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Smart Meter Upgrade

Introducing Ireland to
Smart Metering

ESB Networks will be upgrading Ireland’s electricity meters with next generation smart meters. This upgrade commenced in Autumn 2019 and ESB Networks will provide notice to Energia customers prior to coming to your area.

Find out more

Key Information

The rollout will be phased over the next few years with ESB Networks planning to deliver 250,000 new meters by the end of 2020.

The goal is that from 2021, smart meters will give customers access to more accurate and regular information on their electricity usage. Estimated meter readings will no longer be used, meaning bills will not be estimated.

Positively, smart meters will support the move to a carbon free electricity network - enabling smart grids, e-vehicles, local renewable generation and microgeneration.

Background

In September 2017 the CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities) announced the details of the delivery plan for the introduction of smart meters to Irish homes and businesses. The CRU has tasked ESB Networks with the roll-out of the National Smart Metering Programme (NSMP), which requires the replacement of all existing electricity meters with Smart Enabled Meters. The roll out programme will be delivered in a phased approach, commencing with an initial delivery of 250,000 meters in 2019 - 2020, and approximately 500,000 meters in each of the following 4 years.

Benefits

Not only will smart meters benefit our customers, they will also be beneficial to the economy and the environment. Currently, all energy suppliers’ customers’ electricity meters are manually read by ESB Networks up to four times per year. Smart Meters will be able to record your consumption more frequently and automatically send your meter readings to ESB Networks.


  • As the meters are read automatically estimated bills will be no more.
  • You will have access to more information allowing you to manage your electricity consumption and make more informed choices.
  • ESB Networks anticipate that by 2021 new products and services will allow you to shift some of your consumption to off peak times of day when electricity is cheaper.
  • Also in the pipeline, plans will see functionality within the meter will allow ESB Networks to find faults faster, making your meter safer and more efficient to manage.
  • Smart meters will support Ireland’s migration towards a carbon free electricity network and will enable the implementation of further technology advancements such as smart grids, e-cars, local renewable generation and microgeneration.

FAQs

Learning about new smart meters can seem overwhelming at first. But we promise to make understanding them a little easier. Our explainer video is helpful explanation and overview of smart meters, why they are being rolled out in Ireland and what that means in simple terms for customers.

Watching our video is a good place to start as it shows a typical customer journey for an Energia customer, wishing to upgrade to a smart 'half -ourly' interval product.


 

Smart meters are a part of our future. They are the next generation of electricity meters. Using digital technology, the meters will give you, our customers, more precise information on energy usage throughout the day.


Meters are being replaced to future proof Irish homes and provide multiple benefits.
 

For the consumer

Smart meters will replace older mechanical meters. When fully functioning, smart meters will bring benefits to the consumer, the environment and the economy. With smart meters, there will be no need for estimated bills. You will be able to access the information you need to make more informed choices about your consumption and tariffs. Accurate information about energy usage across the day will allow you to manage your bills with greater accuracy. In summary, smart meters will improve consumer experience, customer choice and the range of products and services available to our customers.
 

For the environment

 

The environment will benefit because smart metering will encourage energy efficiency, enabling an increase in renewable power on the electricity system. The upgrade programme will help to reduce CO2 emissions thus lowering Ireland’s costly dependency on fossil fuel imports.

 

For the economy

 
The economy will benefit because using smart meters will help us to more efficiently manage energy flow during periods of high demand.

The meter replacement will be carried out by ESB Networks or a company working on behalf of ESB Networks.

Starting in the autumn of 2019, ESB Network’s plan is to replace 250,000 meters between autumn 2019 and the end of 2020 and a further 500,000 meters every year from 2021 to 2024.

The replacement programme started in autumn 2019 and will continue until the end of 2024. ESB Networks will carry out this work on an area by area basis. Customers will be notified in advance by ESB Networks when they are in their area and commencing meter installation. ESB Networks have ensured that they will give everyone plenty of notice.

