Written answers

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Energy Policy

Photo of Darren O'RourkeDarren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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139. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the initiatives his Department is taking to increase the number of energy customers to adopt a smart tariff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5818/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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Action 3 of the Energy Security Package commits Government to improving the ways that homes and businesses can manage their energy use by providing an evidence-based programme of communications activity and supporting ‘active consumers’ through smart metering and smart energy services.

This objective is supported by the National Smart Metering Programme (NSMP), which will roll out and install 2.1 million meters by 2025 and by doing so make available new products and services to energy consumers. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) is responsible for overseeing the NSMP, with ESB Networks (ESBN) delivering the electricity meter rollout on the ground. The first phase of the programme culminated in the activation of Smart Metering services in February 2021, which enabled Energy suppliers to start offering Time-of-use (ToU) tariffs and smart services plans.

In 2023, my Department established a Smart Energy Services working group which aims to build on the success of Ireland’s smart metering rollout by developing practical measures to empower Ireland’s citizens to play a central role in the energy transition. The working group was established under the Climate Action Plan 2023 action EL/23/25 with the objective ‘to develop and implement measures and policy that facilitate and empower consumers to benefit from engagement in the energy transition, through active participation in the energy market and flexible demand management services’.

Central to this is a comprehensive smart energy awareness and engagement campaign, alongside the development of a one-stop shop smart energy portal by SEAI which will offer a central resource for all energy consumers on their smart energy journey. SEAI are also undertaking Behavioural Insights Research regarding smart energy services, which will feed into this smart energy engagement campaign and support the consumer uptake of smart services. The working group is chaired by my Department, with other core members from ESBN, CRU, and SEAI, and is working closely with energy suppliers to better understand and facilitate the development of Supplier smart services, including smart tariffs.


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