Dublin, Ireland --- (METERING.COM) --- October 12, 2011 - Results from a one-year trial of gas smart meters in Ireland suggests a national rollout could lead to significant customer benefits, the country’s Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) has announced.

The trial, which involved the rollout of approximately 2,000 gas smart meters in Irish homes and small businesses, found that the smart meters, in combination with smart bills, in-home displays and variable tariffs, resulted in an average reduction of 2.9 percent in gas demand, which is statistically significant.

Further, assuming that the gas smart meters are rolled out together with electric smart meters in order to leverage the communications infrastructure, a national rollout of gas smart meters would yield a net benefit of up to €59 million over the next 20 years. This takes account of the reduction in customer bills, as well as the efficiency and environmental benefits, while the CO2 reductions would amount to up to 1.167 Mt over the 20-year horizon.

The aim of the trial – one of the largest and most robust to have been carried out internationally, according to the CER – was to assess the performance of the gas smart meters, their impact on customers’ consumption, and the economic case for a wider national rollout.

The results are now being considered by the CER, along with those of the electric smart meter trials, which were published in May showing a 2.5 percent reduction in overall electricity demand and a peak time demand reduction of 8.8 percent, and likewise showing clear benefits for a national rollout.

In November the CER will launch a consultation on a proposed design of a national smart meter rollout program, with a decision on the rollout and its design to be made before year end.