Intelligent meters for electricity and in principle also for gas, known as Smart Meters, communicate real-time information to customers on their consumption. The progress in installation of these devices varies across the individual countries in the EU.
‘Mülheim zählt’ (Mülheim counts) project
Our pilot project in Germany ‘Mülheim zählt’ (Mülheim counts) has involved us in replacing conventional meters in more than 100,000 households with Smart Meters since the end of 2008. Up to now, customers have been extremely satisfied with the results. Since March 2012, around 700 participants in Mühlheim have taken part in the E-DeMa model trial where we carried a practical test on the perspectives for developing Smart Metering. We use the project to offer our customers tariff models with variable timings and levels of consumption. Some customers even opt for automated connection of appliances and equipment – according to electricity prices and availability of supply. The burgeoning feed-in of renewables-based electricity will increase the necessity for a move to more supply-oriented electricity consumption in future.
Smart Meter infrastructure in other markets
The British government has committed to the roll-out of smart meters in Great Britain from au-tumn 2014. The plan is to complete installation of an estimated 53 million smart meters in some 30 million households and businesses by the end of 2019. This represents one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever carried out in Great Britain. It requires RWE npower to install around 5.5 million smart meters. RWE npower is building up the capacities necessary to install smart meters with the associated technical network in order to guarantee the transition to a ‘Smart Energy’ infrastructure. Software systems and business processes also need to be adapted and this forms a significant programme of work.
In Hungary, smart meters for supply with electricity, gas and water are to be tested jointly. In cooperation with FÖGAZ, the local district-heating and water utilities Fötav and Budapest Wa-terworks, the ELMŰ-ÉMÁSZ Group took part in the installation of smart meters throughout the country in a pilot project carried out in 2012 – nearly 7.400 smart meters were installed by ELMŰ-ÉMÁSZ. Our ‘RWE Smart Energy’ project was the first comprehensive pilot project on smart metering to be carried out in Poland. The project involved installing smart meters at se-lected buildings in Warsaw, running an information campaign for residents and carrying out a study on the behaviour of electricity consumers.