In Lithuania, energy company Ignitis Grupė has secured a €110 million ($127.9 million) loan from the European Investment Bank to support its smart metering systems and IT solutions projects.
The loan will be used to install smart meters and implement IT solutions for data collection and management with the energy distribution operator AB “Energijos skirstymo operatorius” (ESO).
The loan covers the replacement of 66% of all meters installed in Lithuania and is expected to bring energy savings to customers of Ignitis Grupe.
ESO is planning to replace approximately 1.2 million units of smart meters by the end of 2023, starting with domestic users, who use the biggest share of energy (who use more than 1 000kWh electricity per year).
The first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
The second stage will start in 2024 and the meters will be replaced for the users, whose metrological inspection deadline will be extended.
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The new metering system will enable remote readings, near real-time consumption information and communication with consumer devices.
The deployment of smart meters is part of the revised National Energy Independence Strategy as adopted in Lithuania in June 2018. The smart meter rollout investments were approved by the national energy regulator in September 2019.
EIB vice-president Thomas Östros, said: “This operation gives an important signal about the energy market in the Baltics, namely that investments are shifting from a focus on security of supply towards energy efficiency. This is good news and very important in terms of our collective commitment to the Paris Agreement. Climate change won’t stop if we don’t act, and in that context every initiative to limit our energy consumption is a big help.”
Darius Kašauskas, the Director of Finance and Treasury of AB “Ignitis Grupė, adds: “We are happy that the EIB has offered the conditions that best satisfy the needs of Ignitis Grupė and that this is already the Group’s third project to be financed through successful cooperation with the EIB. We have already signed contracts with the EIB for a €190 million loan to finance the construction works of the Vilnius Combined Heat and Power Plant, and for a PLN 258 million loan for the Pomerania Wind Farm, to finance the park of wind power plants that is being developed in Poland.”