Electricity customers have responded very favorably to the smart meters installed on their premises as part of four smart meter projects conducted by E.ON in Germany. Over 1,000 meters have already been replaced, and the feedback from homeowners has been very encouraging, with over 80 percent of the customers saying that they saw the new, smart meter as something very positive or mostly positive.
E.ON grid operators in four selected regions in Germany are currently involved in pilots to roll out smart meters. On the islands of Fehmarn and Rügen in the north and in Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Bavaria, almost one thousand customers in the service areas of Avacon, Bayernwerk, E.DIS und Hansewerk are taking part in these pilots.
E.ON expects to gain important insights from these projects, especially on data transmission which uses technologies such as mobile communication or power lines. The safety and reliability of these connections will be thoroughly tested together with the participating customers.
The background to these pilot projects is the statutory obligation to install intelligent metering systems for customers with an annual consumption of more than 6000 kilowatt hours (kWh). Operators of plants funded under the Renewable Energies Act (EEG) with an installed capacity of more than seven kilowatt (kW) are also likely to be under an obligation to install such systems from mid-2018 onwards.
“Smart meters record power consumption digitally in real time, which is in line with the trend towards digitization of the entire energy industry. On this basis, we can develop new, innovative products and services for our customers,” says Paul-Vincent Abs, Managing Director of E.ON Metering. “Such products can also be an incentive to consume electricity when it is available in abundance. This will help to keep grid expansion costs under control.”
After the completion of the rollout in 2027, around 20 percent of all electricity customers in Germany should have smart meters installed. For E.ON alone this would be over one million of the company’s roughly seven million German grid customers.