ESB Networks - Smart Meter Programme


Winter 2017

Following the official Programme launch in late September 2017, the Irish electricity Distribution System Operator (DSO), ESB Networks, has embarked on the journey to deploy smart meters to all Irish electricity customers. A transformed energy retail market, a manual meter reading process which has existed for over 90 years and a desire to provide better information to customers are some of the drivers for this significant business and digital technology transformation.

The seeds were initially sown for this project between 2008 and 2011 when ESB Networks conducted customer behaviour and technology trials with 10,000 customers which looked at the behavioural impacts of smart metering on a sample of the population of Ireland. Following on from the completion of this work ESB Networks worked with the Commissioner for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and the public to develop Time of Use (ToU) Tariff propositions and to understand the needs of the Pay As You Go community. All of this work was to develop a well rounded deliverable National Smart Metering Programme.

The main stakeholders of the National Smart Metering Programme (NSMP) including the CRU, ESB Networks, Gas Networks Ireland and the Energy Suppliers then embarked on a period of consultation to develop a series of policies to support the introduction of Smart Metering.

The programme itself is one of the largest transformation projects in the history of the Irish state as it aims to revolutionise the Irish energy market by installing smart meters which are capable of providing interval data directly to the market. The high level objectives of the NSMP include:

  • Encourage energy efficiency
  • Facilitate peak load management in the Irish energy sector
  • Support renewables and micro-generation
  • Enhance competition and improve customer experience in the Irish energy market
  • Improve network services


The programme will be delivered by ESB Networks over three distinct phases of work, which will deliver the incremental addition of high-level functionality to the Irish Energy Market.

  • Phase 1 (2017 – 2020) enables the installation of 250,000 meters and the delivery of the Market Schema changes by 2020 which will facilitate the flow of half hourly interval data to the market.
  • Phase 2 (2021 – 2022) will support the installation of an additional 1 million smart electricity meters and the enablement of the remote and local service switch operation in smart electricity meters.
  • Phase 3 (2023 – 2024) will see the installation of the remaining one million smart electricity meters, along with the activation of Gas Smart Metering services and In-Home Data services by 2024.


The Smart Metering programme will have multiple benefits for ESB Networks, Suppliers and most importantly customers. The programme will deliver a more competitive electricity retail market through better service offerings, ease of switching Supplier and changing address. The programme will provide Suppliers with improved opportunities in relation to ToU tariffs to enhance their relationship with customers. Finally, customers will see an end to estimated bills, be better informed of their energy usage patterns and will also be able to avail of more suitable, flexibility based tariffs from their Suppliers.

ESB Networks' ambition is to deliver a low carbon future for our 2.3 million customers powered by a smart electricity grid, with smart metering being core to that ambition

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