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Overview of smart metering standards

Overview of smart metering standards in EU

For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinovic

IEC, CENELEC, and CEN have existed since the twentieth century. With the beginning of the implementation of smart meters in the 1990s, DLMS UA was established. 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. These applications required a standardization process to ensure the interoperability of technologies and applications within the European market. After that, emerged IDIS Association, followed by many others, like G3 PLC Alliance, Prime Alliance, Meters and More association, etc.



Today our interviewee, Mr. Milan Kozole, is here to discuss/explain the current situation in the field of standardization in EU and the world, and the reasons for the existence of all these organizations. Mr. Kozole was a member of EC Mandate M/441, CENELEC TC13 Working Group 2 and IEC TC13 Working Group 14, and now is a member of CENELEC, SIST and IEC Working Groups, and a member of IDIS and ESMIG Committees, Chairman of the Technical Board of DLMS UA. He is in charge of Systems Architecture at Iskraemeco. In 2014, he was awarded the IEC 1906 AWARD for contribution to new elements in DLMS/COSEM. 


Why do we have so many standards, i.e., standards associations?

"Mandate M/441 has defined broad standards, which has provided opportunities for more smart meter profiles, and now we have the case that almost all the large electricity distribution companies have built their own smart meter profiles."


Why, in addition to IEC and CENELEC, do we need DLMS UA and IDIS organizations?

"DLMS UA emerged in the 1990s, as the need arose for faster and more efficient issuance of specifications, which were subsequently submitted to IEC and CENELEC and incorporated into their standards. And IDIS precisely and unambiguously determines the specifications and enables incorporating them into fully interoperable devices that can be used immediately. "


How did G3-PLC Alliance, Prime Alliance, Meters and More Association appear? Where do these standards apply, and where does IDIS apply?

"They appeared as a regional standardization, due to broadly set EU Mandate M/441 standardization. The large utilities, Iberdrola in Spain, ENEDIS in France and Enel Group in Italy defined their own standards. Related with that we have different standards alliances today: G3-PLC, PRIME, Meters and More etc. The advantage of IDIS is that their certified smart meters can be applied in every environment, in different utilities in different countries, meeting their need for quality and fully interoperable devices.”


What is the main idea behind the creation of IDIS?

"To satisfy the regulatory environment and offer fully interoperable smart meters, that allow customers to mix and match products from different suppliers, thereby accelerating the development of smart grid applications. The scope covers a full end-to-end solution.

IDIS Association expects that the offering of interoperable meters will promote faster and broader deployment of advanced metering management devices and services based on open standards."


Which problems can IDIS help you solve?

"We have today in the world many different standards that cover smart metering, both in communication and functionality, features of smart metering. The core are those IEC standards 62056 – the DLMS/COSEM suite. If you use the DLMS standards, the gap is smaller. IDIS wants to get closer to have things precisely defined and to decrease the integration costs. IDIS wants to close the gap by providing the devices which behave in a completely predictable way."


Do you see IDIS being a big part of the future of our business?

"The role of IDIS is to be the set of smart metering and grid functionalities for general projects. Selecting from the specifications and publishing them so that devices could be built. IDIS association will support utilities and manufacturers, and define devices profiles, certify them, and enabling their interoperability in the field."


How do you see the future of our niche?

"We should think about how to bring all EU countries under one umbrella. Through compliance and compatibility, generating a unique smart metering profile that can be used in different countries is the first, particularly important step. Integration of different standards organizations makes sense. Expansion of IDIS and DLMS UA on the standardization of renewable sources of electric power and electric vehicles has real potential."


What is the most important thing you have learned in your career so far? 

"Strategy is more important than the immediate result."


To conclude: If a higher level of standardization is desired, the Mandate must give a more precise requirement for standards, as IDIS has already specified that for DLMS.

IDIS is the only one that was not created for the needs of a specific distribution, i.e., country, but from the very beginning had a vision and mission to be a universally applicable standard for the whole world.


Do you think this universally applicable IDIS Companion Specification standard that could be exclusive for all countries would make life easier on a global scale, as well as on an everyday level?

Share your opinions on the subject in the comments.


#smartmetering #electricity #interoperability

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