March 21, 2012
Although only a handful of jurisdictions in the United States support prepaid electricity programs today, such services have long been offered by utilities in numerous countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Argentina, and many developing nations. In these countries, prepaid electricity is considered a very basic and standard utility service. Today, with the advent of new metering technology, communications solutions, and pressures for improved customer service, U.S. utilities are indicating a growing interest in offering prepaid electric services, and the prepaid metering market is now poised to take off at a larger scale around the world. Hardware, software, and service vendors are seeing increasing opportunities, as utilities worldwide prepare to launch new prepaid programs or expand their existing prepaid services to a larger customer base. According to a new report from Pike Research, the installed base of prepaid electric meters was over 20 million worldwide in 2011, and this figure is expected to surpass 23 million in 2012. With a relatively modest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% from 2010 to 2017, the installed base will reach about 33.7 million meters on a global basis in 2017.
“As improved customer service has become a key business priority among utilities, offering more choices for customers, such as prepayment of electric utility bills, has become a major focus,” says senior analyst Marianne Hedin. “The prepaid option offers many benefits to consumers – most importantly, it allows them to choose when they pay, how they pay, and what they pay.”
As utilities increasingly take advantage of prepaid programs in the coming years, they will have a growing need for software and services to support their prepaid systems. Pike Research anticipates that the prepaid services market will reach $263 million, while the prepaid software market will account for about $210 million in revenues on a global basis in 2012.
Pike Research’s report, “Prepaid Electric Metering”, analyzes the global opportunity for prepaid electric metering, including an in-depth assessment of the hardware, software, and services segments of this market. The study examines the business drivers, challenges, and competitive dynamics that will define the next generation of prepaid electric metering in the smart grid age. Key industry players are profiled, and detailed market forecasts for units and revenue are provided through 2017. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.
Contact: Richard Martin
+1 303 997 7609