ESB Networks has announced the results of major tenders for a programme to upgrade the country's electricity meters.
The upgrade is set to begin this autumn and continue out to 2024, with the initial focus on replacing older meters.
The tenders deal with the purchase of modern meters and the supporting infrastructure, framework installation contracts to support the replacement of meters, and the selection of a communications network.
The tender for the provision of meters and supporting technical infrastructure has been awarded to a consortium of Siemens Ireland and Kamstrup A/S.
TLI Group Limited, KN Network Services (Ire) Limited, MD Electrical Installations Limited will handle the installation service framework contracts, while Three Ireland has been given the contract to provide communications.
The entire programme will cost in the region of €1.2bn.
Paddy Hayes is managing director of ESB Networks: "The upgrade to modern electricity meters is an important enabler of Ireland's Climate Action Plan.
"To tackle climate change, the meter upgrade programme is an essential foundation to maximising the benefit from Ireland's growing renewable generation capability and supporting the electrification of transport and heat - using clean electricity to displace carbon fuels.
"Working closely with the energy supply companies, ESB Networks plans to deliver this important programme over six years, so that all electricity customers can be part of the sustainable energy future."
Work on the upgrade programme is being carried out by ESB Networks in co-operation with the Department of the Environment, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and all electricity supply companies.
Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly, from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, added: "Today's announcement is another step on the journey to enable electricity suppliers to offer smart energy services to customers and will support the migration to a low carbon electricity system.
"Smart meters will also help customers make more informed choices about their consumption, give customers accurate and regular information on their electricity usage and ensure no more estimated bills."
The upgrade programme calls for 250,000 smart meters to be installed by the end of 2020, and about 500,000 meters in each of the four subsequent years.
ESB said it has always replaced meters on a routine rolling basis.
The company added that it will give plenty of notice to customers on when they are planning a replacement.