A British consultancy predicts that between 133 and 145 million smart meters will be installed in European Union countries by the end of this decade, in keeping with the EU's aim to have 80 of households equipped with such meters by 2020. The market will be biggest in countries that have been relatively slow to implement smart metering, notably Germany, the UK and Poland, says Greenbang LTD in Europe's Smart Meter Outlook for 2020--a report that it's selling to interested customers for a cool 1800 pounds.
According to a precis of the report that appeared this month in Britain's Financial Times, the European country that got off to the fastest start on a large scale was Italy, which often surprises with its tech-savviness. With the assistance of California-based Echelon, 27 million smart meters were installed in Italy between 2000 and 2005. A program of similar scope is now underway in Spain, also involving Echelon.
On the face of it, Italy would appear to be the place to look, if you're trying to assess the near-term impact of smart metering on energy demand, conservation, and greenhouse gas emissions. Texas too: The report credits its smart metering with having helped avert problems in 2008, when lower than expected windiness idled its turbines.