Energy bills to go up by €5.50 per year to fund national smart meter scheme

21 Sep 2017

Image: WITSALUN/Shutterstock

The Government has given the green light to a €1.2bn project to give every Irish home a smart energy meter for electricity and gas.

By 2024, the Government and the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) aim to have every home in Ireland hooked up to a smart meter that will transmit energy readings 48 times a day.

According to the Irish Independent, €1.2bn is to be allocated to fund the internet of things (IoT) project, with the aim of kicking off installations in 2019, which will include a SIM card to remotely send readings.

This first batch will see the meters installed in 250,000 homes initially among those that request them.

However, the CER said that in order to fund the project, Irish households who request the meters will see their bills increase by €5.50 per year. Once a national roll-out has finished, this will apply to every household.

The CER’s commissioner, Aoife MacEvilly, said of the project: “The trials that we have been running demonstrate, for example, the typical customer saved a minimum of three to four times [the €5.50 annual bill increase] by using less.

The CER is therefore saying that the savings brought on by a smart meter will amount to approximately €20 per year.

“You might have a bit more in terms of your network charge, but the ability to save significantly more by reducing your consumption.”

It has promised that there will be no upfront cost to the meter’s installation, adding that its biggest benefit will be ending the need to take manual energy readings up to four times a year.

This isn’t the first fuel-related IoT projected to be announced in recent weeks, with a deal between Sigfox player VT Networks and Dunraven Systems planning to hook up 250,000 fuel tanks online.

The technology is optimised to provide a low-cost, low-power option for connecting simple devices directly to the cloud.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic