The time frame for the smart meter roll-out in Austria

The Electricity Directive that forms part of the 3rd energy package calls on member states to implement intelligent metering systems, i.e. smart meters, to assist the active participation of consumers in the electricity market. It requires at least 80% of consumers to be equipped with smart meters by 2020. This EU-level rule was transposed in Austria through the 2010 amendment to the Elektrizitätswirtschafts- und -organisationsgesetz (Electricity Act). In accordance with section 83(1) of the Electricity Act 2010, it is the Minister of Economy, Family and Youth who decides the deadlines and degree of smart meter roll-out in Austria. In April 2012, the Austrian Minister of Economy issued an ordinance providing that by 2019, 95% of meters in Austria must be smart meters.

If Austria is to adopt a transparent, open-ended and pro-competitive approach to smart metering that brings equal benefits to all consumers and market players, it is vital to have a regulatory framework for nationwide standardisation of system specifications and functionality.

Some electricity system operators have gone ahead with smart metering projects over the last years, and some 450,000 smart meters are already in place on Austrian distribution networks.