The percentage of utilities planning installations of advanced metering systems doubled in 2007, according to Chartwell's latest state-of-the-industry automated meter reading (AMR) survey and report.

That is good news when the industry saw installations hit a speed bump in 2007, accounting for the lowest percentage of AMR growth - 9% - the energy research firm has tracked in more than 12 years.

Chartwell believes this discrepancy between planning and actual growth can be attributed to the fact that there were few large deployments announced in 2006 and 2007.

Because 18% of utilities are in the final planning stages of moving toward advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), Chartwell projects the industry will rebound through multiple large deployments in the coming years.

"The interesting finding here is this apparent lull that's taken place between periods of multiple large deployments," says Mark Hall, Chartwell's metering research analyst.

These findings and others are revealed in the Chartwell AMR Report 2007, 12th Edition, an annual publication that gauges the status of metering technologies within the utility industry, while identifying emerging trends. It is based on exclusive surveys of metering officials at more than 100 North American utility companies.