As more utilities are implementing smart metering programmes across Europe, the closer the continent is to reaching its target of 80% of all households having smart meters by 2020.  However, this massive roll-out is not always happening as smoothly as is often wished with the implementation programmes bringing about massive transformation in the organisational and operational side of the utilities involved.  This is according to Elisabeth Brusse, project director of Metering, Billing/CRM Europe, the leading utility industry forum taking place in Vienna from 22-24 September.

“The uptake of smart metering is becoming a reality in Europe,” says Elisabeth Brusse, “and it is clear that there are some common challenges that utilities and regulators are facing while going through smart metering pilot projects or complete roll-out programmes.  We are looking forward to the industry getting together to compare and take notes on their progress and the hurdles that they may be facing.” 

Smart meters=smart customers
Smart meters will provide consumers with detailed information about their electricity consumption as such new generation meters give customers control over energy costs and create financial incentives for energy savings.

Elisabeth Brusse says during Metering, Billing/CRM Europe, insights from over 20 countries will be presented by high-level utility speakers, including perspectives from the following leading countries:

UK
With the recently announced prospectus, the British utility industry is moving a step closer in the implementation process for Europe’s largest nationwide smart metering roll-out.  The British smart metering market is one of the most complex markets in Europe.  A nationwide coordination will be key to roll-out 47 million smart meters.   Petter Allison, Director Smart Metering of British Gas will present their strategy in how to achieve an early, effective and future proof smart metering programme.

Italy
As the early adaptor of smart metering in Europe, Italy is moving forward to smart grids.  Jon Stromsather, Smart Grids Manager of ENEL Distribuzione will present their experiences with “first generation” smart grids and will explain the importance of a European corporation as one of the key enablers to cope with future smart grid challenges.

The Netherlands
Due to data security & privacy issues, The Netherlands has been the first European country postponing its nationwide smart metering roll-out programme as a result of customer concerns. Over the past years a lot of work has been done and Dutch utilities are now ready to implement smart metering, taking into account a new data privacy and security framework.  Bram Reinders, Chairman of the Working Group Privacy & Security of the Dutch DSO Association will present the Dutch approach in creating a smart metering privacy & security policy.

France
ERDF is committed to rolling out AMM to all of its 35 million customers throughout France, making this the world’s biggest smart metering project. One of the critical factors in the design of the project is system interoperability. To meet this challenge, they will be integrating power line communications (PLC) technology in the communications network.  Serge Mercadier, IT Manager of ERDF will be presenting the concrete results and next steps of the system.
 
Spain
Endesa became the first Spanish company to develop a remote management system in line with pertinent Spanish and European directives. They have developed a new generation of meters based on the latest available technology and are ahead of the legal deadline for their large-scale installation. Robert Denda, Smart Metering Project Coordinator of Endesa will present the status of their 13.000.0000 smart metering programme, highlighting the importance of appropriate regulation to achieve a successful deployment and how to define a gradual deployment and integration programme.

Germany
Germany is clearing the way for the nationwide uptake of smart metering.  Utilities are preparing their roll-out plans and several pilot projects have been implemented so far.  An insight into the German smart metering market will be presented by Lars Weber, Managing Director of E.ON Metering, Germany, focusing on success factors to enable a profitable and efficient smart metering business case in that country.

Austria
For the host country of Metering, Billing/CRM Europe, smart metering is not yet mandatory but several utilities are piloting their smart metering programmes.

The managing director of the Viennese utility and host utility to the event, Wien Energie, Robert Grüneis says “it is the aim of Wien Energie to develop a smart meter-system which takes in consideration the needs of every energy network and metering unit, and which enables synergies to be achieved in the areas of information technology and data management.”

Event website:  www.metering-europe.com
Co-located event:  Smart Homes 2010 www.smarthomes2010.com
Event dates and location:  22-24 September 2010 – Reed Messe, Vienna

For more information, interviews and accreditation:
Communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Tel.  +27 21 700 3558       
Fax.  +27 21 700 3501       
Mobile: +27 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@clarionevents.com