Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (39)

Alan Farrell


39. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to roll out smart meters; and his views on whether smart meters can be a tool to address Ireland's climate commitments. [3174/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Smart Meter Upgrade is being coordinated by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, and ESB Networks are responsible for rolling out smart electricity meters. This is a significant energy infrastructure project, involving the installation of new meters to over 2 million customers nationwide. The rollout will occur in a phased basis, commencing with an initial delivery of 250,000 meters across the latter half of 2019 and 2020 and approximately 500,000 meters in each of the four subsequent years. By 2020 almost three quarters of a million of existing meters will be more than 40 years old and in need of replacement.

Last week’s announcement by ESB Networks lays out the details of three procurement processes related to the Smart Meter Upgrade – the smart meters themselves, their deployment and the communications technology they will use. The announcement of the awards of contracts followed a rigorous tendering process carried out by ESB Networks in 2018.

The national installation of smart meters is a key enabler of Ireland's transition to a low carbon energy system that will help deliver on our climate action goals. There will be no need for estimated bills with smart meters. Accurate energy usage information across the day will enable consumers to be more efficient in their use of electricity and save money (e.g. by using appliances off peak). This will, in turn, reduce the need for less efficient and more costly generation at peak times and support the increase in renewable power on the electricity system. Smart meters will also support greater uptake of electric vehicles and micro-generation.

Question No. 40 answered with Question No. 31.