The customer behavior trials took place during 2009 and 2010 with over 5,000 Irish homes and businesses participating. The purpose was to assess the performance of smart meters, their impact on customers’ electricity consumption and the economic case for a wider national rollout.
Participants included Electric Ireland (formerly Electricity Supply Board) and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland SEAI), in conjunction with the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR).
Electric Ireland customers who participated in the trials had a smart meter installed in their homes and agreed to take part in research to help establish how smart metering can help shape energy usage behaviors across a variety of demographics, lifestyles and home sizes. This anonymised data, which is available from the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA), gives overall behavioral and usage patterns, without any personal or confidential information.
“The data collected from the smart meter trials provides real insights into consumer energy consumption patterns,” commented Liam Molloy, general manager of Electric Ireland. “We are delighted that it is being made available for research purposes and hope it will be useful in the development of new products and services that will benefit modern energy consumers.”
The results of the smart meter trials were published by the CER in May 2011, with customers showing an overall 2.5 percent reduction in demand and an average 8.8 percent reduction in peak time usage.
On the basis of these and other data, a national smart meter rollout was announced in November. Following a consultation, the high level design for the rollout is expected to be announced later this month.