Oslo, Norway --- (METERING.COM) --- July 9, 2007 – The Norwegian regulator NVE believes it is time for a roll-out of smart metering to all 2.6 million customers in Norway, and expects the project to be completed before 2013. NVE says that the roll-out – which is expected to benefit both customers and utilities – will cost 500-600 million euros (US$680-818 million).

As a start, the NVE suggests that all customers with annual consumption of more than 100 MWh should have their meters read remotely on an hourly basis. These customers make up about 60 per cent of all electricity consumption in Norway.

But the NVE is of the opinion that households and small commercial customers too will benefit from smart metering. It will make possible an efficient exchange of information between customers, grid companies and suppliers.

The move to smart metering will make it more convenient for customers to change their energy supplier. They will get more information and an overview of their own consumption and consumption patterns, resulting in better control of energy efficiency actions. Customers will no longer be required to read their own meters and send meter values to their local grid company every second or third month. And if lengthy power interruptions occur, the system will make it possible to document the event so that the customer is able to sue for damages.

The local grid companies will achieve several benefits related to efficiency. Meter reading processes will be more efficient, and there will be more specific information available about flow of energy and demand in the grid, that will help in operation, planning and investments.

Sweden is already rolling out smart metering, and NVE director Marit Lundteigen Fossdal says the regulator expects to benefit from their experience, particularly as regards clarifying the minimum requirements that the meter equipment should offer. Among the issues that NVE will address is how often meters should be read, and whether there should be any requirements regarding power failure registrations and earth faults.   

Estimates suggest that the typical household consumer will see an annual increase in his energy bill of 5-6 euros (US$7-8) when smart meters have been deployed countrywide.