Electricity smart meters to become standard in German homes from 2032
Clean Energy Wire
Electricity smart meter should become “largely standard” in Germany’s homes by 2032 as the Bundesrat – the country’s upper house of parliament representing its 16 states – approved a law to accelerate their roll-out. The economy ministry had tabled a proposal in October 2022 to relaunch the so-far sluggish roll-out as smart meter installation had been slowed down by legal uncertainties, bureaucratic hurdles, security concerns and complex implementation procedures. The law now provides for a rollout roadmap with binding targets until 2030. Consumers with a power demand from 6,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year and renewable operators with over seven kilowatts (kW) of installed capacity will be subject to mandatory installation from 2025. The law also requires all electricity suppliers to offer flexible contracts from the same year. “Our future energy system will become much more flexible and thus also more complex, and for this we need smart meters and a digitalisation of the energy transition,” economy minister Robert Habeck said.
The availability of real-time data provided by the digital meters is a prerequisite for flexible electricity tariffs. Smart meters are meant to allow for more efficient energy consumption, and help people benefit from cheap electricity from renewable energy sources through intelligent demand management. The increasing digitalisation of the power system is seen as a requirement for the smooth integration of renewable power sources which, due to their intermittent production patterns, require more intervention and load management than conventional power plants. The law will also include stringent requirements for data protection and security, as increasing digitalisation has led to cybersecurity concerns. The security standards for smart meters are to be higher than those for online banking, the economy ministry wrote.