(METERING.COM) — November 7, 2008 – Jorge Vasconcelos, representing European energy regulators, affirmed the EU’s commitment to smart metering technology earlier this week: "Smart metering is a crucial factor for the efficient functioning of the internal electricity market," he commented. In a paper for the European University Institute, Vasconcelos asserts that smart meters represent a useful tool for governments to implement policies with a variety of goals, including environmental protection, competitiveness and supply security. In addition, he outlines various benefits for energy customers, suppliers, distribution network operators and metering companies alike.
Vasconcelos observes that smart meters allow new contractual arrangements between customers and suppliers as well as smoother consumer switching within Europe, as they can be remote-managed effectively and accurately.
They have huge potential to change consumer behaviour towards lower energy consumption, and could promote renewable by mitigating the problems of intermittent power generation. However, he finds that the current mixture of regulated and liberalised markets is "incompatible with widespread implementation of smart metering" He therefore calls on the EU to urgently adopt guidelines on smart metering.