Regulatory work

Demand-side flexibility

Demand-side flexibility plays a key role in reducing overall system costs. Consumers willing to participate in flexibility should be rewarded. Our starting point is that all consumers should have the chance to participate in demand side flexibility. In addition, smart metering systems are necessary for measurement and settlement process. The following two functionalities are technical prerequisites to allow consumer engagement in demand-side flexibility:

Accurate, user-friendly and real-time readings provided to the customer directly from the a chosen interface and any third party authorized by the consumer are strongly recommended. This is the key to running demand response services, taking ‘online’ energy-saving decisions and effective integration of distributed energy resources.

Support advanced tariff systems on both the demand side and the supply side. Smart metering systems should include advance tariff structures, time-of-use registers and remote tariff control. This will help consumers and network operators to achieve energy efficiency and save costs by reducing the peaks in energy demand.

The intelligent metering infrastructure is the underlying structure of a flexible demand driven energy market.

Privacy and Security

For public acceptance of Smart Metering, suitable privacy and data protection safeguards need to be in place so that consumers can be confident that their data is treated securely and their privacy is not infringed. Consumers also need to be properly informed about how their data is protected with basic and simple information. The Commission proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation may have an important impact on the way energy data from smart meters can be used and benefit consumers.

Privacy by Design

In ESMIG’s view, “privacy by design” means that the Smart Metering Infrastructure is developed in such a way that distinct information flows for different stakeholders can be identified, implemented and controlled.

From smart meter to MECO

The limited information collected by the organisation responsible for allocation the energy consumed or produced (in the context of his legal task) is one information flow that can be regarded as the legal basis for (Smart) Metering. This information has typically a low time resolution, such as monthly consumption readings and power quality data, but also covers alarms from the metering system such as tampering indications. Because of its nature this information flow has low privacy sensitivity, but should still be sufficiently protected.

From smart meter to Apps or ESCO

To give consumers the possibility to get more detailed insight in their energy consumption and/or production, additional information flows are generated by the meter. This information has typically a high time resolution, such as 1-10 seconds time base, so consumption/production patterns can be generated that can give insight in the energy profile households and specific in-home devices. In several EU member states, the consumer will be able to decide if this information is generated, where this information goes and by whom it can be used.

By making this distinction in information flows, not only consumers have better insight and control regarding the type of data and its destination, but it is also possible to take the appropriate measures for protection depending on the risks related to the disclosure of this information.

Standardisation

An essential requirement for the successful deployment of Smart Metering is the standardisation of the new technologies and systems. Manufacturers and users need to co-operate to enable the effective integration of each individual component.
ESMIG’s standardisation work supports the introduction of European standards into each and every member state and thus help to avoid go-it-alone solutions.

Furthermore, the aim is to establish standardised communication protocols and interoperable systems that can be used across national borders, regardless of restrictions.

Probably the most important standardisation activity in recent years is related to mandate 441 initiated by the European Commission and accepted by CEN, CENELEC and ETSI.

ESMIG is strongly involved in the mandate 441 work though the so-called Smart Metering Coordination Group (SMCG).

ESMIG members are among others involved in international standardisation committees such as:

—             CEN (European Committee for Standardization)
—             CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization)
—             ETSI (The European Telecommunications Standards Institute)
—             IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)
—             WELMEC (Western European Legal Metrology Cooperation).

Finally, ESMIG also has partnership agreements with several standardisation organisations.