Austin, TX, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 14, 2012 - Revenues from the North American utility gas meter and associated communication module market will exceed $500 million per annum starting in the year 2014, according to IMS Research.

This revenue growth will be driven by the continued automation of gas endpoints via new two-way meters and retrofit communications modules, as well as an added boost from the large Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) fixed network installation.

According to IMS Research’s recently published report, The World Market for Gas Meters – 2012, the potential for labor cost savings is the most important factor justifying the installation of remote communications on utility gas endpoints in North America.

“By the close of 2012, the installed base of communicating gas meters in North America is projected to be at slightly above 50 percent of the 77 million total gas end points, and the global advanced gas meter market continues to be dominated by the North America region,” commented IMS Research Analyst Jacob Pereira. “In fact, more than seven out of every ten advanced gas meters sold worldwide were in North America in 2011. If communications devices retrofitted onto the meter are factored in, the ratio rises even higher.”
 
In 2011, 6.5 million communicating devices for gas meters were sold in North America, with more than 80 percent of these estimated to have been installed on existing diaphragm meters.

In North America almost all advanced gas meter installations are read via a mobile device, while the SoCalGas installation is the first attempt by a major gas utility to implement fixed network reading equipment, according to the report. It remains to be seen what new use cases or benefits might arise from this installation, and how it will affect the view of utilities in North America as they continue to automate their gas endpoints. But one thing is clear; the trend towards more communications in the gas meter market is unlikely to abate anytime soon.