Skip to 0 minutes and 13 secondsEurope is on the move towards the integration of gas and electricity markets. The Energy Union represents one more step of the liberalisation process started twenty years ago. Despite some lights and shadows, what is clear is that big changes are transforming the entire sector, from Generation and Transportation & Distribution to Commercialization, with the objective of increasing internal market competition, guaranteeing the quality of supply and reducing the environmental impact. With this triple objective in mind, the Electricity Directive, and the Energy Efficiency Directive, both aim to set the legal basis for a smart meter roll across Europe before 2020. This is very important since smart metering is an essential part of a smart grid.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 secondsHowever, there are important differences among the Member States due to multiple regulatory frameworks, regarding functionalities and data access, for instance. This shows that technology by itself is not enough to reach the energy transition and the market integration.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsHaving massive access to consumption data is a game changer. It shifts the value proposition of the electricity market from “selling kWh” to delivering “energy services”. It increases the competition among retailers based on personalized tariffs according to the consumers’ profile, or “dynamic pricing”. Data driven services forge a new relationship between consumers and energy suppliers.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 secondsIt is also important for energy efficiency goals: being clearly informed in your bill about your consumption contributes to a better energy use by a 3 or 4%. But, beyond the smart billing, there is a window of opportunity for developing advanced energy efficiency services, reducing consumption dramatically and promoting renewables. Handling consumption data is also essential for the energy system operator to efficiently manage the grid and its technical constraints, as well as to maximize the current assets to increase the quality of the delivered service. Besides stakeholders, citizens are actually the most benefited from this. If data were released with the explicit permission of the consumer, in a neutral manner and under clear conditions,

Skip to 2 minutes and 42 secondsnew opportunities for third parties would arise: not only for energy-sector related companies, but also for others. For instance, start-ups carrying out analytics on consumption data and providing feedback to consumers in a usable way, would represent a bridge connecting energy efficiency and social behaviour; and all companies related with Internet of Things and smart homes could also take advantage of consumption data in order to deliver better services to their clients. Also, companies and institutions non-related with the energy sector could improve their services.

Skip to 3 minutes and 18 secondsFor instance, municipalities could deliver a 24/7 surveillance service for vulnerable people, for example old people who live alone, based on the pattern of their consumption, or another example, smart meter data can enable the measurement and validation of the actions taken against fuel poverty, such as retrofitting.

Skip to 3 minutes and 43 secondsThe majority of Member States carried out a Cost-Benefit Analysis before smart meter roll out. It was helpful to define the aimed benefits and, consequently, to define the technical and economic aspects of the decision. All of them are currently under the deployment of their decisions.

Skip to 4 minutes and 2 secondsIt is time to mention some representative cases:

Skip to 4 minutes and 6 secondsDenmark: positive CBA and roll out for all households. It’s the first country with a clear access to the data for third parties. The responsible of the measurement is the TSO – Transport System Operator.

Skip to 4 minutes and 21 secondsGermany: negative CBA and, consequently, selective deployment of smart meters by regulation to those consumers with more than 6.000 kWh/year or with distributed resources at home.

Skip to 4 minutes and 36 secondsSpain: CBA not available. Deployment to 100% of households before 2018, but there is not a clear return of the investment for the consumer. The responsible of the measurement is the DSO – Distributed System Operator.

Skip to 4 minutes and 54 secondsFrom a technical point of view, the functionalities of the smart meters installed are quite different among the Member States. However, the European Commission proposed an open model for consumption data flow based on interoperability and multiple ports able to connect with different players, such as the system operator for market purposes; in-home services provider like ESCO; other utilities, gas, heat and water among others.

Skip to 5 minutes and 20 secondsThis model has been followed by The Netherlands for instance.

Skip to 5 minutes and 26 secondsRegarding data quality and access, there is a lack of standard across Europe in terms of granularity of the measurement, and there are being delays in the disclosure of data to the consumer and to third parties, among others.

Skip to 5 minutes and 41 secondsAustria, Denmark, and the Netherlands: Readings each 15 minutes and data released on a one-day delay basis.

Skip to 5 minutes and 50 secondsFinland, France, Sweden: Hourly readings and one-day delay.

Skip to 5 minutes and 55 secondsSpain: Hourly readings, seven-day delay.

Skip to 6 minutes and 1 secondLast, but not least, there are, yet again,

Skip to 6 minutes and 4 secondsstrong differences regarding the data accessibility to third parties:

Skip to 6 minutes and 7 secondsUnited Kingdom, Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland: In all of these countries, there is a clear process to have third-party access based on a central data hub.

Skip to 6 minutes and 18 secondsIreland, Austria, France: Access through the utility web portal.

Skip to 6 minutes and 24 secondsSpain, Poland: There is no standard procedure to enable expressly authorised third-party access to the smart meter data.

Skip to 6 minutes and 36 secondsEnergy policy at European level puts the consumer in the centre of the energy market. It changes the traditional relationship between the players. However, there is a lack of harmonisation within the regulatory framework across Europe. This situation threatens the Energy Union and represents a barrier for the industry to scale up solutions based on consumption data, imposing less competitiveness in the energy global market.

Smart metering (re)evolution

Having massive access to consumption data is a game changer. In this video, professor Pep Salas will explain how information shifts the value proposition of the electricity market from selling kWh to delivering energy services, while increasing the competition among retailers based on personalized tariffs according to the consumers’ profile.

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This video is from the free online course:

Smart Grids for Smart Cities: Towards Zero Emissions

EIT InnoEnergy