The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has today (21 September, 2017) announced the details of the delivery plan for the introduction of smart meters into Irish homes and businesses.
Smart meters are the next generation of electricity meter and are being rolled out internationally. This new technology will replace older meters, bringing benefits to Irish consumers, the economy and the environment.
The highlights of the National Smart Metering Programme will be: A phased approach, commencing with an initial delivery of 250,000 in 2019 -2020, and approximately 500,000 meters in each of the four subsequent years. The initial priority is to respond to consumers who request a smart meter and also to replace older meters which are approaching the end of their life expectancy. The delivery plan will phase in smart services giving consumers more choice and information. The day-to-day rollout of the delivery plan will be the responsibility of ESB Networks and will be subject to oversight by a Steering Group which will include CRU, the Department for Communications, Climate Action and Environment and ESB Networks.
Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly from the CRU said: “This is a once-in-a-generation, major infrastructure project. As a significant number of existing meters require replacement, Ireland has a unique opportunity to upgrade the meters and systems. What we are doing, on a phased basis, is rolling out the next generation of energy meters which can bring benefits to the consumer, economy and environment. The phased approach is designed to be consumer-led and enables us to learn and improve as we go.”
“The CRU has completed a Cost-Benefit Analysis on the plan and is satisfied that the investment involved represents value for money.”
“An infrastructural transformation of this scale involves the installation of new meters to over 2.3 million customers together with enhanced IT systems and consumer supports by ESB Networks, Gas Networks Ireland, as well as electricity and gas suppliers.”
“The delivery plan we are announcing today follows a period of extensive consultation with key stakeholders. The phased approach significantly reduces the technical complexities associated with delivering smart services to consumers by staggering the implementation. It also introduces a governance/oversight structure which will include regular review and appraisal of progress.”
Commenting on the announcement of the delivery plan, ESB Networks CEO Marguerite Sayers said: “ESBN very much welcomes the opportunity the NSMP brings to replace some of our older meter stock while providing customers with the latest technology. These meters will allow customers to access detailed energy information if they wish to use it. It will be a very large-scale and challenging project, including a national roll-out of new meters, a new metering communications system and very significant IT changes.”
“However, we are looking forward to providing our customers with the best technology available with this new generation of meters. The smart meters should facilitate customers in making more cost-effective choices for their home or business.”
“We also believe that the programme has the potential to make a significant positive contribution to the low carbon economy in Ireland by reducing waste and maximising the use of renewable energy.”
About the National Smart Metering Programme:
- Smart Meters are the next generation of electricity and gas meter and are being rolled out across Europe and internationally.
- This new technology will replace older, mechanical meters, bringing benefits to Irish consumers, the economy and the environment. The interests of the consumer are at the heart of the programme and the smart metering solution and phased programme has been designed to meet the needs of Irish energy consumers.