Eamon Ryan,
Minister of Energy
 
Dublin, Ireland --- (METERING.COM) --- September 17, 2008 - Ireland’s national smart meter plan was launched yesterday by energy minister Eamon Ryan, with a pilot project involving up to 21,000 electricity customers.

Over 60,000 Electricity Supply Board (ESB) customers will be invited to take part in the first phase of the national rollout of smart meters. Up to 21,000 customers will get a smart meter installed in their home for free in order to participate in a behavioral and technology trial to inform the national rollout.

A national smart metering initiative was a key commitment under the Program for Government and is crucial to Ireland’s policy to save energy and money through the use of this cutting edge technology.

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) has been charged with leading the implementation of the project, which involves a range of stakeholders from the energy sector.

At the launch minister Ryan committed himself to work to ensure that all Irish homes have smart meters over the next four to five years. “This trial phase is crucial in the ultimate successful delivery of this project. I would urge all customers who receive a request to participate in this trial to become involved. When customers realize how much they can save and the carbon reductions that ensue I believe they will find smart meters one of the smartest devices ever installed in their homes.”
 
Dermot Nolan from the CER added: “This is an important step in the process of enabling consumers to use energy more efficiently and effectively. It should lead to significant savings as well as empowering consumers to have more information and control about their energy consumption.”

Four companies, Sagem, Elster Group, Trilliant and Aclara, are reported to be providing meters for the pilot, which is expected to run until the end of 2010. The final rollout is expected to cost around €1 billion.