Smart Metering: intelligent metering systems

At a glance

Smart Metering is the measurement of consumption by means of intelligent metering systems. The best-known example is smart electricity meters: these modern metering devices use the Internet of Things (IoT) to transmit their readings independently. They can also receive data from the energy provider, such as flexible electricity tariffs. Smart meters not only exist for electricity, but also for gas, heat or water.

NarrowBand IoT and own IoT platform for smart meters

Electricity meters are often installed in rooms that are difficult to access and are also relatively difficult to cover with conventional wireless technology. In order for the system to function reliably, however, the accessibility of the devices must be permanently guaranteed. This is the only way to send measured data to the supplier and receive tariff changes at the right time. NarrowBand IoT is a wireless technology that has established itself for such purposes, as it ensures particularly good network coverage on site - even under difficult conditions, e.g. in basements. A dedicated IoT platform serves as a central point of contact for consumers and suppliers, where all measured values converge.

Advantages of Smart Metering

Above all, intelligent metering systems offer advantages in terms of efficiency and cost savings for households, companies and electricity suppliers.

Automatic reporting of electricity consumption
Previously, households had to either have their electricity consumption read by a service provider or report it annually to their electricity supplier. Smart, networked devices can continuously and independently forward the measured consumption to the responsible authority.

Detailed insight into electricity consumption
Many models of smart electricity meters do not only make their measurement data available to the electricity supplier. Consumers also have access to the measured values and can view their personal electricity consumption online. Depending on the system, this makes it possible to visualize household electricity consumption down to the second in real time.

Smart Metering in practice

Smart meters have already been in use for some time as a replacement for analog electricity meters. In many member states of the EU and also internationally, it has already been decided that smart meters should be introduced. In Germany, for example, it has also been decided that smart meters should be installed in buildings step by step. The Digitalization Act initially stipulates the retrofitting only for large consumers, i.e. primarily for companies. Also affected are private electricity producers (e.g. private households that generate electricity via solar systems). Private households that do not fall into these categories can still decide voluntarily to switch over. In the long term, the aim is to replace as many electricity meters as possible with intelligent metering systems in order to make their advantages usable across the board.