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JRC Smart Electricity Systems

Smart Metering deployment in the European Union


The introduction of smart metering is one of the core elements in the European policies targeting competitiveness and environmental sustainability of energy markets. For more than a decade, EU Directives have been progressively setting the policy agenda for smart metering rollouts.

Already since 2009, in compliance with the provisions set out in the Third Energy Package, Member States were requested to proceed with the roll-out for a minimum of 80% of the electricity end-users by the year 2020, provided that the respective Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) provided a positive result.

In 2019, the “Clean Energy for all Europeans” encouraged smart metering roll-out in the the countries which had not completed the roll-out yet. Smart metering has been addressed in the Directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity (Directive (EU) 2019/944), revising the 2009 Directive. In Directive 2019/944, for the first time, it is underlined that the smart meter is a powerful tool, which however needs to be coupled with consumer energy management systems to deliver its benefits. Some new crucial aspects are also introduced regarding interoperability and data protection. 

The overall successful roll-out of smart meters across the EU is dependent on criteria largely decided by Member States. This includes regulatory arrangements, and the extent to which the systems to be deployed will be technically and commercial interoperable, as well as guarantee data privacy and security. There is also no EU-wide consensus yet on the minimum range of operations required by smart meters.

Our contributions

  • We monitor smart metering deployment also via our work on the JRC DSO Observatory. The 2022 JRC DSO Observatory report shares results of a survey done by the JRC among European companies managing and operating electricity distribution grids. Technical and innovative features are presented, including on the adoption and use of smart meters.
  • We monitor smart metering uptake also in the Clean Energy Technology Outlook (CETO). The 2023 CETO Report on smart grids focuses inter alia on Smart Metering Infrastructure, and it discusses the current smart metering deployment status in terms of technology developments and trends, value chain analysis and global competitiveness.
  • We jointly drafted with DG ENER the document "Benchmarking smart metering deployment in the EU-27 with a focus on electricity" as COM(2014)356. This report gauges progress in the deployment of intelligent metering in the EU Member States on the basis of economic assessments of long-term costs and benefits (CBAs) of electricity and gas smart metering prepared by Member States and submitted to the Commission in line with Third Energy Package provisions.