What is smart metering

Smart meters: the new electricity meters are coming

What data do the new electricity meters send and receive?

A modern measuring device that does not have a built-in communication module does not send or receive any data. The data remain in the consumer's measuring system and must continue to be read as with conventional meters.

This is different with intelligent metering systems: Here the electricity supplier from whom a household draws its electricity, as well as the network operator, automatically receive the respective consumption values. In principle, in a household with an annual consumption of up to and including 10,000 kWh, as with conventional meters, only the total electricity consumption for the entire year should be transmitted.

However, if an intelligent metering system is in place, the energy supplier is obliged to provide you with monthly consumption information, which also reflects the costs, free of charge. For this purpose, monthly consumption values ​​must be transferred to this. The same applies if your energy supplier bills monthly, as it chooses, or if you would like monthly, quarterly or semi-annual bills yourself. In this case, monthly, quarterly or semi-annual measured values ​​are transmitted to the energy supplier, depending on the billing interval.

If you consume more than 10,000 kWh or if you have a power generating system, the energy supplier and the network operator receive a log every day via the intelligent measuring system, which breaks down the consumption or feed-in from the previous day in 15-minute intervals.

In addition, if you have expressly agreed otherwise in the contract with the electricity supplier, more detailed data can flow. This is the case, for example, with the use of variable electricity tariffs.

What are the benefits and risks of the new electricity meters?

Even the modern measuring device - i.e. the digital electricity meter without a communication module - not only continuously calculates the total of the kilowatt hours used, but also logs the electricity consumption over time. In addition to the current meter reading, you can use it to read the power you are currently using and to see how much electricity you have drawn on the previous day, in the past week, in the last month or in the entire year. This illustration is intended to motivate people to save. At the moment, reading these values ​​is still difficult with a modern measuring device: Most devices have to be inconveniently connected to a flashlight.

Because an intelligent measuring system is integrated into the intelligent power grid, "reading" from a distance is theoretically possible. Frequent, exact billing without advance payments on account would therefore be conceivable as the new standard. In the case of intelligent measuring systems, for example, it is planned to call up the values ​​via an online portal. If only a modern measuring device is installed without integration, these possibilities do not exist.

As with any device that sends data via radio or cable, an intelligent measuring system is fundamentally vulnerable to people and companies with criminal intent. From the stored measured values, they could gain knowledge about everyday life and habits of the residents. As a result, this data must not fall into the wrong hands.

Therefore, the law places high demands on the security of the software and hardware of the metering point operators, compliance with which must be proven by certification by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

A direct financial benefit that outweighs the additional annual costs is not to be expected for you as a consumer. So far, there are hardly any variable tariffs at which electricity is cheaper at night, for example, and the intelligent measuring system therefore only activates the dishwasher in the late evening. In order for this to work, the electrical devices used must also be appropriately integrated into a smart home.