Dublin, Ireland --- (METERING.COM) --- May 17, 2011 - Residential customers in Ireland have responded positively to smart meters with an overall reduction of 2.5 percent in electricity demand and peak-time usage reduced by 8.8 percent on average, the results of smart metering trials have shown.

According to the results of the trials, which were conducted among a representative sample of over 5,000 residential consumers throughout Ireland, 82 percent made a change to their electricity use due to smart meters. The in-house display unit was especially effective in reducing peak-time consumption, with 91 percent saying it was important.

The trials, which are believed to be among the largest and most statistically robust conducted internationally to date, were aimed to assess the performance of the smart meters, their impact on customers’ electricity consumption and the economic case for a wider national rollout. Measures tested included time-of-use tariffs (TOU) in conjunction with a number of demand side management (DSM) informational stimuli, such as detailed billing on a bi-monthly and monthly frequency, in-home displays, an overall load reduction incentive, and web access.

Other findings were that the overall energy reduction was linked with the level of usage, with households with higher consumption tending to deliver greater reductions in usage, and that a specific trial DSM stimulus combining bi-monthly bill, energy usage statement and electricity monitor was found to be more effective than other DSM stimuli in reducing peak usage with a peak shift of 11.3 percent. However, of the tariff groups tested, no single one in combination with DSM stimuli stood out as being more effective than the others.

The trials also included 650 businesses. For these business customers, the deployment of TOU tariffs and DSM stimuli was found to reduce overall electricity usage by 0.3 percent and peak usage by 2.2 percent. However, neither result was found to be statistically significant. Further, no tariff, DSM stimulus or tariff/DSM stimulus group reduced overall electricity usage or peak usage by a statistically significant amount.