Another important innovation in the field of electricity will have an impact on end-user behaviour. During this period, electricity distributors are adapting to the requirements of Legislative Decree no. 102 of 2014 (in implementation of European Directive 2012/27/EU) with the roll-out of second-generation meters (2G). These meters have greater intelligence and, following the resolution of the AEEGSI (Authority for Electricity, Gas and Water System), must provide a channel of communication from the meter directly to the customer or to third parties. This user-side data transmission functionality was not present in first generation (1G) electricity meters and therefore represents a significant step forward for end users, since it will allow them to better know the timing and consumption profile of electricity and, therefore, to increase awareness of their behavior and encourage competition in post-meter services.
What does the deployment of smart meters mean?
A 2014 report* from the European Commission indicates that:
- about 200 million smart meters for electricity and 45 million for gas will be installed in the EU by 2020. This represents a potential investment of €45 billion;
- By 2020, it is expected that almost 72% of European consumers will have a smart meter for electricity, while about 40% will have one for gas;
- On average, smart meters deliver savings of €160 for gas and €309 for electricity (distributed among consumers, suppliers, distributors, etc.) per metering point and an average energy saving of 3%.
* "Benchmarking smart metering deployment in the EU-27 with a focus on electricity"
The use of data from the 2G meter offers new opportunities for home automation functions that can take advantage of the availability of consumption data, warning of disconnection and exceeding thresholds: an example above all is given of course by the control of loads. But there are many other positive consequences to be imagined in terms of information to end users, energy efficiency, containment of consumption, integration between smart grid and smart home, rational use of photovoltaic production, management of electrical storage and scheduling of charging of electric vehicles.