Ireland’s smart metering program – what information for customers?


Dublin, Ireland — (METERING.COM) — September 10, 2013 – Ireland’s Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) is proposing that energy usage information should be provided to customers via three channels – an in-home display, smart billing and customer web interface.

In a new consultation the CER sets out its proposals for these three channels. The in-home display is seen as providing principally near real time information, the smart bill a periodic review of consumption and cost, and the customer web interface access to historical data.

For the mandated in-home display, the proposed information should include:

  • Instantaneous active electricity demand (near real time information)
  • Up to date consumption position in time period (cumulative information)
  • Past period consumption comparison (historical information)
  • Cost information.

For the smart bill the CER proposes it should contain information relating to:

  • Energy statement arrangements and communication method where customers opt-in for electronic billing
  • Electricity and gas time-of-use information
  • Year-on-year energy usage comparison for the billing period
  • Additional contact information to signpost customers to independent advice
  • Hints and tips on reducing and shifting energy consumption
  • Complimentary billing information for previous bills for the last 3 years.

On the customer web portal, customers should be provided with their consumption data in a national harmonized format. Both networks and suppliers should provide access to consumers’ consumption information – principally because supplier provided data retains the key supplier-customer relationship and allows suppliers to align this data provision with other services to customers, while network provided data allows the provision of data beyond the start of the customer’s contract and provides access to data without the need for consumers to go to their existing supplier. Responsibility for passing on data to 3rd parties is proposed for the customer.

A second new consultation is focused on pay as you go, or prepayment. The two models under review are the preferred functionally light meter model where all credit (and debt) management functions are carried out within a supplier’s billing and customer service systems; and the functionally rich meter model where the primary credit (and debt) functions are carried out and available on the meter, but payment processing and account reconciliation is carried out in supplier’s billing systems.

Both consultations run until October 11.