The amendment to the Energy Law, which was adopted by the House of Representatives on April 15, introduces important changes to energy consumers. Over the next eight years, 80 percent. Of the approximately 13 million recipients, energy meters will be replaced by smart models, allowing remote monitoring of electricity consumption. This means the end of writing down meter readings, but also an additional expense. According to the Ministry of Climate and Environment calculations, replacing a single device would cost PLN 360. The power supply would bear it, but the end user might feel it in the form of higher bills.
- The meters will be replaced by smart ones in phases and will last until 2028
- Households should have greater control over electricity consumption, online access to information on energy consumption, and thus – the ability to better adjust tariffs according to their needs.
- Amending the power law also necessitates the possibility of a faster power supply changeover
- More this information can be found on the Onet.pl homepage
Replacement of energy meters will be the responsibility of the electricity supplier, and this does not mean that the customer will not bear the costs of such replacement. So that the whole process does not affect the operators severely, It was divided into four phases and is expected to last until the end of 2028. The first stage, which will cover 15 percent. Customers, by December 31, 2023, the next (35% of clients) – by the end of 2025, and the third (65% of clients) by December 31, 2027. The final stage already covers 80%. Customers will end by the end of 2028.
However, it is worth knowing about this Meter replacement costs will be included in the energy tariff as enterprise costs. This means that instead of a one-time spending on a new device, in the coming years we can expect slightly higher electricity bills, resulting from the additional expenses of the operators.
Electricity prices are already at a record high due to We are currently paying for the electricity at 9.5 percent. More than a year ago. This is the result of, among other things, the price increase of the CO2 emissions allowance that the emissions power plants have to purchase. This hits end users in the form of capacity charges.
How much can bills be increased? The Bureau of Energy Regulation argues in an interview with Business Insider Polska that the increases could be minor, because replacing the meters was already the operators’ responsibility. Moreover, these costs should be spread over eight years, specifically so that replacing the meters is not counterproductive to energy consumers.
Potential high fees resulting from meter replacement It will be compensated for consumers over time by reducing energy consumption This is the result of the justification for amending the Energy Law. This will be possible thanks to easy and fast access to data on our energy consumption, which in turn will allow us to use it more efficiently. Public awareness raising is also expected to be successful The possibility of changing the tariff to the most convenient for them. Thanks to smart meters, energy suppliers will also lose costs related to, among other things, with reading meters, i.e. university hiring, which is reflected in the pockets of their customers.
Calculations of the Ministry of Climate show that the balance of benefits and costs for each beneficiary of the G tariff group (i.e. allocated to households) It will become positive four years after the law goes into effect.
Meter replacement – costs
Among the largest energy suppliers in Poland are Polska Grupa Energetyczna PGE, Tauron, Enea, Energa and Innogy. They are responsible for transmitting the electricity they buy from power plants and for maintaining the necessary infrastructure. Each of them dominates in a certain region of the country. Business Insider Polska asked them when they planned to start installing the smart meters and what costs it would include.
As reported by Enea, The exchange of meters with smart meters has continued in its customers for several years It will continue “in a region dependent manner or according to the periodic exchanges resulting from the necessity of the so-called substitution of rationing.” This means that in the first place, meters are replaced by smart ones in homes where the shelf life of such a device has expired (in the case of electricity meters over 30 kW, it is 15 years, and for the rest of the devices – eight years). This replacement is free of charge and the meter is the property of the utility company.
The entire industry will spend between 7 and 9 billion PLN on replacing the meters – tells Enea. These costs will be transferred into the tariffs approved by the Bureau of Energy Regulation for all end users. The operators associated with the Polish Association for the Transmission and Distribution of Electricity strive to ensure that the period of use of meters, that is The period between the alternatives to certification extends from the current 8 to 12 years. “The possibility of replacing the meters less frequently will allow to reduce costs on the part of the distribution system operator and the recipient,” – Enea representatives wrote in response to questions from Business Insider Polska.
