Green light for smart meter roll-out in Berlin

24.02.2020

The 'market declaration' issued by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) on 31 January 2020, which comes into force on 24 February, gave the green light for the legally prescribed installation of smart meters in Germany. As the local distribution system operator and responsible metering point operator in the capital, Stromnetz Berlin can now begin the smart meter roll-out.

The 'market declaration' issued by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) on 31 January 2020, which comes into force on 24 February, gave the green light for the legally prescribed installation of smart meters in Germany. As the local distribution system operator and responsible metering point operator in the capital, Stromnetz Berlin can now begin the smart meter roll-out.

"With the certification of three independent manufacturers of smart meter gateways and the recently released market declaration, all the legal conditions for the start of the roll-out have now been fulfilled. We have been preparing for this for a long time, developing new processes and making the necessary IT adjustments. We have also created systems to control installations, such as heat pumps and charging points for electric cars, which together with the smart metering systems form the essential basis for a future smart grid. In short, we are well positioned and we view the introduction of intelligent measuring systems as an important and necessary step for the implementation and digitalisation of the energy transition", says Thomas Schäfer, Chairman of the Board of Stromnetz Berlin.

According to the market declaration, customers with an annual consumption between 6,000 and 100,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will be the first to be equipped with smart meters.

Stromnetz Berlin will start installation of the first smart metering systems in the capital in the second half of the year. Delivery of 500 devices is initially planned for this six-month period. Customers will be suitably informed about installation and the costs in good time. The number of smart meters installed will continue to rise in the coming years. In future, the devices will also include additional features. The legislation provides that in the first three years after the start of the roll-out, 10% of the customers classified according to consumption groups are to be equipped with intelligent measuring systems. Stromnetz Berlin intends to comply with this requirement.

This legislation will offer customers the benefits of the new technology, specifically when it comes to higher transparency regarding electricity consumption. The devices will also help customers to save energy and use it more efficiently, and in the longer term they will enable smart grid operation in combination with automatic control facilities.

For customers with relatively low electricity consumption, the legislation provides lower-cost meter technology: the modern metering device. In the last few years, Stromnetz Berlin has already installed more than 260,000 of these metering devices in Berlin.

Terminology:

Modern metering devices: These are digital electricity meters that give more insight into electricity consumption than conventional meters. Along with the current meter reading, they display detailed consumption data for various usage times, current electrical power consumption, and daily, weekly, monthly or yearly electricity consumption for the last 24 months.

Intelligent measuring systems: These consist of a modern metering device and a communication unit (smart meter gateway) and are commonly referred to as smart meters. The communication unit enables the system to acquire and convey important grid and consumption data. Intelligent measuring systems are a basic component of smart electricity grids. They distribute the measurement data captured by the meter to the authorised energy company in encrypted form. This eliminates the need for annual electricity consumption readings.