Brussels, Belgium --- (METERING.COM) --- December 19, 2011 - A minimum common set of functionalities for smart metering has been put forward by the European Commission with the aim of enabling member states to identify common means of achieving cost efficiencies (and inefficiencies) in their rollout plans.

The functionality set, developed jointly by the European Commission’s directorates of Energy and Information Society and Media, comprises 10 functionalities. These were determined based on comments from member states in response to an initial list of 13 functionalities based on the ERGEG Guidelines of Good Practice on Regulatory Aspects of Smart Metering for Electricity and Gas.

These ten functionalities are:
For the customer:

  • Provides readings from the meter to the customer and to equipment that he may have installed
  • Updates these readings frequently enough to allow the information to be used to achieve energy savings.

For the meter operator:

  • Allows remote reading of meter registers by the meter operator
  • Provides two-way communication between the meter and external networks for maintenance and control of the meter
  • Allows readings to be taken frequently enough to allow the information to be used for network planning.

For commercial aspects of energy supply:

  • Supports advanced tariff systems, including multiple tariffs, time of use registers, block tariff registers, remote tariff control, etc. as applicable
  • Allows remote on/off control of the supply and/or flow or power limitation.

For security and privacy:

  • Provides secure data communications
  • Fraud prevention and detection.

To allow distributed generation:

  • Provides import/export and reactive metering.

The three functionalities on which there was limited consensus are:

  • For the customer: Provides the readings in a form easily understood by the untrained consumer, and with calculations enabling final customers to better control their energy consumption, e.g. in terms of cost, as averages, as comparisons to other periods, etc.
  • For the meter operator: Provides for the monitoring of power quality
  • For commercial aspects of energy supply: Supports energy supply by prepayment and on credit.

The approximately two-thirds of European member states that have not yet undertaken smart meter cost-benefit analyses are recommended when they do so to use this set of common functionalities.

The functionality set also could serve member states, the metering industry and utilities as a solid basis for their respective investments, facilitate rollout associated procurement, and provide regulators with European reference definitions, the document states.