Data privacy law may halt Austrian smart meter plans
In 2015, plans to install smart electricity meters in 95% of Austrian homes by 2019 were in doubt because of legal uncertainty about data protection, with customers trying to prevent their deployment, according to Die Presse newspaper. The idea is that smart meters will allow customers to log on and view their power consumption so that they can see where they can cut back, but current studies put the savings potential at a maximum of 3 to 4%, or €30 to €50 annually. Data protection specialists warn that energy companies could use the controls embedded in smart meters to cut off defaulting customers remotely. Austria is the last country in the European Union to allow a remote switch-off function.