As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
Together with the Directorate General for Energy, the JRC has recently published the first report measuring the progress of smart meters deployment across the EU against the 80% target by 2020. Member States commitments represent to date, a total potential investment of €45 billion.
Smart meters are essential for consumers; they allow an accurate billing through the communication between the electricity meters recording the actual consumption and the monitoring utility. They may also facilitate the provision of additional services to consumers.
EU Member States have already committed to roll-out close to 200 million smart meters for electricity and 45 million for gas by 2020. From the analysis of current national roll-out plans, the JRC has estimated that almost 72% of European consumers will have a smart meter for electricity.
In the report "Benchmarking smart metering deployment in the EU-27 with a focus on electricity", the JRC provided a detailed analysis of each country's roll-out plans, complementing it with cross-country metrics and indicators. The report also highlights best practices and lessons learned from EU Member States that have already completed the smart metering roll-out.
According to the provisions of the energy market legislation , every EU Member State shall ensure a wide implementation of smart metering. This may be subject to a long-term cost-benefit analysis (CBA), and, in cases where the CBA is positive, the roll-out should cover at least 80% of electricity consumers by 2020.
While cost estimates vary, the average cost of a smart metering system is estimated between €200 and €250 per customer, while delivering on average €309 of benefits per metering point of electricity along with 3% energy savings.