What is the problem ? Goal : Realising the EU's 2020 targets on climate and energy
Europe has set itself ambitious energy and climate change objectives for 2020. Smart meters could contribute to achieving these objectives, but there is no current agreement in Europe about the way a smart meter should be defined. The wide-spread roll-out of affordable and effective smart meters, will require agreement at EU-level on their minimum functionalities.
Why is EU Action required ? Agreed common functionalities for Smart Meters
If roll out is conceived in the right way, smart meters can be used to make consumers aware of and better manage their energy consumption. They help increase efficiency in the management of the electricity grid (network), contribute to grid balancing and in the end allow for the integration of de-centrally generated renewable energy.
What has the Commission done so far?
Raised awareness to ensure the bundling of the two types of services (energy-billing and energy saving) would be avoided.
As a member of the Smart Meter Coordination Group of the CEN, the Commission has contributed to the activities going on in the framework of the standardisation mandate M/441. Specifically, the Commission has scoped down the workplan from the initial ambitions inspired by utilities, so as to achieve results earlier and so speed up the take up of smart meters.
Together with CEER (Council of European Energy Regulators) we have developed a questionnaire on the functional requirements for smart metering. A set of recommendations was developed based on responses to the questionnaire by Member States that have already carried out a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) as required by the 2009 Electricity Directive. Commission presented the report at the Citizen's Energy Forum in London in October 2011 and related standardisation groups (M441, M468 and M490). The recommendations are included in the Conclusions of the 4th meeting of the Citizens' Energy Forum Retail Forum (London, 26 -27 October 2011).
Through policy planning, regulation and standardisation has sought to ensure:
- Functionalities of metering devices that provide the grid with frequent information about consumption and reduce operational costs by enabling remote operation.
- Functionalities that provide information needed for the provision of ICT products and services for energy management in buildings (homes, offices, etc.). Contacts were made with CEER to elaborate Guidelines for the remaining Member States to guarantee that these needs are covered.
The approach was to decouple the goals of grid robustness and grid balancing, and engagement of users in energy savings through innovative home ICT services.
The European Commission presented a set of functionalities agreed by 11 Member States in October 2011. A Commission Recommendation was adopted in February 2012.
Member States are to incorporate the agreed functionalities in their cost-benefit analyses at the earliest opportunity.