Overall smart metering landscape in Europe little changed over past year, report finds


Vienna, Austria — (METERING.COM) — October 22, 2012 – Due to EU legislation, such as the Energy Services Directive and the 3rd Energy Package, a majority of the countries in Europe already have or are about to implement some form of legal framework for the installation of smart meters, according to the SmartRegions’ Smart Metering Landscape Report 2012.

The introduction of smart meters is progressing throughout Europe and is on the energy policy agenda in most of the countries. The topic continues to generate heated discussions but has different dynamics in the individual EU member states.

The report assesses the speed and approach to smart meter rollout in member states, representing them in four categories – dynamic movers, market drivers, ambitious movers, waverers and laggards.

Countries such as Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, U.K., Spain and Sweden are “dynamic movers”. Most of them have already decided about a mandatory rollout with a specified timetable.

“Market drivers” such as Germany, Czech Republic and Denmark have not established legal requirements for a full rollout. There are the obligations for the introduction of smart meter only for a certain category of customers, e.g. in newly built houses and renovated houses. Nevertheless utilities go ahead with the installation of smart meters either because of internal
synergetic effects or because of customer demands.

The situation in Austria and Poland can be characterized as ambiguous. Although significant progress is visible, there are still some important decisions missing.

In the countries called “waverers” first initiatives and pilot projects for the introduction of smart meters have been launched. In the “laggards” countries smart metering is not yet an issue.

The 2012 report is based on a modified methodology from the previous report. However, the overall picture is almost unchanged. The progress was biggest in the countries with a significant regulatory push (dynamic movers). For the most part they have already defined mandatory rollout plans and clarified the minimum functional requirements for smart meters. The analysis of smart metering services has shown that the markets for these services are emerging slowly.

To measure the legal and regulatory status the dimensions used are cost-benefit analysis and rollout plan, timeline for the rollout, barriers from additional legislation and regulation, e.g. privacy and data protection, measurement and calibrating meters, and legal minimum functional requirements.

To classify the progress in implementation, the dimensions assessed are enabling infrastructure, rollout status, and services already available to customers.