MUNICH, Germany The installed base of smart electricity meters in Europe is growing at a rapid pace. According to Swedish market researcher Berg Insight, every year through 2013 about 15.6 percent new smart meters will add to the installed base.
By the end of the research period in 2013, Berg Insight senior analyst Tobias Ryberg expects an installed base across Europe of 81.2 million devices. "This will mean that one in three households will receive electricity bills based on actual consumption and get immediate financial benefits from energy savings," Berg said in a press release. "Consumers gain control over surging energy costs, governments get chance to promote energy conservation, and the energy industry players are able to become more efficient."
While the Nordic countries already have seen massive rollouts, the next countries to receive smart electricity meters now are France, Spain and the Netherlands. In these countries, the installed base is expected to grow at a pace of 11 million units per year. More uncertain are the prospects in Germany and the UK. "Germany did not go all the way with the recent Energy and Climate Act," Ryberg commented. "An unclear regulatory framework and uncertainty about the future threaten to further delay the adoption of smart metering in that country."
For the UK, the market researcher is more optimistic. "If the British government is honest about its commitment to reducing carbon emissions, it really has no other alternative than to push ahead with smart metering for all customers."