The Slovenia Times

Measuring It



Iskraemeco is one of the most international and export-oriented companies in Slovenia. Owned by the Egyptian El Sewedy group, the company earns 95 percent of its revenues abroad. With 66 percent of all sales, the European Union is Iskraemeco's most important market, but the company also has a strong foothold in overseas markets such as South America and the Middle East, accounting for a quarter of all sales.

Meters wanted

Jevšenak says that growth prospects for the company are excellent. With EU directives demanding ever more stringent environmental standards, the issue of how to measure electricity and gas consumption is being addressed by an increasing number of European countries. Not only do electric and electronic meters help regulators monitor energy consumption in particular sectors of the economy, they allow consumers to pay for only as much as they consume.

Because of Iskraemeco's superior technology, its meters have been chosen by electric grid operators throughout Europe. As the UK prepares to replace old meters with more efficient, newer models, the company aims for a 25 percent market share. Across the Channel, Iskraemeco is a partner of Electricite de France, one of Europe's biggest electricity producers. The company's meters have already been installed in Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries.

Open source

The secret of Iskraemeco's success is in its technology that allows for measuring not just electricity flows, but also gas and water consumption. This multi-utility approach is complemented by an emphasis on interoperability, says Jevšenak. Iskraemeco has been the only metering systems producer that has opened its communications protocols, following an open source approach chosen by some software designers.

The major development in the metering industry has been the shift towards the design of integrated and comprehensive metering solutions intensively employing information technology as opposed to the manufacturing of traditional electric meters. According to Jevšenak, "As long as we provide the best support and quality in the industry, our decision to open the protocols will not harm us," he says, adding that Iskraemeco has surpassed many a competitor who chose not to go down the open source path.

Around the world

Iskraemeco spends seven percent of its yearly revenue on R&D and employs more than ten percent of its workforce of 1, 140 in its research division. Judging by the success the firm's products have on markets all around the world, the investment in R&D has certainly paid off. Iskraemeco's metering systems are currently produced, under licence, in such distant places as Colombia, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.


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