Wasion Meter Group Hunan Werko USCL Investment Transaction
On May 7, 2006 Tom Tamarkin and Sima Toledano of USCL made a business presentation to the Wasion Meter Group, Hunan Werko Power Meter Division in Changsha, China. The PowerPoint presentation was made in English with a local translator providing a complete translation of each slide into Chinese.
In September 2006 Werko sent a team of engineers as well as the VP Engineering to USCL’s Sacramento, California offices and USCL arranged for the Werko team to tour Southern California Edison’s power meter certification Laboratory and meet with SCE senior officials involved in the meter and AMI RFI-RFP process.
The plan was for Wasion Meter Group to augment USCL’s development team to provide a complete meter based on the USCL DM-06 meter specification it wrote for Southern California. It was further anticipated that Wasion would build one meter manufacturing line in its new facility dedicated to the ANSI style (round 240-120 Volt 60 HZ) meters and the combined USCL Wasion team would submit the product to SCE for evaluation.
Metering & Smart Energy International published an article regarding the USCL – Hunan Werko Meter Group transaction on 5 September 2006
In October 2006 Werko declined to fund the balance of the $3.5 million transaction. Sima Toledano and Tom Tamarkin traveled to Changsha, China to discuss the matter. Werko indicated their decline to complete the transaction was based on:
- The competitive bidding nature of the U.S. power meter market.
- The extremely long sales cycles with U.S. utilities.
- The regulated nature of the U.S. utility marketplace.
- The steep engineering learning curve associated with the understanding of the U.S. ANSI meter designs and the associated U.S. 3 phase 240 Volt – 120 Volt 60 Hertz power distribution system.
- The large capital expenses associated with the manufacturing line of ANSI meters which are only used in North America.
- The high multimillion USD costs associated with the ANSI testing and certification of the meters required before they could be sold in the U.S.
- The high cost associated with the FCC type approvals for the meters WAN and LAN radio transceivers.