Heat metering leads the way with high adoption rate of connectivity


Susanne Cumberland, a senior research analyst of Power and Energy Technology with IHS Markit, analyses the global heat meter market.

Shipments of heat meters exceeded 6 million units across EMEA and the Asia Pacific during 2018, with a particular focus on communicating meters.

The heat meter market is the smallest of the four markets monitored within the Smart Utility Meter Intelligence Service, for example around 6 million water meters shipped into Germany alone during 2018.  However, the adoption rate for communication technologies is highest in the heat sector, compared to even electricity metering.

High connectivity rates

Just over 70% of heat meters shipped in EMEA and the Asia Pacific during 2019 were communicating meters, as highlighted in the figure below. The shift to communicating meters remains steady, by 2025 it is forecasted that only one in five heat meters will be basic. This push for IoT solutions (whether AMR or AMI) has been bolstered by legislation with Europe and China’s dominating influence on the Asia Pacific.

Within EMEA, the amendment to the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012 stated that from October 2020, all newly installed heat meters and heat cost allocators are to be remotely readable.

Additionally, it stresses the importance of greater consumer rights in billing automation and heat cost allocation. However, there is no specification on the type of communication technology to be used, meaning the utilities themselves are now considering the complex choices between AMR/AMI technologies, such as considering total cost of ownership. Further discussion on total cost of ownership can be found within the insight Cost and Not Technicality wins for AMI.

China leads the way

The adoption rate for communicating heat meters in the Asia Pacific is nearly 90%, almost one third higher than the EMEA region. China is dominating the communicating heat meter market and will bolster the acceptance of IoT within this region. It also leads the way in shifting from mechanical to static meters; it is highly likely that there will be no mechanical meters within China by 2030. The leading meter type within this region is, therefore, communicating static meters.

The future of connected heat meters

Heat metering is becoming digitalised and the shift towards connectivity will continue, driven by legislation, demand for greater consumer visibility, pushes for renewable energy, smart cities, and smart heating hubs. Almost 42 million communicating heat meters will ship from 2018 to 2025 within EMEA and Asia Pacific regions as a result. The networking infrastructure continues to expand; now it’s up to utilities to maximise the value of the data they can now collect.

This insight is from the IHS Markit Smart Utilities team, with data citations from the latest publication on the global heat meters market. IHS Markit produces global data for the entire smart metering market in our Smart Utility Meter Intelligence Service.