National smart meter trial data now available

Electric Ireland and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) have this week released full data sets from the recent smart metering trials for electricity customers.

The purpose of the trials, which took place during 2009 and 2010 with over 5,000 Irish homes and businesses participating, was to assess the performance of smart meters, their impact on customers’ electricity consumption and the economic case for a wider national rollout.

Those Electric Ireland customers who took part had a smart meter installed in their homes to help establish how smart metering can help shape energy usage behaviours across a variety of demographics, lifestyles and home sizes.

The findings of the trials, which were published by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) last May, indicated that Irish customers responded very positively to smart meters by reducing their electricity consumption and bills.

Data from the trials is now available on request from UCD’s Irish Social Science Data Archive. No personal or confidential information is contained in the data set, which instead gives overall behavioural and usage patterns.

“The data collected from the smart meter trials provides real insights into consumer energy consumption patterns,” said Liam Molloy, general manager, Electric Ireland.

“We are delighted that it is being made available for research purposes and hope it will be useful in the development of new products and services that will benefit modern energy consumers.

“The introduction of smart metering will allow customers to have real-time information on their energy usage at their fingertips and will create a platform for the development of a range of smart services in the home. The home of the future will have as standard a countertop touch-screen managing the home’s appliances, heating and alarm systems and a range of other useful home applications.

“Electric Ireland is working with a range of companies to make this a reality with the benefits of convenience, reducing energy consumption and saving money on energy bills.”

Professor Own Lewis, CEO of SEAI, said the trial was one of the largest statistical studies of its kind undertaken anywhere in the world. “I am sure this data will be of great interest to researchers in Ireland and internationally.”

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