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The European Smart Metering Alliance (ESMA) was established in 2007 and now has over 60 members from across all of Europe. The members are drawn from all sectors of the industry, including consumer organisations, government agencies and regulators. The purpose of ESMA is to maximise the energy savings arising from any introduction of smart metering under the EU Energy Services Directive.

A web site (www.esmahome.eu) has been set up that explains what smart metering is to the general public. There is also a members’ area where project documents can be downloaded. The first meeting of the Alliance was held at Metering, Billing/CRM Europe in Vienna in October 2007 and the level of interest in ESMA was very encouraging.

The ESMA project team has been hard at work producing a series of reports on the current status of smart metering. This includes a definition of smart metering and reports on the regulatory environment as well as the likely impacts of the introduction of smart metering. There is also a major review of energy savings achieved by smart metering implementations and trials. Copies of these reports, and others, are available in the members’ area of the web site.

The next major deliverable is the “European Smart Metering Guide, Energy Efficiency and the Customer.” This document will set out best practice for energy savings from smart metering and covers a wide range of relevant topics, including how to maximise customer savings, technical options, standards and system implementation. Guidance is also given on how to allow for the needs of smart homes and embedded generation when designing smart metering systems, and on how to set up smart metering trials.

The first draft of the Guide has now been released to members of the Alliance and a Workshop was held in Warsaw on 24 January 2008 to review it. The ESMA project team are very keen to receive feedback from smart metering stakeholders so that the views of all can be represented in the Guide. If you want to receive a copy of the draft guide please contact John Parsons, project coordinator of ESMA (jparsons@beama.org.uk). The final version of the Guide will be released during the summer of 2008 and then updated annually thereafter.