Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
44. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the upgrade of domestic meters to smart meters is compulsory; the alternative meters available to customers whose meters are at the end of their life and due for replacement if they do not wish to have a smart meter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37269/20]
The Programme for Government commits to ensuring that the energy efficiency potential of smart meters starts to be deployed in 2021 and that all mechanical electricity meters are replaced by 2024. The Smart Meter Upgrade is a meter replacement programme to modern, smart-ready technology. New generation electricity meters are being rolled out across Europe and internationally and when the programme completes in Ireland in 2024, all domestic and business premises will have a new modern meter installed. The programme is being coordinated by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities with ESB Networks responsible for rolling out the smart-ready electricity meters.
Where a customer indicates that they do not wish to receive a Smart Meter upgrade at their premises, ESB Networks does not proceed with meter replacement at that time. ESB Networks will re-engage with these customers later as the programme continues and the benefits of the new services are better understood.
Smart meters will be required for all customers who wish to avail of smart services when they become available from electricity supply companies from January 2021 onwards. They will also be required to participate in the micro-generation scheme committed to in the Climate Action Plan.
Smart meters have been used in all new connections and fault repairs since January 2020.
Customer sentiment continues to be positive, with the vast majority of customers accepting the meter exchange appointment. In September 2019 ESB Networks commenced the replacement of over 2 million electricity meters and by end October 2020 over 180,000 electricity meters have been installed.