Landis+Gyr has signed a cooperation agreement with German utility EnBW for the piloting of state-of-the-art smart metering systems. The agreement is the first of its kind: It involves a smart metering system that meets German data protection requirements, which demand the highest levels of end-consumer protection and security.
Signed at the end of 2013, the agreement includes provisions for EnBW to test the functionalities of Landis+Gyr's newly developed smart metering system in laboratories as well as in the field. Tests will commence in 2014. Prototypes of a part of an end-to-end security system, a 'gateway', will be tested according to the guidelines set out by the German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt fur Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, BSI). Separately, EnBW will conduct tests on a smart residential meter and on administration software for the gateway.
Christoph Muller, Member of the Board of Directors at EnBW Regional, explains the challenges that the decentralized energy supply system of the future poses: "The challenge is guaranteeing security of supply at all times, in spite of fluctuations in flow. Today's metering systems can make an important contribution to the shift in energy use through actively involving customers. As central components of intelligent networks, they help to achieve a better balance between decentralised energy generation and demand for energy. They also offer customers more transparency with regard to their energy consumption. I am delighted that we are involved in the development of these metering systems with Landis+Gyr, an experienced and capable partner."
The cooperation agreement between Landis+Gyr and EnBW is the first of its kind to address the new regulatory requirements for smart meters, which are set out in the German Energy Act and in the country's BSI Protection Profile. In 2011, as a result of changes to the Energy Act, the installation of smart metering systems became compulsory for end-consumers; the Act states that smart metering systems that meet the data protection and security requirements of the BSI must be installed as soon as they become available on the market. The Energy Act goes on to stipulate that a smart metering system must be installed at a metering point that registers an annual consumption of over 6,000 kWh.
Werner Vorderwulbecke, Managing Director of EnBW Operations, comments: "In order that we can gain fundamental knowledge on the performance, potential uses and interoperability of the technology, we will install and run a total of 10,000 smart metering endpoints in Baden-Wurttemberg so that we can record, manage and monitor energy consumption. At the same time, gateway administration software will be put in place."
A pilot project will start in the middle of 2015. It will study the suitability of the smart metering systems and system processes for the mass market, as well as their compatibility potential. The cooperation agreement foresees an extensive market rollout of the smart metering systems from Landis+Gyr, starting in 2016.