Some 3000 “smart” technology experts will descend on Vienna next week for the leading utility industry forums, Metering, Billing/CRM Europe and Smart Homes conference and exhibition from 22-24 September at the Reed Messe. 

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, according to Elisabeth Brusse, project director of Metering, Billing/CRM Europe.

“The uptake of smart metering is becoming a reality in Europe,” says Elisabeth, “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.

Insights from over 20 countries will be presented, including Austria, Germany, UK, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

How smart is Austria’s metering?
Countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, UK, The Netherlands are implementing some of the more advanced roll-out programmes according to Metering, Billing/CRM Europe’s Elisabeth Brusse, while in the host country of Austria 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.”

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.

Smart Homes = Cool technology
The latest, leading-edge smart home control systems and appliances will also be on display at the upcoming Smart Homes 2010, also from 22-24 September.  Energy efficiency will be a driving force during the gathering of hundreds of utility, telecom, appliance, high-tech and software experts with the main challenge to make it cost effective for the consumer and profitable for the service providers – and thus creating a business case for the smart home of the future.

Smart Homes 2010will feature future visions for the smart homes from:

  • Technology giants such as Cisco, Qees, Intel and Panasonic
  • Utilities including EnBW, ENEL, EDF, British Gas and Austin Energy
  • Telecoms including Telefonica, Vodafone, Belgacom, Orange and Telecom Italia
  • Appliance manufacturers including Bosch, Indesit and Electrolux.

Industry press releases of exhibitors and sponsors can be viewed at: www.metering-europe.com

Event websites:  www.metering-europe.com  www.smarthomes2010.com 
Event dates and location:  22-24 September 2010 – Reed Messe, Vienna (21 September is a workshop day)

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