CEZ: Testing the use of smart meters as key component of future smart grids


Pavel Cyrani,
Chief Strategy
Officer, CEZ
Interview with Pavel Cyrani, Chief Strategy Officer, CEZ
At Smart Utilities Central and Eastern Europe 2012, CEZ told delegates that it has decided not to proceed with further smart meter deployments based on experience from previous large scale pilot rollouts. Does CEZ still hold the same outlook, and if so, do you think this could change in the near future?
Our view of a large scale rollout of smart-metering has not changed. We are still convinced that the value added to our customers through automated metering alone does not compensate for its costs.

Can you give a little more information on why CEZ does not place importance on further smart meter deployments?
It is not true that we are not placing importance on further smart meter deployment. We are testing the use of smart meters as the key component of future smart grids. They can function as a sensor, switching actor and information hub at every consumption point once there is need for it. Such need will only arise once homes are equipped with multiple generation and storage devices that need to be controlled in a “smart” way such as PV panels or micro-CHP combined with local batteries and e-vehicles.

What efforts is CEZ taking to enhance consumer engagement in smart metering and the future smart energy infrastructure?
We are using our base of more than 35,000 installed smart meters as well as other technology to further pilot different applications in order to find out where the biggest value for our customers is.
We are also big supporters of e-mobility building up a network of charging stations and offering e-vehicle charging tariffs.

Realistically, when you do you believe we might see mass deployment of smart meters across Central and Eastern Europe?
It’s difficult to judge – smart meters will only come hand-in-hand with the technology they are supposed to control. I estimate that within the next 5 years we will see smart homes together with smart meters as a standard for newly constructed homes. As for the older homes and buildings it will take longer than that.

CEZ is Host Utility at this year’s Smart Utilities Central & Eastern Europe 2013.

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