What is a smart meter?
"A smart meter is usually an electrical meter that records consumption in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes" - Wikipedia.
Smart meters and standardization
The Energy Services Directive (2006/32/EC) and the recently adopted electricity directive (2009/72/EC) require the implementation of "intelligent metering systems". Such systems must be in place for 80% of electricity consumers by the end of 2020. The number of electricity meters potentially required to be replaced over the coming decade makes this standardization work urgent.
European Mandate M/441
In March 2009, the European Commission issued a mandate M/441 for the standardization of smart metering functionalities and communication for usage in Europe for electricity, gas, heat and water applications that require the standardization process to ensure interoperability of technologies and applications within a harmonised European market.
In order to address these challenges, the European Commission and EFTA addressed Mandate M/441 to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI.
The European Standards Organisations (ESOs) established together with the relevant stakeholders the Smart Metering Coordination Group (SM-CG). This group is a joint advisory body that provides a focal point concerning M/441.
According to M/441, the European Standards Organisations are requested to develop a European standard comprising a software and hardware open architecture for utility meters that supports secure bidirectional communication and allows advanced information, management, and control systems for consumers and service suppliers.
The SM-CG is identifying the main possible functional communication implementations relevant for smart metering systems and the standards relevant to meeting the requirements of Mandate M/441, allowing the active participation of consumers in the energy markets. The group produced a technical report, CEN-CLC-ETSI TR 50572:2011 "Functional reference architecture for communications in smart metering systems" which has been published in December 2011.Contact point: Catherine Vigneron