Our good old-fashioned electromechanical meters are increasingly making way for smart meters, which almost all European countries are now beginning to roll out. Smart meters are a vital link in the energy transition.

Also known as digital meters or communicating meters, smart meters are digital devices that measure and record electricity consumption and production in real time.

This data can then be:

  • Used locally to connect energy management systems or enable smart electric charging for example.
  • Sent remotely to your network operator (Sibelga in Brussels), so that your energy supplier can draw up a correct invoice.

Smart meters in Brussels

Why use a smart meter?

You may already have received an email or letter from Sibelga offering you a smart electricity meter, or maybe you already have one installed in your home. But why exactly are smart meters being rolled out on a large scale?

Since 2009, Europe has been recommending that its Member States introduce "intelligent" metering systems, so that citizens can actively participate in the energy market.

The roll-out of these meters is a vital link in the energy transition. Its aim is to guarantee network stability, promote energy efficiency and provide access to new services.

1. Guaranteeing security of supply

Compared with the past, the use of our electricity networks has evolved considerably, in terms of both production and consumption. We now have solar panels, electric vehicles, heat pumps, energy communities and more.

As a network operator, smart meters give us better knowledge of the quantities of energy passing through the network, as well as knowledge of where and when this energy is consumed or injected.

This enables us to have a more accurate picture of where investment is needed to prevent overloads and ensure network stability. This means we can reduce our costs as a network operator, and therefore also for you as a customer.

2. Optimising your energy consumption

With a smart meter, it's easier to keep track of your energy consumption. If you connect an energy management system to your meter via the port P1, you can get detailed information on your consumption.

You'll also soon be able to access your daily consumption and other useful information free of charge via our My Sibelga app.

This way, you're not only aware of how much energy you're using, but also when you're using it. As a consumer, you can then make the most of the flexible pricing that will be available in the near future.

3. Simplifying your procedures

Smart meters measure both the injection and consumption of electricity into and from the network. This means that if you want to install solar panels and produce your own electricity, you won't need to change your meter. The same applies if you want to switch from a single rate to a dual rate or vice versa, or join an energy community.

Smart meters also simplify the process of moving house. Since they provide a daily consumption reading, it is possible to find the exact reading from the day the tenant or owner changed. Goodbye to arguments!

4. Providing access to new services

Thanks to the information that smart meters provide, certain devices can adjust the power they consume in line with the power of your connection in real time. Technology such as dynamic load balancing for example, that you can install electric charging stations without having to increase the power of your connection. In the near future, customers with a smart meter will also be able to access a wide range of personalised services, tailored to their energy consumption and/or production:

  • Invoices based on actual consumption;
  • Dynamic pricing formulas;
  • Personalised energy advice; 
  • and more.