1.2 million smart meter rollout gets go ahead in Lithuania

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Lithuania’s distribution operator Energijos skirstymo operatorius (ESO) is to proceed with its national smart meter rollout programme.

The go ahead follows the completion of a successful proof of concept by ESO, the state electricity and gas company and subsidiary of Ignitis grupe.

The rollout will be delivered by Sagemcom, subject to the conclusion of an approximately €75 million ($90 million) contract, including the supply of 1.2 million smart meters and data aggregation and information technology management solution and its implementation, development and maintenance for a period of 10 years.

The first phase of the smart meter installation for larger residential customers with consumption of more than 1,000kWh annually and business customers will commence in the fourth quarter of 2021 with completion due by the end of 2023.

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The second phase from 2024 onwards will see the meters for the remainder of customers replaced with smart meters as they reach end of metrological life.

ESO anticipates that the smart meters will lead to more efficient use of electricity. In a 2017 pilot by ESO customers with smart meters used on average up to 6% less electricity – similar to that found in pilots in other European countries.

The smart meters also are expected, as part of the deregulation of Lithuania’s electricity market, to facilitate the introduction of competition of individual suppliers into the market, such as has occurred in the telecoms sector and is currently taking place in the country’s banking sector.

ESO also anticipates operational benefits, including automatic meter reading, remote disconnection and reconnection of supply, theft detection and improved network and outage management.

“The costs of troubleshooting, maintenance of meters and write-offs of readings and other operational costs currently incurred for the network will be reduced,” says ESO.

The total smart metering infrastructure investment is expected to reaches €150 million, including the costs of meter installation works and other equipment and the evolution and expansion of the current IT systems.