The first smart electricity meters will be installed in 2019, the Commission for Energy Regulation has announced with all Republic of Ireland households to be connected by 2024.
ESB Networks will be responsible for the roll-out under the supervision of a governmental steering group which will include the CER.
The first meters to be replaced will be older ones that are due for an upgrade; properties that put in a request will also be given ‘initial priority’.
The initial delivery of 250,000 meters will take place in 2019 and 2020 then approximately half a million meters will be installed per year (from 2021 to 2024).
The reason for the roll out, beyond European Union directives, is that electricity demand peaks right before and after 9am until 5pm.
This puts a strain on the electricity network as it requires fossil fueled power stations to ‘switch on’ during these times to meet demand.
This pattern also reduces the network’s capacity to use renewables, which tend to generate electricity during the day. Electricity generated during the day by renewables is generally the cheapest.