ESB have issued a warning about the discriminatory nature of smart meters and the negative impact they will have on working families. Their response to the Energy Regulator (CER) consultation can be read here. Ireland will be the only country to make smart meters mandatory in the EU. In Germany, they are only installed in houses that will benefit from them. But the Irish Energy Regulator intends to install them in every home by 2018.
However, we would restate our position regarding the mandating of a STT for all residential customers. The structure of the proposed mandated TOU tariff, will consist of day, night and peak time bands with three options for peak between 5-7, 5-9 and 7-9 pm. By definition, those who will benefit from TOU tariffs either already use more electricity at cheaper times of day, or are willing and able to shift their demand accordingly. Those households that are best off under the TOU tariff are those with below average consumption at peak times or those that are at home and able to shift consumption to off peak times. TOU tariffs will negatively impact families returning home from work and education in the evenings to cook dinner, eat together and heat the home and those with non discretionary load.
We would repeat the point we made in our response to CER15053 in March this year that during the NSMP trial 50% of consumers involved incurred higher bills of up to €30 per annum and 50% of consumers involved saved up to €30 per annum. By introducing a mandated TOU tariff with a backstop date the CER risks seeing 50% of consumers incur higher bills after the roll out of smart meters (Electric Ireland (ESB) - September 2015).