Smart meters are devices that digitally measure electricity (or gas) consumption and transfer the data to suppliers. They are an integral part of smart grids. Due to differing technologies, the intervals at which smart meters measure and transmit consumption data can vary from 10-15 minutes to hours. Utilising smart meters, suppliers can identify consumers' consumption patterns, leading to more flexible pricing schemes than the single or dual tariff, that are in place today. Data collected and transmitted to suppliers at frequent enough intervals can constitute personally identifiable information (PPI).
Links for further research
Bureau of European Consumers position paper: PROTECTING AND EMPOWERING CONSUMERS IN FUTURE SMART ENERGY MARKETS