Well, introduction of "Smart Metering" starts here in Germany also. It is often advertised to the customer as means to control energy consumption. Aha.
At the moment, end customers have contracts like monthly base fee plus xxx cent/kWh for the amount of energy consumed. The meters are usually read once a year. No need to think about the best time turning on the washing machine.
The aim of the power suppliers is to optimize network operation. Smart metering gives them a chance to have different prices each hour (worst case). Interested in the prices on german power spot market? Then click here
On the other side, an expensive infrastructure needs to be established. Starting from data transmission and not ending with the billing infrastructure. Also, these Smart Meters are much more expensive than conventional meters.
So, the prices must go up. There is no way to get around this.