In North America, energy management company Elster has partnered with a supplier of real-time monetisation software on an end-to-end prepayment solution.
The collaborative partnership with Canadian-based Redknee Solutions will allow Elster to offer a combined prepayment metering solution targeted at Asian, European and South American markets.
Alongside Elster's existing smart grid software that gives utilities a single way to collect, process, store and manage smart grid data, the Redknee Connected Suite rates and bills data from smart meters and home energy management systems in real-time.
The end-to-end prepayment solution also claims to allow energy providers and utilities to manage pre-paid energy accounts by remotely connecting and disconnecting smart meters, managing load reduction and balancing control.
End-to-end prepayment solution
The system incorporates consumer engagement functionality through top-ups, notifcations and consumption information available on smartphones or other mobile devices.
Kim Arlund Nørgaard, global head of solutions at Elster, said the partnership was part of the company's vision to provide "a single, unified multi-vendor, multi-network application suite that caters to all scenarios".
Lucas Skoczkowski, CEO at Redknee, said the value of the deal for the real-time billing and analytics company was new opportunities for growth.
Mr Skoczkowski said: "The utilities sector and other verticals such as retail and transportation are increasingly providing avenues for service providers to increase revenues, increase customer loyalty and improve time to market.
"We continue to invest in our real-time software to advance our position as the provider of choice for monetization and subscriber management solutions."
Honeywell buys into metering solutions
Elster made headlines late last month when it was acquired by Honeywell. [Read analysis - Honeywell eyes the big game].
Honeywell, which has set aside US$10 billion (US$15.6bn) for acquisitions up to 2018, said it was paying 12.6 times Elster's estimated 2015 consensus core earnings.
The all-cash deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, would have a minor dilutive impact on Honeywell's 2016 earnings per share, the company said.
The acquisition will give Honeywell access to Elster Group's niche technologies and customers in the highly regulated heating, controls and metering industries.
Dave Cote, chief executive of Honeywell, explained that Honeywell showed interest in Elster because the utility metering market is “rapidly evolving as new smart technologies and software and data analytics capabilities are being adopted around the world”.
He added that Elster “also creates a new platform for acquisition targets for Honeywell”.