Austin, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — December 13, 2010 – The world water meter market is showing significant product mix trends in terms of measurement technology, despite the slowdown in new home construction during the global recession, according to market research organization IMS Research.
The shift from basic meters to advanced meters continues to be led by North America, where communicating meter shipments are projected to grow by over 10 percent per year on average from 2010 to 2015. In 2009, North America accounted for over 70 percent of all global advanced meter shipments, but revenue growth in North America is forecast to also grow due to increased adoption of static technology for domestic applications.
Domestic solid state unit shipments, while very small in unit terms in 2009 (less than 5,000 unit shipments in North America), are estimated to grow to over 1 million units annually by 2015.
“While domestic solid state technology is not expected to become a standard in most developed markets even by 2015, rapid growth is forecast to make this measurement technology a serious contender, both in residential applications in North America and possibly other high value water meter markets,” commented market analyst Donald Henschel.
The North American (and to a lesser extent, the Middle East) market for water meters is primed to accept higher cost meters due to previous high cost product penetration and water quality/longevity concerns. These regions are therefore particularly ready to pay for the benefits of low flow accuracy, longevity, possible communication chip set integration, and durability in the presence of sediment, all of which are strong features offered by static water meter types.
Water utilities in the United States typically replace their water meters on a very long term cycle, so higher upfront cost can be justified better here than in markets where velocity type meters are installed and replaced on a faster schedule.
While new housing construction is not forecast to recover substantially in the short term, more advanced, higher cost water meter technologies are forecast to gain relative product share versus traditional mechanical solutions. Water utilities in North America are now showing signs of being the first significant adopters of residential static technology in large volumes. IMS Research estimates cumulative market shipments of this meter type in North America to reach almost 4 million units by 2015.