The Commission for Energy Regulator (CER) has announced proposals for the the rollout of smart meters across Ireland by 2020.
The proposals are up for consultation, following the completion of some customer behaviour and technology trials earlier this year.
The results of the trials showed a national rollout in Ireland could lead to an 2.5% reduction in overall electricity consumption, 2.9% gas and an 8.8% reduction in peak time electricity consumption.
A cost-benefit analysis found a net benefit of smart metering up to 229 million over 20 years. The cost of the rollout is an estimated 1 billion euros.
The proposal is for a rollout for all residential customers and for a significant proportion of business customers. It includes all business customers currently with non-interval meters, and all business gas consumers currently in the G4 meter category (ie. up to 6m3/hr; for users with greater capacity, an alternative AMR solution is proposed). The total customers corresponds to 2.2 million electricity and 600,000 gas.
All electricity customers will be provided with an in-home display (IHD) device which is capable of displaying both gas and electricity information for duel-fuel customers, providing Smart bills containing detailed consumption and cost information. Pre payment services will also be available, allowing customers to switch between prepay and bill pay options.
The final decision on the rollout is expected by the end of January 2012, after which a period of up to 2 years for phase 2 (planning, requirement definition,procurement, and selection) and another 2 years for phase 3 (detailed design, system testing, and pre-deployment rollout).Deployment would then follow during the next 2 – 4 years with completion in the 2018-20 timeframe.