While the initial focus will be on the oldest meters, customers will also have the option to apply directly through Energia or ESB Networks for a prioritised installation of a smart meter.

Yes you can. You can click on the link below on this page to register interest or simply click here to complete the short registration form for advance installation of a smart meter for your home.

When smart meters are fully operational, you will have a choice to be provided with more accurate information about energy usage across the day to allow you to better manage your bills with greater accuracy than at present. This information can also help you to make more informed choices about your consumption and tariff.
 
Currently, your electricity meter is manually read by ESB Networks up to four times per year. Smart Meters are able to remotely send your meter readings to ESB Networks. So with smart meters, there will be no need for estimated bills.

In 2020, ESB Networks started to build their new communication network. With this upgrade, your meter will start to connect to ESB Networks secure 2G network provided by Three Ireland Limited.  A minimal amount of data will flow from your meter to prove the communication network ahead of the planned go-live in 2021.

For more information, please refer to ESB Networks.

All data collected from the meter is encrypted and will be securely stored in a central Meter Data Management System (MDMS) operated by ESB Networks. ESB Networks ensures that they are compliant with their data protection obligations and that all personal customer data is safe and secure. 

ESB Networks confirm this information on their own website here.

Unlike traditional meters which record your electricity consumption and which were read every two months, when fully operational your smart meter will send details of your electricity consumption every day and reduce the need for estimated bills.

Each day, normally around midnight and via a secure 2G mobile network, your meter will send ESB Networks the total amount of electricity consumed over the previous 24 hour period. This reading will be used to provide information to support customer billing, customers switching suppliers and moving premises.

The meter will also records a more detailed breakdown of the electricity consumed in up to 30 minute periods. However, this information will only leave your home if you request this Energia or if you're not an Energia customer, through your own supplier.

In order to ensure the meter is working properly, the meter will also occasionally send ESB Networks diagnostic information about the meter itself.

When activated, the smart meter will communicate remotely with ESB Networks over a secure 2G network using technology like that used to send text messages. Your meter will create the equivalent of an encrypted text message and send it to an IT system called a Head End System (HES). This data is then stored securely in a central Meter Data Management System (MDMS) managed and operated by ESB Networks.

Each day, normally around midnight and via a secure 2G mobile network, your meter will send ESB Networks the total amount of electricity consumed over the previous 24 hour period. Each smart meter will activate itself approximately every two hours to check its integrity and connection to the network, if it finds any problems it will create another encrypted text message and send it to us.

This information has been extracted from ESB Networks and more can be found here.

Between now and January 2021, ESB Networks will be building IT systems and a new operations centre, all necessary to support the launch of new smart services from electricity supply companies.  As explained below, we will be building more functionality as the project progresses.

 

September 2019 – Meter installation commences

Once installed, your new smart meter will begin to record details of your total electricity consumption every day. The meter will also record a more detailed breakdown of the electricity consumed in up to 30 minute periods.  However, this more detailed information will only leave your home if you request this to happen through your Energy supplier. If you are an Energia customer, you must make this request directly with us, from 2021 onwards.

Initially the SIM card within the smart meter will be disabled and therefore no data will be sent from your new meter. Your new meter will continue to be manually read up to four times a year by a meter reader for billing purposes.
 

Commencing operation and management of meters

During 2020, ESB Networks will commence connecting new meters to our secure 2G network operated by Three Ireland Ltd.  At this point your smart meter will send ESB Networks details of the energy consumed since the meter was installed as well as other non-personal data about the functioning of meter itself, no other data will be collected. Data will be collected for the following purposes:
 

  • Establish and prove ESB Network’s new Smart Meter Operations Centre
  • Establish meter security and cyber security functions
  • Establish meter diagnostic functions including monitoring for meter tampering
  • Proving the robustness of the communications network to improve its performance as necessary
  • Establish and monitor the regularity of communications for each meter point to determine the types of smart services that can be delivered to customers.
 

