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On 6 Sep 2011, Elster, one of the world’s largest electricity, gas and water measurement and control providers, announced the release of their integrated universal meter and radio platform, the REXUniversal meter. It will be commercially available in North America in the second quarter of 2012. This comes on the back of a recent announcement by Elster and Landis+Gyr to jointly develop integrated advanced metering hardware for smart grid applications.

Smart metering has come a long way whereby meter vendors traditionally have emphasized on functionality, building proprietary systems to stave off competitors. However, trends are taking shape that smart metering is treading or already ankle-deep into the phase of open standards and interoperability. This is in part if not largely driven by utilities’ demands for plug-and-play compatibility, thereby preventing any “vendors lock-in”. This also facilitates ease of introducing advanced features in smart grid products and solutions in retrofit exercises.

This aligns well with Elster’s pursuit or strategy towards developing open interface products and solutions in the smart grid solutions space, positioning itself has a key industry leader. With EnergyAxis and REXUniversal platforms in place, this opens up to a plethora of opportunities to untapped markets and channels through partnerships across the globe, especially to utilities that are not Elsters’ clients and vice versa for Elster’s partners.