EIB lends €1bn to fund smart meter rollout in Italy
August 17, 2017
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending €1bn to e-Distribuzione so it can replace digital meters in Italy.
The first €0.5bn has already been paid to e-Distribuzione, Enel Group's electricity distributor. The EIB will contribute to finance part of the plan’s investments over the period 2017 to 2021.
Overall, the 15-year plan provides for the installation of some 41 million new generation 2.0 meters, of which around 32 million will replace the current first-generation meters, while the remainder will be used for new connections and customer requests.
“This operation further strengthens our relationship with the Enel Group, with which we have worked for many years in all sectors of the business from the upgrading of power plants to the power distribution grid to new projects in the field of alternative energy sources,” said EIB vice-president Dario Scannapieco. “Fifteen years ago we also supported the programme to install the first-generation digital meters.”
Energy distributors must replace the meters currently in use with new generation meters to adopt smart measurement systems that meet EU energy efficiency requirements.
The energy scenario in recent years has highlighted the importance of timely management of additional, more detailed information that can benefit both electricity operators and their customers. The open meter technology will help to promote energy efficiency, enhance awareness of consumer behaviour, encourage competition in meter-related services and develop the home automation market.
E-Distribuzione's project has been recognised as a project of common interest by the European Union and it comes under the EIB's financing priorities in the fields of energy, climate action and support for convergence areas since 40% of the meters will be located in the less economically advanced regions of southern Italy, Sicily and Sardinia.
“These second-generation electronic meters will open up a world of possibilities and services to houses, firms, offices and shopping centres, combining consumer protection with technological innovation,” said Enel CEO Francesco Starace. “This represents a genuine leap in performance, which will place Italy at the cutting edge of electricity distribution worldwide. This is a major investment project, involving 250 Italian firms and 4000 technical staff for the installation work alone.
• Enel Green Power North America, an Enel Group subsidiary, has completed the tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of EnerNOC common stock at a price of $7.67 per share in cash for a total consideration of approximately $250m. As a result of the tender offer and subsequent merger, Enel now has 100% ownership of EnerNOC, a US-based provider of demand response and energy services for utility, commercial, institutional and industrial users.