Smart metering is seen as a catalyst for some of the biggest changes in the utility sector, with the potential to rewrite the roles and dynamics between the consumer, supplier and distributor and spearhead the development of smart grid. It is promised to transform an energy supplier to energy services provider, empower the consumer to adopt smart tariffs and energy efficiency behaviour, and help distributor balance the load and optimise the use of its assets.
With so much promise, why have mass rollouts been uneven across Europe, with some countries not making them mandatory? In addition, the cost of smart metering runs into billions of Euros, and possibly the biggest issue is how to justify the spend in a tough economic climate and ensure that the investments delivers tangible benefits for all. Creating a business and market model that unite the interests of all stakeholders - governments, consumer, and utilities - is the crucial factor for its long term success.
On the retail side, the consumer has traditionally been disengaged from their energy provider, services reduced to retrospective billing with no intelligence on consumption patterns or incentives to change one’s behaviour. If that is changing now, how is this new relationship likely to evolve and what are the tangible benefits to the consumer?
Moderator: Jessica Stromback, Executive Director, Smart Energy Demand Coalition