Discussion Papers

Marcus Stronzik, Matthias Wissner

Smart Metering Gas

No. 386 / March 2014

(Full version only vailable in German)

Summary

This discussion paper examines the current state of " smart metering gas " in Germany as well as international experience in this field. The liberalised meter market in Germany encounters various national and international regulations. These have currently, however, hardly the potential to advance a dissemination of intelligent gas meters noticeably. Potential benefits of meters are in particular energy savings through better information of customers about costs and consumption, cost savings through remote control and read-outs as well as load-shifting. In (German ) practice, these aspects are insufficiently researched (potential savings), obviously not to suited to trigger changes with end users (remote control) or not economically necessary (load shifting). There are only single market incentives, for example better cost control for housing associations or installation in the course of an exchange of electricity meters. In addition to the at least unclear costs-benefit ratio for Germany, there are other obstacles to a faster dissemination of smart gas meters. These are the spatial separation between electricity and gas meter, the electricity supply to the gas meter itself, lack of legal implementations of the BSI protection profile and the situation when electricity and gas supplier or tenant and landlord are not identical.

In terms of international experiences 19 European countries have conducted a cost benefit analysis (CBA) so far with twelve countries showing negative CBA results. Our study focuses on Ireland, the UK, Italy and Austria, all with positive CBA outcomes in terms of a rollout of smart gas meters. A significant driver of results are (except for Italy) the assumptions about achievable energy savings through smart metering (e.g. due to higher customer attention). However, against the background of the existing situation, the calculated positive net benefits for the four countries appear to be not very realistic in the German context. In particular, the benefits generated through potential energy savings must be assessed critically for Germany. In addition, problems in the area of payment and possible meter manipulation in Germany are considerably less crucial than in some other countries considered in this discussion paper, so that a potential benefit for suppliers resulting therefrom is of less weight. Thus, it remains doubtful whether Germany can realise synergy effects by a parallel rollout to the same extent as especially the examples of Great Britain and Ireland suggest.

Discussion Paper is availabe for download.

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