According to new research report from Berg Insight, the number of smart electricity meters will exceed 60 million in Europe by 2012. This will mean that one in four consumers will receive electricity bills based on their actual consumption and gain financial benefits from immediate energy savings.
The report identifies rising electricity prices, fears over global warming and energy market reforms as the main drivers behind the adoption of smart metering technology.
“People want control over surging energy costs, governments are obliged to promote energy conservation and competitive markets force the industry to become more efficient. Smart metering contributes to all of these things”, says Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst, Berg Insight.
Italy and Sweden lead the adoption of smart meters in Europe with full penetration expected by 2009. The technology is being introduced on a large scale in Denmark, Finland and Austria. New legislation is also expected to mandate smart metering in Ireland, Netherlands and Norway by the next decade. The UK government is considering whether to introduce similar requirements, but is presently leaning towards a less sophisticated solution where consumers will only receive more information about their power consumption.