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The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) in Ireland has announced that it is proceeding to the next phase of a national program to roll out electricity and gas smart meters to all homes and many businesses across the country in the coming years.

The first phase of the National Smart Metering Programme included smart meter pilot projects, which demonstrated that large-scale implementation could lead to a 2.5% reduction in overall electricity consumption, an 8.8% reduction in peak-time electricity consumption and a 2.9% reduction in overall gas consumption.

The pilot projects also showed that smart meters are expected to provide a net benefit to customers and the country in excess of 220 million euros over 20 years.

The national project will include in-home display devices, which will provide customers with real-time information on both cost and usage of electricity and gas. In addition, utilities will offer time-of-use pricing to all electricity consumers.

The installation of smart meters is expected to begin in 2015, with all electricity and gas smart meters being rolled out by 2019. The CER plans to publish an implementation strategy and governance structure for the program.

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