WASHINGTON, June 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Prepaid products and services have been a growth industry over the past two decades. The two largest segments, prepaid mobile phones and prepaid cards are now reaching saturation. Electricity will be the next growth market for prepaid offerings, with utilities across the globe forecast to invest $11.4 billion in prepaid metering over the next decade, according to a new study published today by Northeast Group, LLC.
Across the world utilities are seeking to reduce bad debt from unpaid bills and the theft of electricity while encouraging conservation and more effective budgeting from customers. Utilities are deploying two different types of prepaid meters. The first are non-communicating or "thick" prepaid meters that can typically be credited with a smart card or keypad code. The second are known as "thin" communicating smart meters with prepaid billing and software systems.
"Both utilities and customers benefit from prepaid metering," according to Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group. "Many customers are used to the prepaid process from mobile phones and prefer the improved control over their budgets. At the same time, utilities can reduce bad debt and electricity theft. Prepaid electricity also leads to improved conservation."
Prepaid metering will have the highest penetration rates in countries where electricity theft is common, billing processes at utilities are error prone, and high levels of consumer debt are prevalent. The leading countries are primarily in the regions of Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. These include Nigeria, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. But as developed countries install smart meters, prepaid electricity will also play a growing role in the developed world. Prepaid electricity meters can already be found in the United States, United Kingdom, and Belgium, among other developed countries.
A number of metering and software providers are active in the market. Major global vendors include Conlog, EDMI, El Sewedy Electrometer, Elster, Exceleron, HCL, Hexing, Itron, Landis+Gyr, PayGo, SAP, Secure Meters, Siemens, and others.
Northeast Group's Global Prepaid Metering: Market Forecast (2016-2026) study is 77-pages long and comes with an executive summary presentation in PowerPoint and a dataset in Excel. To order a copy of the study, please visit: www.northeast-group.com
ABOUT: Northeast Group, LLC is a Washington, DC-based smart infrastructure market intelligence firm. www.northeast-group.com
SOURCE Northeast Group, LLC