Half of European homes to have smart meters by 2016

18 Jul 2011

The installed base of smart electricity meters in Europe will grow 19.4pc a year between now and 2016 to reach 130.5m devices installed by 2016 – reaching 52pc of homes.

Annual investments in smart metering technology are forecasted to exceed €3bn 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 12.9m 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 33m 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 3m electricity customers by 2017.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years