Every home and business to get smart electricity meter

Devices will provide ‘real-time’ electricity consumption information and end meter-reading house calls

A total of 2.3 million smart meters are to be installed in Irish homes and businesses, the Commission for Energy Regulation has announced. The €1.2 billion roll-out will allow energy consumers to make significant savings on electricity usage.

The commission says the meters facilitate more convenient use of energy in the home, while bringing additional benefits to the economy and the environment.

The programme, which includes replacing older meters, will herald the end of house calls to read the electricity meter, though it will be 2024 before it is completed.

A smart meter provides “real-time consumption information” that can be beamed to an “in-home display”, or to a phone or tablet, and indicates in actual money terms current consumption. Research has confirmed engaged consumers use less energy when they know more about their consumption. A smart meter also enables reports of usage by week, month and year. The data is conveyed with the help of a sim card in the meter.


The National Smart Metering Programme involves a phased approach, commencing with an initial delivery of 250,000 meters in 2019-2020 and about 500,000 meters in each of the four subsequent years. The initial priority is to service “early adapters”, consumers who request a smart meter, while also replacing older meters approaching end of life expectancy.

“Gas smart” services complementing electricity consumption will be in place by the end of 2024.

This follows trial testing of smart meters that were installed in 8,000 Irish households. The cost to the consumer will be €5.50 a year, which will be added to their bill.

Day-to-day rollout of the delivery plan will be the responsibility of ESB Networks and subjected to oversight by a steering group that will also include the Commission for Energy Regulation and the Department of the Environment.

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times