“The reasons for the delays were given by the network operators, among other things, technical problems, increased data protection and security requirements and complex procurement procedures,” the energy regulator said on Monday, according to the announcement. Due to the negative effects of Corona on supply chains and installation work, the roll-out rate could be even lower.
The monitoring report refers to data from the network operators for 2019 and also takes into account announced rollout plans for 2020, but also for 2021 and 2022, where 95 percent of smart meters would have to be installed. “And the plans submitted for the coming years do not suggest that the introduction of smart meters can be fully completed in the next two to three years. Nevertheless, if there are no further crises, the rollout could now be pushed ahead quickly, ”urges Eigenbauer.
At the end of 2019, 1.4 million of the total of around 6.2 million metering points affected had been equipped with a smart meter. This corresponds to an Austria-wide coverage rate of 22.2 percent. From the rollout plans submitted by the network operators to E-Control at the beginning of 2020, this results in a degree of target achievement of 31.3 percent for the end of 2020, 52.7 percent for 2021 and 74.6 percent for 2022. Those provided for in the introductory regulation of the Ministry of Energy at least 80 percent by the end of 2020 and 95 percent by the end of 2022 will therefore not be achieved by the majority of network operators.
“In contrast, there are also some network operators who are completely or at least almost completely on schedule with the roll-out of the smart meters,” says E-Control board member Wolfgang Urbantschitsch. “These include Netz Oberösterreich with a roll-out rate of 92 percent at the end of 2019, Linz Netz with 74 percent, Wels Strom with 71 percent, Netz Burgenland with 77 percent, Stadtwerke Feldkirch with 99 percent and Stadtwerke Amstetten with 78 percent Percent. ”A number of small network operators have already completed the installation of the digital meters in their network area.