Competition may stimulate AMR industry, study finds

ATLANTA, May 14, 2002 — Despite a rocky start, it now seems as if utility deregulation and automated meter reading may be a good marriage after all.

That is one of the conclusions of AMR and Deregulation, a new report from Chartwell Inc. that looks at the impact of competition on the AMR industry.

Largely because of uncertainty regarding deregulation, the sales boom predicted by many AMR vendors failed to materialize in the late 1990s. Many utilities did not want to purchase expensive AMR technology for fear they may lose ownership of at least some meters in a competitive market.

But now as many utilities in states that are deregulated, or transitioning to or considering deregulation, are implementing AMR systems in hopes of deriving benefits such as improving customer service and decreasing costs.

Pennsylvania is a prime example, as three major utilities in the state — Duquesne Light Co., PECO Energy and PPL Electric Utilities — have deployed or are installing AMR systems throughout their territories. The Keystone state is not alone. In deregulated Texas, some of the state’s largest cooperatives are installing or upgrading AMR technology as well.

AMR and Deregulation, which is available from Chartwell, is part of The Chartwell AMR Report Research Series. Membership in the series is also available.

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