Smart meters update

The Department for the Economy published "The Path to Net Zero Energy Strategy" in December 2021. The overarching aim of the Strategy is "ensuring our energy is secure, affordable and clean for us now and future generations."

Smart energy systems

Achieving the strategy's vision requires developing smart, accessible and digitised energy systems where data provides value for consumers and makes the operation of energy systems cleaner and more efficient. These smart energy systems will help also provide decentralised solutions that enable people and communities to be active consumers in the energy transition. Rolling out electricity smart meters is critical to help deliver this vision.

Cost/benefit analysis

The department committed in Action 20 of the Energy Strategy 2022 Action Plan to

“carry out a cost benefit analysis of electricity and gas smart meters” 

in Northern Ireland which was completed in December 2022.

The outputs from the cost/benefit analysis have been carefully considered by the department. After thorough assessment, we will develop a plan for the implementation of electricity smart meters and systems. The case for the implementation for gas smart metering has not produced a significant  level of benefit for consumers and therefore will not be taken forward at this time.

Implementation plan

We are now focused on the development of an implementation plan which is outlined in the Energy Strategy Action Plan for 2023. Key next steps include stakeholder engagement with sectoral experts and policy development with a view to laying the foundations for an industry-led rollout in the future.

The completed cost benefit analysis report can be viewed at: Smart meters cost/benefit analysis report

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