Annual investments in smart metering technology are forecasted to exceed € 3 billion by the mid-2010s. Smart meters help consumers better manage their energy usage and create financial incentives for energy savings. Moreover they constitute the core building blocks in future smart grids that will support electric vehicle charging, renewable micro-generation and advanced energy conservation.
Following major rollouts in Italy and the Nordic region, smart meters are now being introduced on a massive scale in Spain, France and the UK. “Endesa has commenced with a rollout to 12.9 million customers in Spain and the second largest electricity network operator Iberdrola will follow”, said Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst, Berg Insight.
“ERDF is awaiting formal approval from the government for a nationwide rollout to 33 million customers in France and in the UK the leading energy suppliers British Gas and E.ON have committed to the deployment of several million smart meters prior to the start of a mass rollout in 2014. By that time there will also be massive installations in additional countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland and Norway”.
For the first time, there are also plans for major smart metering projects in Central Eastern Europe. CEZ in the Czech Republic and Energa in Poland have announced large scale pilots as the first step towards full-scale installations. Energa has the most advanced plan to achieve full coverage for smart meters among its 3 million electricity customers by 2017.