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ESB announces first phase of €1.1bn Irish smart meter rollout

Steve Rogerson
January 24, 2019

Irish utility ESB Networks has announced three major tenders that will pave the way for a €1.1bn programme for upgrading electricity meters to modern smart ready technology.
The utility sees this as a key part of the drive to combat climate change. The upgrade will enable smart electricity services from 2021 with the goal of bringing benefits to the environment, the consumer and the economy.
The tenders deal with the purchase of modern meters and the supporting technical infrastructure, framework installation contracts to support the replacement of meters by ESB Networks, and the selection of a communications network.
The tender for the provision of meters and supporting technical infrastructure has been awarded to a Siemens and Kamstrup consortium. The tenders for installation service framework contracts are TLI Group, KN Network Services and MD Electrical Installations. The contract for the provision of the communications network has been awarded to mobile operator Three Ireland.
“The upgrade to modern electricity meters is an important enabler of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan,” said Paddy Hayes, managing director of ESB Networks. “To tackle climate change, the meter upgrade programme is an essential foundation to maximising the benefit from Ireland’s growing renewable generation capability and supporting the electrification of transport and heat using clean electricity to displace carbon fuels. Working closely with the energy supply companies, ESB Networks plans to deliver this important programme over six years, so that all electricity customers can be part of the sustainable energy future.”
Work on the upgrade programme is being carried out by ESB Networks in co-operation with the Department for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and all electricity supply companies.
“Today’s announcement is another step on the journey to enable electricity suppliers to offer smart energy services to customers and will support the migration to a low carbon electricity system,” said commissioner Aoife MacEvilly from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities. “Smart meters will also help customers make more informed choices about their consumption, give customers accurate and regular information on their electricity usage and ensure no more estimated bills.”
This is the first phase of a programme that will continue until 2024. The upgrade programme calls for 250,000 smart meters to be installed by the end of 2020 and about 500,000 meters in each of the four subsequent years.
“ESB Networks has always replaced meters on a routine rolling basis,” said Hayes. “By its nature, this programme is different as it will be concentrated over six years, starting later in 2019. The initial focus will be on replacing older meters and we will give plenty of notice on when we are planning your replacement.”