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Digital meters for electricity and gas, which are connected to an information infrastructure are an important component of the smart metering and smart grid infrastructure being deployed. Besides technical and business perspectives, such infrastructure has an impact on the consumer and on authorities that have public service obligations. This paper discusses those elements, also in the context of the assessment that is needed for the European directives 2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC. It positions smart meters with respect to energy savings and outlines requirements for relevant cost / benefit analyses.