U.S. water utilities will spend $2 billion on smart meters in infrastructure upgrades this year through 2020, almost matching all previous investment in the leak-finding devices, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Water utilities until this year had spent $2.4 billion on smart meters, according to data compiled by the London-based research firm. Investment peaked at $395 million in 2010 as companies took advantage of stimulus funding allocated for clean-energy and water projects, said Maxime Serrano Bardisa of BNEF.
Investment in the emerging market will decline through 2015 before rebounding on increasing water prices and as “the first meters rolled out 15 years ago will need to be replaced,” the BNEF water analyst said in an interview.
About $1.7 billion of the $7.2 billion given to the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was set aside for infrastructure that included upgrading and rolling out new smart meters for water.