Utilities in Fifty Percent (50%) of U.S. States Have Smart Metering Pilots or Installations Underway, Says Energy Insights

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 16, 2007 – Findings from a new report published by Energy Insights indicate that smart metering initiatives are catching on across the country, with more than 50 % of U.S. states reporting pilots and installations in progress. According to the research and advisory services firm, if each of those utilities fully implemented smart meters for all customers, that effort would include more than 42 million electric and 9 million gas meters. Further, analysts predict the smart metering market to grow from $2.3B in 2006 to $5.5 B by 2011, with smart metering hardware growing at a rate of 22.3% on average, per year.

"While the utility industry is quite far from reaching the tipping point of substantial smart metering investments, new initiatives are coming faster than expected," says Karen Blackmore, lead analyst and co-author of the report. "Certainly regulation is playing some part in the uptick we're seeing, however the business benefits of smart metering are also driving some utilities to pursue these initiatives on their own."

In a recent smart metering survey conducted by Energy Insights, almost half (42%) of respondents indicated they had some form of smart metering, and of those currently rolling out smart metering projects, on average, 25% had formal plans for smart metering. In particular, 32% of cooperatives, 23% of investor-owned utilities (IOUs), and 34% of municipal utilities reported having formal smart metering plans.

Despite the increase, lack of regulatory pressure was also cited as one of the top reasons for delaying smart metering investments at other utilities. Other top mentions for delay were insufficient savings and inadequate IT infrastructure to support smart metering. Respondents also indicated that they had already made substantial investments in AMR, further hindering savings efforts.

"Ultimately, utilities should use smart metering to build on their intelligent utility model and recognize how it can contribute to their vision of a more reliable, responsive grid," adds Blackmore.

Research Approach

In January and February of 2007, Energy Insights conducted 102 quantitative interviews with energy utility companies of varying sizes across North America, as well as 23 in-depth qualitative interviews with energy utility companies to gather additional information about smart metering drivers and trends. Analysts also used existing research, market models, forecasts, secondary data, and interviews with other utilities in the previous six months regarding their views and spending predictions about smart metering.

The report, Smart Metering Update, is available on www.energy-insights.com . Blackmore and co-author H. Christine Richards will also highlight findings from the report during a complimentary web conference on July 18 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. For more information and to register, contact Shellie Rapson James at sjames@energy-insights.com.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Any data reported from survey findings must be sourced as origination from "Energy Insights, an IDC company."

About Energy Insights

Energy Insights, an IDC company, provides research-based advisory and consulting services focused on market and technology developments in the electricity, natural gas, and oil industries. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of direct industry experience, Energy Insights' research spans the energy value chain — upstream, wholesale, delivery, and customer service — providing independent, timely, and relevant analysis focused on key business issues. Energy Insights serves a diverse and growing global client base, including electric and gas utilities, IT vendors, independent power producers, retail energy providers, oil and gas companies, equipment manufacturers, government agencies, financial institutions, and professional services firms. For more information, visit www.energy-insights.com . IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company.