European smart gas meters penetration hit 45% in 2023

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According to a new report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the installed base of smart gas meters in Europe reached 55.9 million units in 2023.

Equivalent to a penetration rate of 45 percent, this represents significant growth in the adoption of smart gas metering technology across the continent.

The report forecasts that the installed base will continue expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 percent between 2023 and 2028, reaching 77.6 million units by the end of that period. Annual shipments of smart gas meters amounted to 4.8 million units in 2023, and are expected to remain in the range of 5.0–5.8 million units per year throughout the forecast period.

The UK, Italy, and Belgium were the most active markets in 2023, accounting for 86 percent of all smart gas meter shipments during the year.

While rollouts in Italy, France, and the Netherlands are largely completed, the UK market is finally ramping up yearly installations after several delays, with a peak of 3.2–3.4 million units expected annually in 2024–2025. Belgium and Ireland are also expected to contribute significant shipment volumes in the coming years, and Spain is forecasted to reach 1.0 million units shipped per year by 2028.

Historically, smart gas meters in Europe have often transmitted data through smart electricity meters using local wireless or wired interfaces—particularly in the UK, Netherlands, and Belgium. However, a mix of 169 MHz RF and 2G/3G cellular connectivity has been the primary model for major rollouts like those in Italy and France where gas meters were deployed independently.

This status quo is poised for change as new LPWA (Low-Power Wide-Area) technologies such as NB-IoT gain traction. Italy was the first European market to adopt NB-IoT for smart gas meters at scale, reaching over 2.5 million NB-IoT connected units by the end of 2023. Berg Insight anticipates that by 2028, NB-IoT will become the predominant connectivity choice for smart gas meters across multiple European countries.

The report also highlights emerging trends, including the anticipated rise of hydrogen in European gas operations. Pilot projects are underway in the UK and Italy to test metering devices capable of measuring pure hydrogen or blended hydrogen/natural gas mixtures. As the technology matures, interest in hydrogen metering is expected to grow.

(Photo by Siân Wynn-Jones on Unsplash)

See also: UK announces measures to advance smart energy technology

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