Brussels, Belgium --- (METERING.COM) --- June 23, 2010 - The European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) has released for public consultation a paper on draft guidelines of good practice on the regulatory aspects of smart metering for electricity and gas in Europe.

The basis for the guidelines is the 3rd Energy Package, under which smart metering will be rolled out with the aim of better informing customers of their consumption and helping to increase awareness of energy consumption.

For retail market customers, it is essential that smart metering provides services in an obvious and easy way that benefits the customer, ERGEG says. Some of these should be regarded as minimum services which should be offered to every customer, while other services are optional and could be offered to a customer. ERGEG recommends that member states stipulate that the minimum services are a requirement for the industry (metering operator, DSO, supplier), while the optional services could be imposed as other services.

These services are as follows:

Electricity
Minimum customer services

  1. Information on actual consumption, on a monthly basis
  2. Accurate metering data to relevant market actors when switching supplier or moving
  3. Bills based on actual consumption
  4. Offers reflecting actual consumption patterns
  5. Power capacity reduction/increase
  6. Activation and de-activation of supply
  7. Only one meter for those that both generate and consume electricity
  8. Access on customer demand to information on consumption data

    Optional services

  9. Alert in case of a non-notified interruption
  10. Alert in case of high energy consumption
  11. Interface with the home
  12. Information on voltage quality
  13. Information on continuity of supply

    Costs and benefits

  14. When making a cost benefit analysis, an extensive value chain should be used

    Rollout

  15. All customers should benefit from smart metering
  16. No discrimination when rolling out smart meters

    Gas
    Minimum customer services

  17. Information on actual consumption, on a monthly basis
  18. Accurate metering data to relevant market actors when switching supplier or moving
  19. Bills based on actual consumption
  20. Offers reflecting actual consumption patterns
  21. Access on customer demand to information on consumption data

    Optional services

  22. Hourly flow capacity reduction/increase
  23. Enabling activation and de-activation of supply
  24. Alert in case of high energy consumption
  25. Interface with the home

    Costs and benefits

  26. When making a cost benefit analysis, an extensive value chain should be used

    Rollout

  27. All customers should benefit from smart metering
  28. No discrimination when rolling out smart meters

    Electricity and gas
    Data security and integrity

  29. Customer control of metering data

ERGEG notes that the 3rd Package states that the decision for a rollout of intelligent metering systems in member states could be based on an assessment of the effects of this rollout. One part of such an assessment could be a cost-benefit analysis. ERGEG believes that the cost-benefit analysis should be based on an extensive value chain including consumers, network operators, generators, suppliers, metering agents, etc., and which among other aspects takes into account costs for data security and customer privacy as well as the benefits for all stakeholders (in particular the network operators). The rollout should then be done in a cost efficient and non-discriminatory way.

Comments on the paper are due by September 3, 2010.