The European Investment Bank has approved financing of €1bn for Italy’s smart meter rollout.
Enel’s power distributor e-Distribuzione plans to roll out 41 million new generation ‘2.0 meters’ of which 32 million will replace the current first-generation meters. The rest will be used for new connections and customer requests.
The overall investment destined for the 15 year plan amounts to approximately €4.3bn, of which €1.3bn is for the first 13 million meters by 2019.
The initiative will involve 250 Italian companies and 4,000 technicians in the installation phase.
E-Distribuzione’s plan has been designated an EU project of common interest (PCI) and falls under European Investment Bank's (EIB) activities in the energy sector which aims to reduce the effects of climate change and provides support for convergence regions (i.e. less economically developed EU regions), since 40% of meters are located in southern Italy, Sicily and Sardinia.
To adopt smart measurement systems that meet EU energy efficiency requirements, set by the European Union (European Directive 2012/27/EU, transposed into Italian law with Legislative Decree 102/2014), energy distributors have to replace current meters with new generation meters.
Enel CEO Francesco Starace said: “These second-generation electronic meters will open up a world of possibilities and services to houses, firms, offices and shopping centres, combining consumer protection with technological innovation. This represents a genuine leap in performance, which will place Italy at the cutting edge of electricity distribution worldwide.”
E-Distribuzione claims to be the first electricity distributor in the world to have already developed the second generation of the remote management system.
“This transaction further strengthens our relationship with the Enel Group, with whom we have worked for years in a wide range of areas: from modernising power plants to the electricity distribution grid, and new alternative energy projects, just as we supported the installation of the first generation of smart meters 15 years ago”, said Dario Scannapieco, Vice-President of the EIB.
The second-generation meter is the result of a process that reflects recent developments in the market and technological evolution in the field of metering and remote management.
The Open Meter technology will make it possible to promote energy efficiency, increase awareness of consumption behaviour, encourage competition in post-meter services and develop the home automation market.
The technology, designed by architect Michele De Lucchi and developed entirely in Italy by E-Distribuzione, is said to be inspired by the concept of open, accessible, technologically advanced and sustainable energy.