A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been agreed between the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG), that is expected to accelerate the deployment of smart meters in Europe.
The move should bring many benefits to utilities and their customers, including greater accuracy, reduced costs, improved consumer choice and ecological benefits through better management of natural resources, the organisations say.
Earlier this month, the UK government mandated every British home would be equipped with smart meters by the end of 2020. “
For users, the benefits include being able to monitor consumption levels at different times on a regular basis, helping to identify trends. This particularly benefits SMEs, as they are able to get a more accurate idea of their energy consumption before their bills arrive, and be able to take steps to try to minimise future energy usage,” says Alan Rodway of smart meter manufacturer ABB.
It saves energy distributors time and money too as the meters can be read remotely instead of sending out a man in a van. The BBC estimates that some 26 million electricity and 22 million gas meters will need to be fitted at a cost of £7 billion.
The cooperation between ETSI and ESMIG is backed by a European Commission standardization mandate (Mandate M/441) related to the development of an open system architecture for utility meters involving communication protocols.
Various technological solutions could be used for smart metering, including short-range wireless, power line comms, mobile and wireless sensors networks.
ETSI will also draw on its role in defining radio spectrum requirements for new communication applications within Europe; for example, metering via short-range radio devices will need more spectrum.