SPECIAL REPORT / Europe’s ambitious plan for 80% market penetration of smart meters by 2020 is failing to live up to expectations. A senior energy official at the European Commission admits that market penetration is still very low, particularly in the new member states, and that there is a big shortfall in investment.
EU countries must do away with the distorting influence of state intervention and step up efforts to implement internal energy market rules, which could save consumers an estimated €13 billion a year, says a report by the European Commission released Thursday (15 November).
The European Union put down the last piece of the bloc's 2020 climate and energy policy puzzle by adopting an Energy Efficiency Directive. The directive is a game-changer for energy companies, which are now required to achieve 1.5% energy savings every year among their final clients. The EU law is also expected to trigger the largest revamp of Europe's existing building stock to date and set new standards for public procurement and energy audits.
Industry is waiting for national energy regulators in each member state to decide how to distribute the costs involved in the roll-out of smart meters, which could fall on consumers, depending on each market's 'peculiarities', John Harris, of smart metering company Landis+Gyr, told EurActiv.
The European Commission is likely to draw a benchmark report on the costs and benefits of smart meters by mid-2013 and urge member states to inform it as soon as possible of their assessments and roll-out plans.
SPECIAL REPORT / The European Commission has asked member states to present before September their cost-benefit analyses on the deployment of smart meters that could lead to 80% of consumers being equipped with intelligent metering systems by 2020. But a recent study casts doubts over their cost-effectiveness and the benefits they bring to consumers.
Jessica Stromback of the Smart Energy Demand Coalition says t he Energy Efficiency Directive could create a demand-response energy market, which decentralises consumption and allows end-users to control their energy use at critical or peak times .
Consumers will not be able to cut their energy consumption unless the energy efficiency directive creates a framework for smart meter feedback, accurate bills and information campaigns, argues Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC).
EU plans to move towards a low-carbon economy depend upon a transformed cross-border transmissions system that can integrate renewables and smart meters alike, offering energy consumption savings at source. But is Europe on track to meet the challenge?
The European Commission has inched towards a new regulatory framework to promote smart grids in a strategy paper to be published today (12 April) that sets out carrots and sticks to get the fledgling industry on its feet.
Smart metering of energy needs to be introduced across Europe as soon as possible if Europe is to meet its 20-20-20 goals for energy efficiency, writes John Harris, vice-president of Landis+Gyr, in an exclusive commentary for EurActiv.
Households should expect their electricity bills to rise as Europe switches to cleaner energy and ageing power grids are gradually being replaced by new 'intelligent' ones. The good news is that smart meters should soon help them to better control their bills, says GE Energy's Bob Gilligan. But do consumers really want them?
With smart meters gradually being rolled out across Europe, households are expected to gain full control over their electricity consumption, helping the fight against global warming and putting more renewable energy onto the electricity grid.
Italy has been one of Europe's forerunners in implementing smart metering systems to help households keep track of their electricity consumption, says Livio Gallo of Enel in an interview with EurActiv.