Present and operational at the first 2023/24 meeting of The European House of Ambrosetti’s Value of Water Community, a network of 38 partners in the extended water supply chain now in its 5th year of work.
The meeting shared scenarios, strategies and policies for the water supply chain in Italy and the optimization of its development. A supply chain that has more than 20 billion euros of turnover, more than 300 thousand employees, 200 thousand km of covered water network and 3,500 billion euros of assets under management.
We note a clear growth in demand for water meters in the Italian market, which is finally catching up with the numbers of markets such as Spain, although it is still far behind France and Germany in terms of the number of pieces produced.
This growth, found mainly in the Utility sector, is due to the replacement of old meters, as required by DM 93/17, and to the PNNR funds for the monitoring and reduction of water losses. A positive aspect is an increase in the demand for smart meters, which in 2022 exceeded 75% of the market share, placing Italy among the European leaders in investment.
However, it seems that this acceleration is mainly attributable to the regulatory concessions related to the extension of the period for meter replacement, rather than the real willingness of utilities to employ and use smart meters. Moreover, there is a risk of being unprepared to cope with the technological leap needed on this complex vertical. It would be good to learn from the Utility’s previous experience in the gas sector in previous years, which has seen massive replacements and a roll-out of smart meters.
It would be wasteful to use PNRR funds inefficiently, considering that the main objective stated in DM93/17 is the simple replacement of old meters in order to bring the instruments in line with metrological and health regulations. Moreover, it should be considered that the high demand for smart meters and the time restrictions for accessing PNRR funding do not fit well with the current context of shortage of electronic components and limited supply.
How to intervene on DM93/17
Maddalena S.p.A. remains strong in the opinion that a revision of DM93/17 is needed, in particular:
Providing annexes describing how to perform periodic verifications, which are currently still missing;
Correcting Annex IV to equalize verification intervals between static and mechanical meters. It is important to remember that Italy is the only state in the Union to make this distinction, violating the European principle of technology neutrality;
Broadening the scope to also include household divisional meters (Submetering), considering that such meters are suitable for economic transactions and therefore regulated by the MID Directive.
Finally, in order to take a broader view that includes the irrigation sector, it is important to raise awareness of the adoption of measurement and management tools in the irrigation consortia sector as well, something that has been happening for years only in southern Italy.
Buon lavoro to all colleagues in the Community!
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