Advanced metering policy development and influence structures: The case of Norway

Energy Policy, Vol 81, 2015, pp. 98-105

Responding to a global trend of installing smart meters Norway has taken a route of full governmental and regulatory coordination. The article maps and analyses the main influences on the developments of Norwegian Advanced Metering policy. Based on 12 interviews and extensive document mapping the Norwegian policy developments are traced from about 1990 to 2014, divided into three phases: Before 2000, between 2000 and 2007, and after 2007. It finds that the main influence and push came from an increasingly united industry sector, fronted by the grid utilities with respective interest organisations. Policy change has been boosted by years of constrained supply, creating incentives for political action. Also developments at the EU level have been important for creating attention for smart meters, while consumer groups have been less influential. The national regulator NVE has adapted its policy process to include external expertise, in particular from the grid companies. The findings confirm that influence into policy processes is a matter of financial and organizational resources and expert knowledge. Of particular policy relevance is the weak organization of private consumer interests into these policy streams, which may be important for further policy development for distributed generation and regulation of private generation activities.