two distribution networks import gas from the UK transmission network before distribution to domestic customers.