Smart meters project dormant, PPC hesitancy not helping

A long-running effort for the replacement of 7.5 million old analogue-technology power meters around the country with new digital smart meters remains bogged down by various complications and is depriving the Greek economy of a mammoth investment worth around 1.2 billion euros.

According to sources, DEDDIE/HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, has remained dormant on the issue and, for the time being, is limiting its activity to occasional installations of new smart meters – from a stock of 230,000 meters acquired several months ago – at new buildings or older properties whenever requested by customers, for replacements of older dysfunctional power meters.

In an effort to invigorate the process, the operator’s deputy chief, Thanassis Misdanitis, tabled a proposal to the energy ministry last October entailing the establishment of a DEDDIE subsidiary to which PPC’s old power meters would be transferred as collateral to enable financing for the phasing out and replacement of these older meters. Their total asset value is estimated at 200 million euros.

According to sources, the energy ministry likes the idea but no progress has been made as state-controlled PPC has reacted against the transfer of its assets to another company.

It is believed the establishment of an SPV would lead to the installation of 7.5 million smart meters within five to seven years.

Both DEDDIE and electricity suppliers would greatly benefit. DEDDIE could limit leakages and better identify network faults, while power suppliers would gain the ability to offer consumers more competitive and flexible products adjusted to a greater number or customer profiles.