F.A.Q - Smart Grids

F.A.Q.
Smart Grids

The advantages offered by smart grids and smart metering are not just a possibility for the future – they are already with us in Europe.

Smart grid projects covering towns, cities and larger areas are taking place across the continent.

Many of these projects are testing new systems and technologies in real-life situations with real people. See the My Country section of the website for more information on what is happening where you are.

Based on this experience, here are some of the most frequent questions consumers like you have asked about smart grids.

Most countries in the EU have decided they can get more benefits from having smart meters as important components of smart grids, calculating that it is more cost-efficient to have them.

 

It is possible to have smart grids without smart meters, but as a consumer, you could miss out on playing a more active role in our future energy system.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are the backbone of every modern society. A wide range of sectors depend on global communications networks and the internet: not just energy management but also - banking, telecommunications, water management, health care and industry. 

 

The clear and multiple benefits for all of us, however, go hand in hand with a risk of cyber attacks by criminals. Just like for other industries, the energy sector uses advanced security systems to protect your energy supply.

 

Industry, EU governments, and Europe’s institutions are all working to ensure these critical infrastructures are secure and stay one-step ahead of the next potential threat.

In the shorter-term, investments will need to be made that will, for the most part, be paid by ordinary consumers like yourself through tariffs. However, savings will be made in parallel where network expansion has been avoided due to smartening.

 

If your community reduces its total energy use at high-usage (peak) times, the need to invest in your local grid will be reduced, which means fewer costs for you. Also, with better monitoring and prediction of your community’s energy needs, your grid operator will be able to better plan its grid development investments, resulting in savings in the longer-term.

Any network development creates some disruption, but how much depends on how well it is planned.

 

Many of Europe’s energy networks are ageing and require replacing irrespective of smart grids. By smartening the networks when they are in need of being upgraded, additional disruption such as road works can be kept to a minimum.

 

Additionally, a new European law asks infrastructure companies in areas such as energy, water and communications to keep disruption at a minimum for you.