Germany announces ‘acceleration’ of smart meter rollout

(EurActiv, 12 Jan 2023) With electric cars, solar panels and heat pumps hitting the mass market, Berlin has launched a bid to accelerate the roll out of smart meters – digital devices allowing households to manage their electricity consumption and sign up to flexible pricing contracts.

Few developed countries have failed to adopt smart meters as much as Germany. Until 2018, the world’s fourth-largest economy had stymied the uptake of smart meters because of legal uncertainties and bureaucratic hurdles related to their deployment.

But with a new government in charge, and a gas crisis pushing the transition to clean electricity, this is now set to change. 

“Our future energy system will become much more flexible and thus also more complex,” explained Robert Habeck, the minister of economy and climate action.

“And for this we need smart meters and a digitalisation of the energy transition,” he added at an event on Wednesday (11 January).

To support the transition to a more digital electricity grid, the German government has provisionally agreed a special law to boost the rollout of smart meters.

“The rollout will be systematised, accelerated and de-bureaucratised,” Habeck announced.

To achieve this, Berlin will scrap rules that required three-way technological parity among smart meter manufacturers. Until now, smart meters needed to be certified by three different manufacturers to be market-ready. Removing this rule will see the most innovative company succeed, the government said in a statement.

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EurActiv, 12 Jan 2023: Germany announces ‘acceleration’ of smart meter rollout