RH: Smart meter rollout by the end of 2022 will be expensive and slow

Smart meters, the new electricity metering devices, were installed significantly slower than the promised end of 2022. In addition, the introduction was twice as long as planned, and providers were only partially able to access the data. The Court of Auditors (RH) writes in a report published today that the promised “intelligence” has not been achieved.

EU regulations require smart meters to be installed on 80 percent of connections by 2020. Austria wanted to reach 95 percent. In fact, only 68 percent of users in 2022 had modern devices. However, the EU Commission extended the transition deadline to the end of 2024 as many countries fell behind schedule.

However, by the end of 2023, 85 percent of electricity meters have already been replaced, and by the end of 2024, 95 percent or more should have smart meters, E-Control Board member Alphonse Haber said today at APA’s request. .

The cost is double

The court of auditors writes that the costs of investing in smart meters rose from the predicted 830 million to 1.78 billion euros – plus operating costs, so the introduction cost was 2.18 billion euros.

Network losses and financial costs are not included and are not charged by the electricity regulator; Auditors report that on average for all state network operators, the price of a smart meter is 330 euros in the introductory phase.

“Still No Good”

“Benefits to end-customers and network operators and the national economy are still not evident or are only at a much lower level than expected,” the RH report said. There were apparently widespread problems with data transmission: by the end of 2022, one in seven smart meters were not communicating, but the rollout rate included “non-intelligent” devices.

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In July and August 2022 no operator was able to read all metering devices daily – two state network operators did not reach any metering device on some days.

Communication is not constant, “although the amount of data is currently relatively low,” criticizes RH. Because by the end of 2022, only 7.2 percent of consumers have chosen quarter-hour readings with nearly a hundred readings each day.

By default, 90 percent of measurements can be provided once a day, and the rest only once a year. However, the demand for data is increasing every quarter hour.

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