Analyst: German smart meter roll out misses expectations

The deployment of smart meters by German energy providers is falling significantly below expectations, according to Steria Mummert Consulting.

New research from the firm indicates that managers working for energy companies now believe that only 12 per cent of German homes will have intelligent smart meters within five years, down from the 51 per cent of households that managers believed would have the technology when polled in 2010.

This collapse in confidence, says the consulting firm, is being caused by the ongoing lack of a regulatory framework, communication standards and unclear data protection issues.

"From the power companies' perspective, there is still a lack of incentives and little legal or technical framework," the firm said.

But over 70 per cent of energy companies in Germany are now looking to introduce tariffs based upon "time and load" rates over the next two years, which the research firm believes will be a key driver to the wider uptake of smart meters.

The German government, which is working towards publishing a standard specification for smart meters before the end of this year, has set itself the target of having 80 per cent of homes equipped with smart meters by 2020.

Separately, Vodafone Netherlands and energy supplier Enexis have connected the 100,000th smart meter to their network. The joint project, which started in 2009, involves Enexis replacing all of its existing meters with a digital version offering M2M connectivity using Vodafone's GPRS network. This system is allowing the energy company to monitor a household's power usage in real-time.

For more:
- see this Steria Mummert Consulting release (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)

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