Germany Rejects EU Smart-Meter Recommendations on Cost Concerns

Germany said it probably won’t follow smart-meter guidance from the European Union -- which has recommended that 80 percent of homes install the devices by 2020 -- because such a move would be too costly for consumers.

The EU proposal is “inadvisable” for Germany, the Economy Ministry said in a statement, citing a study it commissioned from consultants Ernst & Young. For users with low power consumption, the installation cost would be greater than the achievable energy savings, it said.

“The results show that we in Germany have to expand smart measuring systems and meters selectively and in line with the energy switch,” Deputy Economy Minister Stefan Kapferer said, referring to the country’s shift away from nuclear generation and toward renewable power.

Smart meters allow consumers to monitor energy use and costs, and relay the data to suppliers to help them manage demand. Germany, which seeks to more than triple the share of renewables to 80 percent of consumption by 2050, has yet to adopt a firm policy on the devices.

The study on Germany, which has about 48 million traditional meters, “disappointed some in the industry, who had hoped for a stronger recommendation for a mass-market rollout,” Albert Cheung, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said today by e-mail. “This is still a positive development as it clarifies the roles and responsibilities for smart metering, where uncertainty had previously stymied development.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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