Brussels, Belgium --- (METERING.COM) --- February 10, 2011 - All customers should benefit from both electricity and gas smart metering, and there should be no discrimination when rolling out the smart meters, the European Regulators’ Group for Energy and Gas (ERGEG) has recommended in its final guidelines of good practice on the regulatory aspects of smart metering in Europe.

And when it comes to data security and integrity, the customer should retain control of the data – except of metering data required to fulfill regulated duties and within the national market model.

The final guidelines, which result from a consultation, are directed at member states, national regulatory authorities (NRAs) and industry, and are aimed at contributing to the effective implementation of the 3rd Energy Package.

Under the 3rd Package, European member states are required to install smart metering where a rollout is assessed positively in a cost-benefit analysis.

Among the other guidelines, ERGEG recommends that customers should be supplied with information on their actual consumption and cost on a monthly basis, and that bills should be based on actual consumption. Further there should be access to information on consumption and cost data on demand from the customer.

The remote reading process should lead to easier supplier switching or changing of contract, and pricing formulae should reflect consumption patterns. In order to enable this, the smart metering systems should be capable of recording consumption on at least an hourly basis.

The meter systems also should have a remote connection/disconnection facility (both electricity and gas), provide an alert in case of exceptional energy consumption, have an interface for a home area network, and a remote software upgrade capability.

In addition for the smart electricity meters, these should be capable of measuring both consumption and injection, have a remote power capacity reduction/increase facility, and provide an alert in case of a non-notified interruption.

ERGEG says it intends for the recommendations be a starting point rather than an exhaustive list, considering the ongoing developments in this area.