The European Parliament has voted twice in the last week to support the rollout of Smart Metering in the European Union. The European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG) applauds the European Parliament’s decisions and welcomes the increasing momentum for Smart Metering in Europe as a result of EU support.

On April 22, 2009, the European Parliament approved an agreement reached by the EU Institutions on a package of legislation to liberalize EU energy markets. The package includes Electricity and Gas Directives that require the EU Member States to “ensure the implementation of intelligent metering systems.”

The Electricity Directive foresees full deployment by 2022 at the latest, with 80% of consumers equipped with Smart Metering systems by 2020. In the debate preceding the vote, the rapporteur on the Electricity Directive, Eluned Morgan, Labour, UK, said: “This legislation will also ensure that every household in the EU will be fitted with [...] ‘Smart Meters’ by 2022. These Smart Meters will enable customers to better control their energy use and increase energy efficiency, helping to cut energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.”

In his statement to the Parliament on the Energy Package, Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: “Parliament’s call for stronger consumer protection and the fight against energy poverty is now enshrined in the legislative texts. Smart Meters, allowing for consumers to be precisely informed of their consumption and promoting energy efficiency, are provided with a target of 80% of consumers to be reached by 2020.”

Further, on April 23, the European Parliament, in its first reading of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), voted to expedite the implementation by requiring that all new buildings and buildings undergoing renovation be equipped with Smart Meters. In an amendment to the EPBD, the European Parliament inserted the following:

“Member States shall ensure that Smart Meters are installed in all new buildings and all buildings undergoing a major renovation and whenever a meter is replaced, and shall encourage the installation of active control systems such as automation, control and monitoring systems, where appropriate.”

Welcoming the decisions, Andreas Umbach, president of ESMIG, said: “The members of the European Parliament are to be congratulated on their forward-looking approach and commitment to making the EU’s 20-20-20 goals a reality. This is a milestone decision which paves the way for a more efficient, sustainable and consumer friendly energy market in Europe. Smart Metering is revolutionising the way we live, providing a state of the art yet democratic means to achieve a high and environmentally conscious standard of living for each and every one of us.”