Italy’s SET Distribuzione launches second-generation smart meter programme

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Trento distribution system operator SET Distribuzione plans the replacement of over 380,000 meters by the end of 2025.

The initiative will see the rollout of the second generation SmartEcoMeter as a replacement for the first-generation smart meters, which were installed between 2008 and 2011 and are now reaching end of life.

It envisages the deployment of a total of almost 480,000 meters in two phases. In the first mass phase from 2022 to 2025, 393,000 smart meters, primarily replacements, are planned in the municipalities served by SET Distribuzione. A second phase is scheduled over the subsequent ten years to 2036 for management, maintenance and new installations.

The cost is estimated at €44 million ($51.6 million) for the first phase and to total €65 million ($76 million) by 2036.

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The initiative should bring significant benefits to customers and open the possibility for retailers and distributors to offer innovative services, a statement reads.

Among the main advantages will be the possibility of the meter to communicate with apps and external tools to enable home automation services based on real-time consumption, a further reduction in estimated readings and bill adjustments, more rapid and simpler supplier switching and flexible tariffs with prepaid options.

The SmartEcoMeter with a 15-minute read capability is expected to enable customers to more easily manage their consumption. On the utility side, it should enable earlier detection of network or meter malfunctions with consequent reduction of recovery times and disconnections.

The system will use PLC up to the concentrators and cellular 3G and 4G and fibre optics from the concentrators to the central data acquisition system.

The plan is awaiting approval from the regulator ARERA.

With this plan SET Distribuzione continues its commitment to contribute to the objectives of the national strategy for technological innovation and digitalisation and to accompany Trentino citizens towards a smarter and greener future, the statement says.

SET Distribuzione is part of the Dolomiti Energia group and distributes electricity in 156 of the 175 municipalities in Trento province in northern Italy.

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