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Why it is not so easy to lower the power of meters throughout Italy (as Europe would like)
According to the Energy Authority in Italy there are about 30 million “domestic” users. Almost all the meters in circulation are smart but for a mass intervention their software should be updated.
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“Such a thing has never been done before.” Speaking with different sources in the bodies and companies that deal with energy in Italy, the answer is always the same. Until now, no one has ever been imposed reduction in the availability of electricity nationwide. Yet, this is what the drafts of the Plan for the reduction of electricity and gas consumption who is evaluating theEuropean Union. For now the proposal is to set the mandatory cut electricity consumption by 10% on a monthly basis, a result to be achieved with a 5% reduction in peak hours. Once approved, the directive will have to be applied by individual countries, even if the road does not seem exactly downhill.
How smart meters work
According to the data communicated to Fanpage.it by the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment (Arera), at the moment in Italy there are about 36.5 million electricity users. Of these, about 30 million are classified as “domestic”. Always according to the declarations of Arera practically all of these users mount at least one smart counter defined as “first generation”. This meter model already allows remote reading and management of the energy emission.
About half of the users then mount “second generation” smart meters that allow a more accurate reading of the energy consumed. Specifically, they are able to process bills based on actual consumption and not on a system of estimates and adjustments. Both types of meters can regulate the flow of current by executing a command received from a distance. Therefore, theoretically, there should be no problems in applying the European directives.
How the smart thermostat and smart valves work and how much you save on your bill
A mass intervention never experienced
The point, however, concerns themass intervention. Up to now, external energy regulation for a meter has only been done for individual users. Usually this type of intervention on the meters is done to reduce the power in case of arrears, although there are special cases in which users ask for an increase in the standard power. If bills are not paid, before the suspension of electricity, the energy suppliers can reduce the power of the meter bringing it to 15% of the total.
Until now, however, a mass intervention has never been attempted, capable of involving millions of users. Moreover, as it is now thought, the energy reduction plan that the European Union is studying would not be based on a definitive cut but would only be applied for a few hours during the day. The verification of the “technical feasibility” is therefore still in progress. A software update but it could take up to two months to complete it on all 30 million meters in Italy.