Echelon Corporation has been selected as an approved supplier of next-generation electricity meters and associated infrastructure for Svenska Matsamarbetet (SAMS), a consortium of 33 medium and small-sized Swedish utilities that collectively represent approximately 20% of the Swedish residential metering market. The award, made under Swedish public procurement rules, allows each SAMS member to purchase the meters and system components it requires to fulfill its obligations from any of the approved suppliers without the need for individual public tenders, saving the member utilities time and expense. Sweden is in the process of replacing all of its 5 million electricity meters to comply with regulations requiring monthly customer billing by July 1, 2009.
"We think the SAMS tender and our approval as a supplier of 'next-generation' metering systems marks another important step forward in the evolution of the electric metering market away from the basic systems of the past to the next generation systems of the future," said Ken Oshman, Echelon's CEO and chairman. "In fact, SAMS explicitly segmented their tender award into 'base' meters, with the limited features typical of legacy metering systems and 'next-generation' meters, with a rich set of features that can provide utilities a host of additional operational and customer service improvements. SAMS is the first organization we have seen to recognize the market shift in this way and, interestingly, the next-generation features they have specified exactly match Echelon's Networked Energy Services (NES) systems, which both Vattenfall and E.ON Sverige have recently selected.
"While the SAMS award is a framework agreement and not an award for a fixed quantity of meters, we believe that the direction set by Vattenfall and E.ON Sverige, two of the largest utilities in Sweden with deep experience in metering systems, and the ability for SAMS members to purchase the same market-proven solution creates a very good opportunity for Echelon to deliver the NES system to a significant portion of the SAMS market," Oshman said.