As in other areas (telephones, banking, etc.), computerisation has appeared on the energy scene. The days of the good old analogue meter are numbered, as fewer and fewer of them are being produced.
They are making way for electronic meters, which bring various advantages for customers:
- Daily monitoring of consumption: thanks to a device connected to the meter (customer port) and already available on the market (a service offered by certain suppliers), consumers can display their consumption and adapt their behaviour to consume less or, if possible, consume when electricity is cheaper.
- Goodbye to estimated bills: we can develop towards monthly billing based on actual consumption, while maintaining the possibility of an annual reading.
- Easier meter readings when moving house: these meters store data recorded every day, although only the reading from a specific day is sent to the supplier once a month. This will enable exact readings for the changeover day of tenants or owners, even if the move has already taken place. Which means a lot of legal disputes can be avoided.
- Quicker action in respect of meters: it will no longer take two days for an engineer to call round to open the meter in the cellar. This operation can be carried out remotely, without an appointment.
- The introduction of new pricing formulas: we can forget about the traditional day-night tariff. The smart meter can send a signal to different domestic appliances so they come on when the rate is lowest – for example when wind farms or solar panels are generating a lot of power.
- Secure supply: smart meters make it possible to better manage consumption peaks, and in doing so help to stabilise the grid.
Why are smart meters becoming essential?
Almost all European countries have rolled out or are beginning to roll out smart meters. The smart meter is, in fact, the vital link in energy transition. Phasing out nuclear power, stepping up the numbers of electric vehicles, local energy generation and heat pumps are the realities network managers need to take into account. These meters are necessary to smooth out load peaks. They make it possible to avoid having to invest in strengthening the grid on a case-by-case basis.
Sibelga is a neutral agent in the energy market, ensuring the management and processing of reliable, accurate consumption data for everyone, strictly within the legal frameworks concerning the protection of privacy and confidentiality of consumption.
With the smart meter, it is not a matter of doing anything at any price, but this meter is becoming a necessity in the energy landscape of the future. If a legal framework for metering does not develop, the private agents will do it themselves, outside any legal framework.