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Action 73 in Ireland flag Ireland

Member States to agree on common additional functionalities for smart meters

Indicator Status Evidence
Has the NRA (or country) conducted a cost benefit analysis on the roll-out of smart metering for electricity? Yes electricity and gas smart metering CBAs published by the CER during 2011:
Does the Cost Benefit Analysis cover the 10 functionalities as per the European Commission Recommendations ? Yes assuming this is referring to the ‘common minimum functional requirements’ set out in point 42 of European Commission Recommendation to prepare the roll-out of smart-metering systems We satisfy all & exceed some. One query exists though related to recommendation 42.b. which states that in relation to the frequency of data updates to the consumer that “The general consensus is that an update rate of every 15 minutes is needed at least”. For electricity consumers they will be able to avail of receiving near ‘real-time’ updates (every few seconds) via their home area network (HAN) & associated mandated in-home display (IHD) device. However, for gas consumers we have assumed in our CBAs & subsequent Decision Paper that gas data will be available via the HAN & on the IHD on a half-hourly frequency. This is due to the battery dependency of the gas smart meter & the need to strike an appropriate balance between how often the gas meter ‘wakes up’ to transmit/receive data & the need to minimise revisits to replace batteries. We have thus assumed half-hourly frequency to be the appropriate balance which is therefore assumed to require one battery replacement during the meter lifetime – this has been reflected in the gas CBA cost assumptions.
Was the Cost Benefit Analysis positive in relation to the above-mentioned functionalities ? Yes There is quantifiable net benefit to Ireland, often substantially so, arising from the different national electricity and gas smart metering rollout options analysed. With the optimal combination of electricity and gas national smart metering rollout options being selected the net present value (NPV) benefit to be achieved would be circa €229 million over a period of 20 years i.e. the benefits arising from smart metering (mainly from energy network operator-related efficiencies, consumer energy usage efficiencies and electricity generation-related efficiencies) more than outweigh the costs of rolling out smart metering nationally (mainly energy network operator-related costs of investment in the end-to-end smart metering technology infrastructure and some energy supplier-related systems investment costs also). The €229m NPV figure is based on the proposed national rollout option that incorporates a ‘fast’ rollout of electricity and gas smart metering (leveraging a single wide area network communications infrastructure), including the provision of detailed bi-monthly billing (i.e. with energy usage statement) and an in-home display (with dual fuel capability) to all energy consumers, and time of use (ToU) tariffs to all electricity consumers i.e. €170m NPV from the electricity smart metering CBA plus €59m NPV from the gas smart metering CBA. For further details refer to the published CBA reports:

Best Practice Case

comprehensive cost benefit analysis of both electricity & gas smart metering was undertaken by the CER in partnership with the Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Ireland, which provided CBA modelling expertise. The CBA utilised key inputs from findings from the very comprehensive & robust smart metering customer behaviour trials (electricity & gas) that were conducted in Ireland, & which have drawn interest & been commended internationally. For further details refer to the published trial reports, CBAs & associated summary Information Papers:

Other initiatives:

The CER published its Smart Metering Decision Paper in July 2012 which outlines the decision by the CER, after taking account of responses received to its recent consultation on this topic, to proceed to the next phase (Phase 2) of the National Smart Metering Programme. This decision is based on the positive results of the comprehensive electricity and gas smart metering trials and associated cost-benefit analyses published during 2011. The decision is further underpinned by relevant European and national legislation which promote smart metering and outline specific related requirements. The decision paper outlines the high level objectives, data requirements, design, functionality, implementation approach and timelines that will be now be formally adopted by the National Smart Metering Programme as it proceeds to the next phase (Phase 2) in delivering a national rollout of electricity and gas smart metering in Ireland to all residential consumers and a significant proportion of small-to-medium enterprise (SME) consumers. Note: the requirements outlined in this Decision Paper satisfy all & exceed some of the EC recommendations as discussed above (except for the query regarding the recommended frequency of the gas meter data to consumers, as outlined above).

External contribution

External contributions are more than welcome. If you would like to share with us a country, regional or local-level initiative relevant for this DAE action, you can do it via the online form.