Call for clear mandate for introduction of smart metering in Europe


Andreas Umbach,
Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — January 23, 2009 – A clear mandate for European member states to introduce smart metering with a definitive deadline for the completion of deployment is indispensable if the European Union is going to meet the formidable energy and environmental challenges of the future.

This is the view of the European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG), in a new position paper, “Smart metering for Europe,” released at the Group’s launch.

ESMIG says it believes that only through the widespread deployment of smart metering will the Union be able to meet its 2020 goals. One step further, if the full potential results of demand side response are applied throughout Europe, this would achieve 50 percent of the 2020 energy saving objectives and 25 percent of the CO2 objectives.

The EU’s 2020 targets are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, improve energy efficiency by 20 percent, and increase the percentage of renewable energy by 20 percent.

Moreover there can be no smart grid without smart metering.

ESMIG says the stipulations in the Directive on Energy End-use Efficiency and Energy Services are insufficient to bring about an expeditious EU wide rollout of smart metering. Because many of the benefits of smart metering are systematic, a geographical rollout, as opposed to an ad hoc supplier-oriented customer-by-customer approach, brings the greatest benefits to the most actors at the lowest cost. Moreover only with an area-wide introduction of smart metering can its benefits be realized across the value chain, from consumer to supplier to grid operator and even in generation. Further a deployment conducted on an ad hoc basis raises questions of interoperability and stranded investments.

ESMIG says the EU now has the chance to lay the foundation for the energy supply system of the future with the so-called 3rd Energy Package currently being debated among the EU institutions, which seeks to complete the European internal market for energy. Given that smart metering is a crucial enabling technology and supports the three pillars of European energy policy, i.e. environmental protection, competitiveness and security of supply, a first reasonable step is to create transparency for all stakeholders by legislating the rollout of advanced meter management (AMM). This means that a requirement to introduce AMM across Europe within a specified timeframe must be included in the final version of the Energy Package.

“It is not only the credibility of the EU that is at stake, but the future of our environment, the empowerment of consumers and even our standard of living,” says ESMIG.