European Union legislation promoting intelligent metering systems has prompted two gas utilities to begin large-scale roll outs of smart meters.

Italian gas distributor Italgas has signed a deal with Ericsson to supply smart meters to its industrial users.

The roll out will mark the first advanced meter management and reading system in the Italian gas sector.

Ericsson’s smart metering solution will allow the gas company to gather data from meters and transfer it to an internal IT department.

It also allows for event collection, command handling, network configuration and real-time monitoring of multivendor gas smart meters.

Italy’s recent reform of the gas distribution sector and its rewards for companies that combine operational efficiency with technological innovation has prompted Italgas to invest in smart metering.

The distributor is also automating many of its operational activities and making them remotely manageable to cut costs and improve service quality.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring France, natural gas utility Gaz reseau Distribution France (GrDF) has contracted Itron to supply 3.7 million smart gas meters between 2016 and 2022.

Claimed by Itron to be the largest smart gas deployment in the world, the meters are a key part of GrDF’s Smart Gas Meter project, which will equip 11 million residential and business customers with energy usage data and actual consumption bills.

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