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Smart meters for water utilities valued at $29.9 million by 2017

Increased use of "smart" meters, this time for the water utilities, will lead to $29.9 million in sales by 2017 compared with $10.3 million in 2011, a study from market analyst Pike Research showed.

In its report, Pike forecasts that advanced metering infrastructure smart meters that have two-way communication capabilities for the water sector is up for steady growth in the coming five years, because utilities need to upgrade their systems. People also need to conserve water supplies, especially in desert regions like the Middle East or Southwestern United States; reduce high levels of non-revenue water; and satisfy regulatory requirements.

The report, however, finds that even though the smart water meter sector is generally looking at a positive outlook, other factors can serve as impediments for progress, such as the fact that that new smart meters cost more than standard water meters, presenting a budgetary challenge to many water utilities.

On a related note, American community-owned electric utility JEA signed a five-year contract extension (from 2016 until 2021) with Landis+Gyr for the latter to build and manage the utility's advanced metering network for its advanced metering program on electric and water meters.

Landis+Gyr has been providing JEA with metering services since 2001. In April 2010, the utility added Gridstream infrastructure to its network to provide full two-way communications with endpoint devices, allowing the utility to add more energy efficiency and payment options such as prepaid metering, while enhancing reliability with automated outage detection.

JEA, based in Florida, currently serves more than 417,000 electric customers in Jacksonville and parts of three adjacent counties. – Jhoanna Frances S. Valdez



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