If you need an example of a country fully embracing the Internet of Things, then all you need to do is look at our neighbours to the south. That’s because the Dutch government has begun mandating the roll-out of smart meters to homes in the Netherlands, with an aim to have 100% coverage by 2020.

While these smart meters aren’t the ones consumers are used to – those with bells and whistles such as wireless control – they can greatly help create an IoT smart grid, and ensure consumers are paying the right amount for utilities. They have gained some popularity in the US, where 60 million are installed, but they’re just becoming notable in Europe now.

Despite the Dutch government’s mandate, it will be up to regional grid operators to actually handle the roll-out. Operator Enexis, which boasts more than 5.7 million customers in North, East and South Netherlands, has already installed 900,000 smart meters in one of its regions. It plans to install another 2.8 million electricity meters and the same in gas smart meters by 2020.

“We are currently installing about 7,700 smart meters each week; this number will increase to 10,000 per week in the near future,” Philip Westbroek, Security Officer for industrial control systems (ICS) and SCADA, Enexis Netbeheer, notes.

“That applies to us but other Dutch grid operators install similar numbers of meters; the Dutch Government has told us to install smart meters in every household before the end of 2020.”

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