The European Investment Bank sees the programme as a key part of scaling up the use of smart meters in Britain, and one of the largest smart meter schemes in Europe to date. The roll-out will be managed by Calvin Capital, a leading funder, owner and manager of gas and electricity meters. Individual meters will then be used by customers of energy suppliers.
“Smart meters make it easier for households and businesses to save energy and this huge roll-out will help to significantly cut carbon emissions. As part of our commitment to support GB energy investment, the European Investment Bank is pleased to provide £360 million to back Calvin’s crucial project that will enable millions of energy users to save money. This programme provides a benchmark for similar smart meter schemes across Europe in the future.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
This is the largest project so far to be backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe and the second in the UK. EFSI was established earlier this year by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission and will enable increased lending and attract private capital for crucial projects by the European Investment Bank in strategic sectors such as renewable energy, digital infrastructure, transport and R&D; as well as financing for SMEs. Since the start of EFSI more support for projects in GB have been approved by the board of the European Investment Bank than in any other country.
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, added: “I’m very pleased that the European Fund for Strategic Investments – which is at the heart of the €315 billion Investment Plan for Europe – is helping to finance this worthwhile project. Smart meters improve customer awareness of how much they are spending on their energy bills so they can make informed decisions on their energy use. With COP 21 taking place right now, it is very positive that over half of the EFSI projects to be approved by the EIB so far are in energy efficiency and renewable energy.”
The programme will support the UK Government’s plans to ensure that over 53 million smart electricity and gas meters are installed in every domestic property in Great Britain by 2020, and this mass roll-out is set to begin in 2016.