Ernst & Young presents final report on the cost-benefit analysis for a nationwide installation of smart meter systems.
Smart meters not only show how much electricity is being consumed, but also provide information about the time of use, and make it possible to securely transmit information about energy consumption. They thus put in place the preconditions for a more efficient use of energy and help to create transparency for consumers.
The EU's member states are basically expected to equip 80 % of all households with smart electricity meter systems by 2022, in line with rules contained in the third single market package and recommendations by the European Commission. Alternatively, member states can undertake a cost-benefit analysis and use this to launch their own strategy.
In the light of this, the Economics Ministry commissioned a study from Ernst & Young which has now concluded that the aforementioned EU scenario is not to be recommended for Germany.
State Secretary Kapferer: "The findings show that we in Germany need to design our roll-out of smart metering systems in a targeted fashion which meets the needs of our energy reforms; generalised approaches are unsuitable. We are now reviewing whether the study's recommendations can be implemented. We have set up a working group with the Federal Network Agency on the financing mechanism to clarify the possibility of building them into our system. The main principle here is to keep energy affordable for the consumer."
The study shows that the costs of a smart metering system clearly exceed the average potential savings for final consumers with low annual consumption levels. It would therefore be disproportionate and economically unreasonable to require all consumers to install such meters.
The experts also highlight the particular efforts being made in Germany to uphold data privacy and data security. These will play a crucial role in the public acceptance of smart metering in Germany. The technical details for this are set out in the protective profiles and technical guidelines issued by the Federal Office for Information Security on behalf of the Federal Economics Ministry together with industry representatives, with a key role being played by the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.
Business associations and consumer representatives now have an opportunity to discuss the findings of the study with the authors via the Grid Platform's Smart Meter Working Group.