energy saving

Smart metering a reality in Europe

Some 3,000 smart metering and utility professionals are gathering in Vienna from 22-24 September to compare and take notes on the progress of the many smart metering roll-out programmes that are taking place across Europe. It is estimated that more than 96 million smart meters will be installed in households by 2014.

Elisabeth Brusse, project director of Metering, Billing/CRM Europe, says as more and more utilities are finishing their pilot projects or even completing their roll-out programmes, the market is looking into the next phase, offering value added services to the customers and moving to a smart grid infrastructure. “As a result of this”, she continues, “key issues for the industry currently are standardisation and interoperability, data security and privacy, creating a positive business case and making the customer aware of the smart metering benefits. Without an effective marketing campaign and proper customer communication, it will be impossible to implement a successful smart metering programme”.

According to Berg Insight, 96.3 million households across Europe will have smart electricity meters by 2014. The strong uptake of intelligent metering puts within reach the EU-wide target that 80% of households should have smart meters by 2020. These devices will provide consumers with detailed information about their electricity consumption, control over energy costs, and financial incentives for energy savings.

How smart is Austria’s metering?

Countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, UK, and the Netherlands are implementing some of the more advanced roll-out programmes according to Metering, Billing/CRM Europe’s Elisabeth Brusse, while in the Austria (the country posting September’s event), smart metering is not yet mandatory although several utilities are piloting their smart metering programmes.

The managing director of the Viennese utility and host utility to the event, Wien Energie, Robert Grüneis says “it is the aim of Wien Energie to develop a smart meter-system which takes in consideration the needs of every energy network and metering unit, and which enables synergies to be achieved in the areas of information technology and data management.”

According to the Viennese utility head the success of smart metering implementation is at a crucial turning point for many market participants and “it is becoming increasingly evident that as an industry we need to determine and define market rules, and the rights and provide clear guidelines of the responsibilities of all key stakeholders. By establishing clear industry standards that provide reliable basic parameters together with the free choice with regards to technical and organizational implementation we can help speed up further development.”

The Metering, Billing/CRM Europe event is regarded as the leading industry forum and once again will bring together more than 80 utilities from Europe and beyond, international energy regulators and the world’s leading utility suppliers and industry associations. The 2010 conference programme will focus on 5 major themes: successful smart metering programmes and the move to a smart grid infrastructure; smart metering data handling and discussing the increasing need for system security and data privacy; implementing and preparing your business for a smart communication infrastructure; new value added services and customer management through smart metering Systems; and enhanced billing operations for smarter utilities.

For additional information:

Metering, Billing/CRM Europe


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