The European Commission has downgraded its target for a pan-European Union rollout of electricity smart meters from 80 per cent deployment to 72 per cent as just over half the member states are committed to meeting the 2020 deadline.
According to a Commission report, Benchmarking smart metering deployment in the EU-27 with a focus on electricity, only 16 of the EU's nations are aiming to meet the Third Energy Package energy efficiency targets, including Britain, France, Netherlands and Sweden but not Germany.
Based on this latest data, the report stated that a 72 per cent penetration of electricity smart meters was achievable.
In seven member states, including much of Eastern Europe, the cost-benefit analysis for large-scale rollouts by 2020 were found to be negative or inconclusive, but in Germany, Latvia and Slovakia smart metering was found to be economically justified for particular groups of customers.
The introduction of smart meters into Europe has been held back by debate over who will pay for them - the utilities or the consumers - as well as by opposition from some consumer groups.
There is also the issue over whether smart meters are delivering the right kind of real-time data on consumption.
In only eight of the 16 states are the smart meters being deployed fully in line with EU recommendations on functionality.
Smart gas meters
EU law does not set any specific target for smart meters for gas, although it refers to a "reasonable period of time".
Just five member states have decided to roll out smart meters for gas by 2020 or earlier.
Five member states – Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK - have decided to roll-out smart meters by 2020 or earlier, while France and Austria have plans to proceed with a large-scale roll-out but have yet to take official decisions.
Tender watch: Poland’s PGE distribution seeks AMI supplier
Smart meters: EU will miss 80% rollout deadline, says Commission
Flow meter innovation: Pulsar saves Welsh Water £1.5m