Brussels, Belgium --- (METERING.COM) --- August 6, 2013

Europe’s energy distributors, in most of the countries in the region, have a key role in the deployment of smart grids and smart metering systems as well as in handling smart metering data, and should not have their potential undermined by sweeping mandates, a recent report from the distributor association GEODE says.

As such, it is also essential that they are empowered by an adequate regulatory framework to take an active part in this deployment.

The report, Bringing Intelligence to the Grids, was prepared to set out the route for Europe’s DSOs, along with some recommended actions for the EC and regulatory bodies for smart grid and smart meter deployment to become a reality.

These are:

  1. EC, member states and national regulators must promote customer acceptance of smart metering systems in order to realize the full benefits of smart grids.
  2. DSOs should retain responsibility for metering as the meter is the logical end point of their electrical grid (exception made in U.K. and Germany).
  3. DSOs should play the role of the neutral regulated market facilitator.
  4. DSOs have to be incentivized to invest in innovative and intelligent technology, smart grids and smart meters as well as in conventional components of the grid, and also to engage in R&D activities connected with smart grid development.
  5. National regulators have to empower DSOs to take an active part in developing smart grid solutions through cost reflective network tariff structures and by allowing them to offer more flexibility in designing the grid tariffs.
  6. Standardized open interface, interoperability and metering minimum functional requirements are essential and should be tackled in the EC’s standardization work.
  7. DSOs must without restriction be allowed to use information from the smart meters in order to fulfill their regulated duties such as system stability and billing.
  8. It should be the decision of DSOs which meter reading communication solution (e.g. for communication between the DSO and smart meter) is appropriate within their responsibility area.
  9. DSOs are the central point of contact for customers in grid related issues and the link between them and the customer should be maintained.
  10. European legislation should not prevent national solutions when necessary and cost effective.