According to the Ministry of Climate and Environment, within a 15-year time horizon, the benefits of installing smart meters for about 13 million recipients are expected to reach 11.3 billion PLN. The authorities estimate the costs related to the implementation to the minimum of the amount mentioned by the operator, that is, about 7 billion PLN.
Installing smart meters is also a necessity resulting from the adaptation of national regulations to European Union law. Most of the European Union countries are in the stage of implementing centralized smart metering systems (Like Norway, Sweden, and Finland) or have such systems (like Estonia, Netherlands, Denmark, and Italy). The model just introduced in Poland will be the closest to the one working in Denmark.
One potential source of financing for the installation of smart meters in Poland is European Union funding for pro-development investments in the energy sector. As stated by the Ministry of Climate:
Poland has negotiated billions of euros as part of the mechanisms supporting the energy transition in EU member states with a more difficult starting point to use under the New Cohesion Fund, the National Reconstruction Plan, or the Equitable Transition Fund. In addition, the creation of smart grids is already being supported within the current financial perspective – Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment (OPI&E).
What is a smart energy meter?
Smart meters allow you to read electricity consumption remotely in real time. Data from meters will be summarized on energy taken from the grid, as well as those supplied, for example from farms that use renewable energy sources, every 15 minutes. Thanks to this, the supplier will constantly receive information about the state of electricity consumption and be able to Settle on actual consumption, not expectations, which often requires correction.
Smart meters also provide the possibility of prepaid settlements, that is, overpayment in advance for a certain amount of electricity and solve the problem of possible malfunctions and malfunctions of these devices, which will be reported to the energy company quickly. The widespread use of smart meters will allow more efficient energy management and adaptation of the power plant’s energy to the current demand.
Smart Energy Meters – Benefits for Electricity Consumers
The measurement data obtained by the operators will be transmitted to the central energy market information system. CSIRE will store and share this data with, among other things, electricity vendors and consumers. Recipients will be able to access their data through a dedicated portal. Thanks to CSIRE, certified entities will also be able to send commands to the remote reading counter.
According to Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne, which will be the operator of the system, the measurement data will be mainly collected, including electricity consumption, production and quality. Data related to settlements and the conclusion or termination of the electricity sale contract will also be transferred to CSIRE.
Among the most important benefits that the electricity consumer will achieve as a result of amending the regulations, the Ministry of Climate lists:
- Continuous access to data on electricity consumption, which will enable: optimal management of electricity consumption, data analysis and conscious use of electricity, in the case of poorer or vulnerable customers, and the possibility of flexible adaptation of current consumption to available resources;
- Responding to individual customer needs by increasing differentiation in tariffs and thus providing the consumer with the potential for active participation in the market;
- Improvement of the quality standards of consumed electricity;
- Simplify and shorten the switching procedure between the electricity supplier – the ease and short duration of the supplier switching procedure will energize consumers;
- Creating the possibility of developing small generation and connecting additional devices to the network.
Energy Law Amendments aim to break the monopoly of energy groups to sell energy to end users. Thanks to the centralized information system of the energy market, entering this market will become cheaper and easier. Thus, it will be easier for the intended recipients to change the energy supply and get a financially beneficial offer. The entire supplier switching process should be simplified and shortened from the current 30 days to 1 business day.
The amendment to the law also allows for the possibility of withdrawing licenses for entities that violate consumer interests. UOKiK requested this, citing cases of egregious violations of the law despite the financial penalties imposed by the office. In turn, the head of the Bureau of Energy Regulation pointed to the problem of fraudulent vendors selling energy in the door-to-door format. Such practices will also be curtailed, and electricity will be sold at the company’s headquarters.
After all, installing remote reading meters is part of the effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Ministry of Climate, operators are currently incurring losses related to the inability to actually read the electricity consumed in consumers’ homes due to limited communication capabilities. The solution to this situation is to have remote readings.