But trials show that the new meters could lead to less gas and electricity consumption as homeowners could monitor their usage
SMART meters are set to be installed in Irish homes in 2018 – with utility bills to increase by €5.50 per year.
The move comes as part of a new project to replace and update old electricity and gas meters with modern ones.
Smart meters will mean there will be no need for a home visit to read a meter.
And the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) says the move will do away with the need to use estimates whenever a meter cannot be read.
The new charge will be added to each customer’s network fee each year, over the next twenty years to fund the project.
Instead the smart meters will communicate directly with energy providers to give a view of a customer’s energy usage.
And trials from November 2011 have showed that smart meters could lead to a substantial 2.9 per cent reduction in gas consumption, a 2.5 per cent reduction in electricity consumption and an 8.8 per cent drop in peak-time electricity usage.
The Commission for Energy Regulation said: “A national roll-out of Smart meters will therefore lead to lower customer bills, greater customer information and choice, lower CO2 emissions and environmental benefits for Ireland”.
“Smart meters will provide a net benefit to customers and the country in excess of €220m over 20 years.”