The EU is poised to make a major investment in smart meters. Already, Italy has achieved a smart meter penetration rate of around 85 percent and France has a rate of 25 percent. Last October the UK government announced its intention to mandate smart meters for all UK households by 2020. France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain are also projected to achieve nearly 100 percent smart meter installation by 2020, and it seems likely that many other Member States will follow suit.

We estimate the cost of this smart meter investment in the EU to be €51 billion. This investment is likely to yield improvements in the way that electricity flows through the grid by eliminating meter reading costs, allowing for faster detection of power outages, permitting remote connect/disconnect of service and minimizing power theft. We estimate these improvements to be worth between €26 to 41 billion, leaving a gap of €10 to 25 billion between benefits and costs.

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Unlocking the €53 Billion Savings from Smart Meters in the EU