The meter readings taken at this stage will not be used for billing and will not be shared with Energia or your other electricity supplier if you are not an Energia customer.  A meter reader will continue to call to your home to read the meter manually.
 

From January 2021 – Remote meter reading

From January 2021, ESB Networks will commence remote reading of meters which will significantly reduce the need to use estimates for billing purposes. The meter readings collected will be shared with Energia or your other eletricity supplier if you are not an Energia customer. This will allow us to prepare an accurate bill as they do today. There may still be occasions when remote meter readings are not able to be captured which could result in an estimated bill.

Also in 2021, Energia will start to offer new products, energy services and tariffs. If you agree a new tariff with us then your smart meter will send the necessary usage data. You can change your preference by getting in contact with Energia directly when smart services become available.

Remote meter readings will also be used to improve the final reading and billing process for those customers who change suppliers or move premises.

This information has been extracted from ESB Networks and more can be found here.

There are a few ways to know or find out if you have a smart meter.

  1. You may have seen the ESB Networks engineer change your meter and confirm this in person.
  2. You will have received a letter from ESB Networks to let you know that your meter will changed.
  3. The ESB Networks engineer will also leave you a brochure.

A smart meter tariff is a new pricing tariff designed to work with your new smart meter. Based on the energy plan you choose, the tariff or prices to put it simply will vary for day, night or peak times of the day.
 

With a smart meter, if you’re on a half hourly tariff, your meter will be read remotely by ESB Networks. Manual meter readings are no longer necessary or possible. You can also view your usage within your Energy Online account. You can download your half hourly data from your My Account area.
 
If you are on a non-half hourly smart (MCC16) tariff, then your meter will be read remotely by ESB Networks.   If you are on a MCC12 product and your connection quality drops to CTF score 1 or 2, then Energia will be contacted.
 
A new digital display screen on your new smart meter will show your current meter reading in kilowatt-hours (kWh). To read the new smart meter, note the figures on the screen before “kWh” from left to right and include all digits.
 
By pressing the Left-hand button on your meter you can scroll through the following

  • Time and Date
  • Night
  • Day
  • Peak

Also, based on the quality of connectivity of your smart meter, some homes may not always have full connection. If your connectivity drops you can revert to providing meter readings.

Only a small % of customers will be affected or will have inconsistent connectivity.  In this case a meter reader will call to take a meter reading. If you have a smart meter but your connectivity quality is not at level CTF4 (strongest), ESB Networks representatives will continue to take readings up to 6 times a year.
 

Once you sign up to a new smart plan, you will be signed into a new one year contract. If you change your mind, you can change to a new plan within the 14-day cooling off period. If you want to change after this time, a termination fee will apply.
 
As a smart meter customer, the best way to control your energy costs is by making use of the three time bands.
 

This depends on what plan you choose. For example, if you choose the Energia Home Connect Plan, this has variable rates whereby the night rate is cheapest. However, if you own an Electric Vehicle, the EV Connect Plan has even cheaper night rates to make charging your car at night even cheaper.
 
A general rule of thumb and energy efficiency tip for smart meters, is to make the most of your electricity during the night time (this is between midnight and 9am in the summer while in winter, this is between 11pm and 8am) when prices are cheaper.
 

Energia does not have a gas only smart tariff. But you can avail of a new smart plan for Dual Fuel (SMART electricity and standard gas). Meter readings will still be required for your gas energy usage. The National Smart Metering Programme is only targeted to Electricity meters.

No. Your smart meter does not use up or work with your own home WIFI. Your new smart meter will communicate remotely with ESB Networks over a secure 2G network using technology similar to what is used to send text messages.
 

No. It is not possible to move back to a non-smart meter tariff once you have selected a Smart Tariff from Energia. You can have a Smart meter installed and remain on your current non-smart tariff.
 

Yes, you will continue to be billed as normal every 2 months.
 

Would you like to become an Energia Early Adopter for Smart Metering?

You can contact ESB Networks directly to request a priority installation once their engineers are in your area. You will need to know your 11 digital MPRN number.