The European Investment Bank has agreed a loan worth up to €425 million (£367m) to support Belgian network operator Fluvius’ rollout of smart meters.
A first tranche of €200 million (£173m) has been signed, with Fluvius using it to rollout smart meters in Flemish households and businesses in 300 cities and municipalities as well as connect new users to the network.
The new smart meters allow for remote readings and make it possible to provide near real-time consumption information to consumers.
Fluvius, a co-operative company owned by 11 inter-municipal companies, has set a target to install smart meters at 80% of its clients’ sites by the end of 2024.
It is responsible for the construction, management and maintenance of electricity, natural gas, sewerage, cable distribution and district heating networks in Flanders.
Frank Vanbrabant, CEO of Fluvius said: “Digital energy meters are crucial in making the energy transition a success. Only with digital meters will families and SMEs be able to actively manage their energy usage. The new meters can help families with solar panels to immediately use their home-generated electricity as much as possible. They also enable dynamic energy prices.
“As a result, a family can consume more, cheaper electricity by smartly controlling appliances, or storing energy locally, for example in an electric car. In any case, the digital meter is an important gateway to the energy landscape of the future.”