Escalating power demand provides impetus for growth in Southeast Asian electricity meters market: study

Singapore, May 30, 2007 — Increasing demand from small and large power consumers is essentially driving sales of both single-phase and three-phase meters, said a new study by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Approximately 5 million electricity meters are bought and sold in Southeast Asia annually and high economic growth is responsible for much of the demand in this market, the study found.

The new analysis, “Electricity Meters Market in Southeast Asia,” reveals that the market earned revenues of $191.4 million in 2006 and estimates to reach $309.3 million in 2013.

“The rate of growth in the different regional markets for electricity meters depends on the rate of construction of new residential and commercial buildings, as well as the stage of privatization and deregulation in the national electricity supply industry,” noted Frost & Sullivan research analyst Bharath Srinivasan.

Countries experiencing the fastest growth in their electricity meters markets are Indonesia and Vietnam, where basic power infrastructure is lacking and the growth in population and electricity demand warrants proportional investments in power distribution systems, said the study. Indonesia generated maximum revenues for electromechanical meters in 2006. Vietnam is likely to catch up with its demand for electronic meters during the end of the forecast period.

The market is highly active with several public and private utilities, smaller municipalities and electric cooperatives. Utilities are proving to be smarter with their electricity meter procurement strategies, and the increasing market competition also adds to pricing pressure among manufacturers and suppliers of electricity meters, said the study. Their increasing bargaining capabilities have reduced the prices of electronic meters.

For instance, in Malaysia, the central utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), frequent equipment price reviews, local competition and tendering procedures have enabled them to have control over the pricing on electricity meters. This effect of bargaining and controlling the prices in the market has been quite dynamic among the various countries in Southeast Asia, said the study.

Power distribution utilities are now overcoming their struggle to compare products and pricing. They are finding it easier to evaluate tenders since they currently understand the specifications from suppliers. Their increasing knowledge on the product and pricing is further expected to improve as people opt for more advanced metering solutions and infrastructure, or automatic meter reading systems.

Electromechanical meters merely measure demand and consumption of energy and are quite simple; however, with the latest electronic meters one can implement the tariff at which the utilities sell the electricity. Therefore, power distribution electric utilities can sell electricity at a lesser price when the demand is low, and kilowatt-hour (kWh) pricing can be high when the demand is high, the study said.

“The combined effect of replacing electromechanical meters with electronic ones and multifold growth in the power distribution sector is expected to fuel the electricity meters market in the long term,” notes Srinivasan.

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