Thursday, 16 November 2023
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
8. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will provide an update on the roll-out of smart metres in Ireland; if it is a requirement now to have one in order to install solar panels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50004/23]
The National Smart Metering Programme will roll out and install 2.4 million meters by 2025 and in the process make available new products and services to energy consumers. It is co-ordinated by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) with ESB Networks (ESBN) delivering the electricity meter rollout on the ground.
The meter replacement programme is taking place on a phased basis, with around 10,000 domestic meters installed each week. The total number of smart meters installed at present is over 1,507,000. In addition, over 56,000 customers with registered micro-generation installations have smart meters installed.
The Domestic Solar PV grant scheme under the Micro-generation Support Scheme (MSS) is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and is open to houses built prior to 2021. There is no requirement to have a smart meter installed, to avail of grants for Solar PV systems.
However, if households with Solar PV systems wish to register with their energy supplier for the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) tariff, which allows for remuneration for any excess electricity not consumed by the household and therefore exported to the grid, they must have a smart meter installed, if they are eligible. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) oversees the CEG and published a decision paper on an interim enabling framework for the CEG, which outlines the arrangements for its implementation, including eligibility criteria and remuneration methodology. This is available on WWW.CRU.ie
As the rollout of the National Smart Metering Programme is co-ordinated by CRU and the ESBN, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications does not maintain oversight on the day-to-day operations of the programme. The CRU provides a dedicated email address for Oireachtas members, at firstname.lastname@example.org for timely direct reply.