1st Edition

Appraising the Economics of Smart Meters Costs and Benefits

By Jacopo Torriti Copyright 2020
    188 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    188 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book focuses on the economics of smart meters and is one of the first to present comprehensive evidence on the impacts, cost-benefits and risks associated with smart metering.

    Throughout this volume, Jacopo Torriti integrates his findings from institutional cost-benefit analyses and smart metering trials in a range of European countries with key economic and social concepts and policy insights derived from almost ten years of research in this area. He explores the extent to which the benefits of smart meters outweigh the cost, and poses key questions including: which energy savings can be expected from the roll out of smart meters in households? Is Cost-Benefit Analysis an appropriate economic tool for assessing the impacts of smart metering rollouts? Can smart meters play a significant role in research on people’s activities and the timing of energy demand? Torriti concludes by providing a much-needed survey of recent changes and expected future developments in this growing field.  

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of energy policy and demand and smart metering infrastructure.

    Preface and Acknowledgements

    1. Are Smart Meters Worth the Cost?

    2. The Economics of Smart Meters

    3. Cost–Benefit Analyses of Smart Meters in European Countries

    4. Cost–Benefit Analysis of Smart Meters in Romania

    5. Cost–Benefit Analysis for Energy Policies

    6. Meta-Analysis of Smart-Metering Trials and Conservation Effects

    7. Beyond Economics and System Needs: Theoretical Approaches to Understand Smart Meters Energy Demand

    8. A Smart Future?

    Appendix: Policy Options in Regulatory Impact Assessments on Smart Meter Roll-outs


    Jacopo Torriti is a Professor of Energy Economics and Policy in the School of the Built Environment, University of Reading, UK. He is Co-Director of the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) and Principal Investigator of projects funded by EPSRC on Residential Electricity Demand: Peaks, Sequences of Activities and Markov chains (REDPEAK) and Distributional Effects of Dynamic Pricing for Responsive Electricity Demand (DEEPRED). He has authored the books Peak Energy Demand and Demand Side Response (Routledge, 2015) and Energy Fables: Challenging Ideas in the Energy Sector (Routledge, 2019). He is a member of Ofgem Academic Advisory Panel and Defra Economic Advisory Panel. Before joining the University of Reading, Jacopo worked at the London School of Economics, the University of Surrey and the European University Institute. He obtained a PhD from King’s College London, a Master from King’s College London and a Laurea in Economics from Universita di Milano.

    "Smart meters are both a major weapon in the hands of consumers, and a subject of some public controversy. This important book explains what smart meters can do, how they are used in different countries, and how we can best take advantage of them to benefit consumers and promote decarbonisation." -- Martin Cave, Professor, Chair of Ofgem, the UK energy regulator

    "Smart meters are regarded as critical for the digitalisation of our electricity system, and yet there has been limited understanding and evidence about the value and benefits of these multi-billion-pound investment programmes. This book tackles its subject with genuine passion, showing in innovative ways how smart meters relate to our everyday lives and explaining the costs and benefits of smart meters in Europe and beyond. It is the one-stop book for anyone working or studying issues related to smart meters in industry, policy or research." -- Jonathan Graham, Head of Markets and Strategy for Distributed Energy Systems, Siemens UK

    "A long-awaited must-read (even must read twice), this book takes a comprehensive and innovative approach to electricity smart metering. Many thanks to Jacopo for opening the smarter meter blackbox from all possible angles and using his established legitimacy to explain to the reader all the alternative choices and possible outcomes". -- Jean-Michel Glachant, Professor, Loyola de Palacio Professor in European energy policy and Director Florence School of Regulation (European University Institute).

    "Flexible demand will be critical in future low carbon electricity systems, and yet understanding of how to achieve that remains inadequate. It is clear that smart meters will be needed. This book provides a timely and comprehensive assessment of the economics of that investment." -- Nick Eyre, Professor, Director, Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions

    "Understanding the responses of consumers in the smart, flexible and decarbonised energy system of the future is critical to its success. This book distils the findings of cutting-edge research on the economics of smart meters and hence represents a key element in understanding the role of costs in how people use energy services." -- Neil Strachan, Professor, Director, UCL Energy Institute

    "Drawing on an impressive range of interdisciplinary research, this book opens up economic, social and policy aspects of smart meters and energy demand. It makes an excellent read for anyone interested not only in smart meters, but also in the use of economic appraisals as part of large infrastructure projects." -- Susana Mourato, Professor, Head Of Department of Geography & Environment, London School of Economics