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The electricity meters (smart meters) market is growing at a significant rate due to rapid industrialization, increasing penetration and growing need for energy efficiency. Favorable regulatory conditions and increasing smart grid initiatives are supporting the smart meters market growth in the coming years. The stringency in regulation towards usage of smart meters began with North America and Europe, and they are also expected to become applicable in Asia-Pacific in the coming years.
Asia-Pacific is expected to lead the smart meters market during the forecast period on account of increasing demand from emerging economies such as China and India. China is spending heavily on smart grids involving meter installations. Rising urbanization and increasing demand for electric vehicles in the country are providing opportunities to the smart meters market to grow in the coming years. The various ongoing activities in China to upgrade the meters, transmission systems, distribution networks, and generating capabilities are supporting the smart meters market growth in the country.
The increasing electricity demand in the emerging regions such as Middle East and Africa, and Latin America are providing ample growth opportunities to the smart meters market to grow in such regions also. The regions are also adopting advanced technologies to accomplish their energy security needs. The American Recovery and Reinvestment act of 2009 comprises various initiatives including smart grid demonstration program, and smart grid investment grant program. Such programs has enabled the U.S. smart meters market to grow by a significant rate in the coming years.
Some of the advantages of smart meters are real time data feeds, automated outage detection, two way communication medium between utility and meters, enhanced accuracy and monitoring of power quality. Electricity distributed by distributed generation (DG), such as wind and solar generation, to the grid is measured with the help of smart meters. The devices are connected to electronic data management and consumer system with the help of communication broadcasting technologies such as meter-bus and ZigBee. Rising growth of machine-to-machine technology in industrial and residential sector is supporting the growth of the smart meters market.
The smart meters market can be categorized on the basis of applications as commercial, residential, and industrial. Residential application dominates the smart meters market due to increase in population, particularly in BRIC countries. Home energy management system is simplified by using smart metering which is supporting the usage of smart meters in residential sector. Energy can easily be managed in residential sector by using load variable tariffs and time-of-use tariffs. The need for energy installations and energy efficiency is increasing due to rising urbanization which gives rise to various production activities and industries.
Increasing initiatives from electricity utility companies and governments are supporting the growth of the smart meters market. Concerns among end users, and energy theft are some of the factors restraining the growth of the smart meters market.
The major competitors in the smart meters market are Delixi Group Co. Ltd., Schneider Electric SA, Itron Inc., Jiangsu Linyang Electronics Co., Ltd., Holley Metering Ltd., General Electric Co., Siemens AG and Landis+Gyr Inc. Consumer preference towards electric vehicles are supporting the smart meters companies to some extent. Furthermore, increasing demand of smart meters from Asia-Pacific region and energy efficiency awareness programs is also contributing to product penetration of companies operating in smart meters.