The amendment to the energy law, adopted by the Sejm on April 15, brings significant changes for energy consumers. Over the next eight years, 80 percent. Out of about 13 million recipients, energy meters are to be replaced with intelligent models, allowing for remote monitoring of electricity consumption. This means the end of writing down the meter readings, but also additional expenses. According to the calculations of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, replacement of one device costs PLN 360. It will be borne by the energy supplier, but the end user may feel it in the form of higher bills.
- The replacement of meters with smart ones will be phased and will last until 2028.
- Households are to gain more control over electricity consumption, online access to information on energy consumption and thus – the ability to better adjust the tariff to their needs
- The amendment to the energy law also entails the possibility of a faster change of energy supplier
The replacement of energy meters will be the responsibility of electricity suppliers, which does not mean that the customer will not bear the costs of this replacement. So that the entire process does not hit the operators hard, it has been divided into four stages and is to last until the end of 2028. The first stage, which will cover 15% of recipients, is to be completed by December 31, 2023, the next (35 percent. recipients) – by the end of 2025, the third (65 percent. recipients) by December 31, 2027. The last stage already covers 80 percent. customers will end by the end of 2028.
However, it is worth knowing that the costs of replacing meters will be included in energy tariffs as costs of enterprises . This means that instead of a one-off expenditure on a new device, in the coming years we can expect slightly higher electricity bills, resulting from additional expenses of operators.
Electricity prices are already at a record high, because we are currently paying by 9.5% more than a year ago.This is the result of, among others an increase in the prices of carbon dioxide emission allowances that the emitting power plants have to buy. This hits end users in the form of the capacity fee.
How much can bills increase? the increases may be insignificant, because the replacement of meters has already been the responsibility of the operators. In addition, these costs are to be spread over eight years, precisely so that the replacement of meters does not backfire on energy consumers.
The calculations of the Ministry of Climate show that the balance of benefits and costs per recipient of the G tariff group (i.e. intended for households) will become positive four years after the Act enters into force.
Replacing meters – costs
The largest energy suppliers in Poland include: Polska Grupa Energetyczna PGE, Tauron, Enea, Energa and Innogy. They are responsible for the transmission of the electricity they buy from the power plants and maintain the necessary infrastructure. Each of them dominates in a specific region of the country. The replacement of meters with smart meters at its customers has been going on for several years
The entire industry will spend from seven to nine billion zlotys on the replacement of meters – informs Enea. It is these costs that will be transferred in the tariffs approved by the Energy Regulatory Office to all end users. Operators associated in the Polish Society of Transmission and Distribution of Electricity strive to extend the period of use of the meters, i.e. the period between legalization replacements, from the current eight to twelve years.
According to the Ministry of Climate and Environment, in a 15-year time horizon, the benefits of installing smart meters for around 13 million customers are expected to reach PLN 11.3 billion. The authorities estimate the costs related to the implementation at the lower limits of the amount mentioned by the operator, i.e. at about PLN 7 billion.
The installation of smart meters is also a necessity resulting from the adaptation of national regulations to the law of the European Union. Most EU countries are in the phase of implementing central smart metering systems (including Norway, Sweden, Finland) or have such systems (including Estonia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy). The model that has just been introduced in Poland is to be the closest to that operating in Denmark.
Measurement data obtained by operators will be transferred to the Central Energy Market Information System. CSIRE will store and share this data, among others electricity sellers and consumers. Recipients will have access to their data via a dedicated portal. Thanks to CSIRE, authorized entities will also be able to send commands to the remote reading counter.
After all, the installation of remote reading meters is part of the efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Ministry of Climate, operators are currently incurring losses related to the inability to physically read the electricity consumed in consumers’ homes due to the limited possibility of contact. The solution to this situation is to be remote readings.