How often do intelligent counters transmit data

Frequently asked questions and answers about smart meters

BACKGROUND

1. What is the national smart meter rollout?

2. Why is the smart meter rollout taking place?

3. What are the benefits for society?

4. Do other countries already have smart meters?


TECHNOLOGY

5. What is a smart meter What is a "modern measuring device" / an "intelligent measuring system"?

6. How do "modern measuring systems" work?

7. How do "intelligent measuring systems" work?

8. How safe are the new meters?

9. How sensitive are the data to be collected with intelligent measuring systems in terms of data protection law?

10. What data do smart meters store? Who has access to my smart meter data and how is it used?

11. Do the new counters increase the risk of cyber attacks?

12. Do I need an Internet / broadband connection in my house to use intelligent metering systems?

13. Will my new meter also show costs?


MY SMART METER

14. What are the advantages of the smart meter rollout for me?

15. What does it depend on whether I get an intelligent measuring system or a modern measuring device?

16. Do I have to pay more for the new meters?

17. How do the planned price caps come about?

18. How does the new meter help me save money?

19. Why does my neighbor pay a different price for his meter than I do?

20. Do I still get energy bills?

21. Can I object to the installation of an intelligent measuring system or a modern measuring device?

22. I already have an electronic meter today, is it a modern measuring device or an "intelligent measuring system"?

23. When do I get a smart meter?

24. I am a tenant. Do I also get a smart meter?

25. I am a tenant. Can my landlord decide which meter I will install and who my meter operator is?

26. How does the installation of the modern measuring device or the intelligent measuring system work?

27. The new meter does not fit in my meter cabinet. Who is responsible for the adjustment?

28. I'm moving. Can my new tenant read my (historical) consumption values ​​on the modern measuring device or intelligent measuring system?

29. I have just moved in and an intelligent measuring system is already installed there. But my consumption is so low that I would only need a cheaper, modern measuring device. Can I have the intelligent measuring system expanded?

30. I have an intelligent measuring system, but now I use less than 6,000 kWh / a. Can I have the intelligent measuring system expanded again (against a modern measuring system)?

31. I have a smart meter. But why does my utility still take a reading once a year?

1. What is the national smart meter rollout?

By the end of 2032, the legislature provides for the nationwide installation of intelligent measuring technology (modern measuring devices and intelligent measuring systems) in all German households and businesses. Germany is thus part of the European project to implement the energy transition.


2. Why is the smart meter rollout taking place?

Germany is facing a realignment of the energy market. Centrale The challenge of our power grids is not only to provide you with sufficient electricity at all times, but also to maintain a balance between feed-in and consumption. A power grid only works if roughly as much is fed in as is consumed. With the increase in the use of renewable energies, e.g. from sun and wind, this is no longer so easy. Electricity is generated when the wind blows or the sun shines, regardless of whether there is demand at the same time or not. In order to be able to master this challenge, our power grid has to become more intelligent. The introduction of intelligent electricity meters is a building block on the way to the intelligent electricity network of the future, the so-called “smart grid”, and also for the transformation towards a low-carbon future.

In addition to the active control of the energy feed into the power grid, there are other significant advantages: On the one hand, customers receive a precise visualization of their consumption behavior. This is intended to motivate energy-saving behavior. On the other hand, consumers can conclude electricity supply contracts that better suit their individual consumption behavior and are therefore cheaper. Tariffs with economic incentives to shift consumption should also be possible in the future (so-called variable tariffs). In addition, intelligent measuring systems make on-site reading superfluous and thus save time and money.


3. What are the benefits for society?

Smart meters are an important building block for an energy-secure future. They will enable a more efficient, greener and smarter energy system and lay the foundation for intelligent grids.
On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics, an economic analysis was carried out in the form of a cost-benefit analysis, which is the basis for the “Law on the Digitization of the Energy Transition”.

According to the cost-benefit analysis, consumers should benefit in many ways: On the one hand, they receive a precise visualization of their consumption behavior. This motivates them to adopt energy-saving behavior. On the other hand, consumers should be able to conclude electricity tariffs that better suit their individual consumption behavior and should reduce their expenditure. Tariffs with economic incentives to shift consumption should also be possible (so-called variable tariffs). Finally, thanks to intelligent measuring systems, on-site reading is no longer necessary. Unwanted malfunctions caused by readers or reading cards are a thing of the past. In addition, the consumption data is available for the exact date, e.g. at the turn of the year or when moving in / out.

4. Do other countries already have smart meters?

The United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are some of the countries that already have smart meters in use. Most other EU countries are currently installing smart meters.


5. What is a smart meter? What is a modern measuring device / an intelligent measuring system?

The English term “smart meter” is not used in German law. Instead, a distinction is made here between modern measuring equipment and intelligent measuring systems. This distinction is important as it runs throughout the law and has implications for the scope of the devices, their function and costs. The terms are defined in Section 2 in numbers 7 and 15 of the Metering Point Operation Act (which is part of the Act on the Digitization of the Energy Transition).

Different meters are used depending on the level of consumption. Anyone who consumes less than 6,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year (kWh / a) receives a “modern measuring device” (for comparison: a typical 4-person household consumes around 3,500 kWh / a). This is comparatively inexpensive and - like the previous counters - is read manually once a year. Compared to the old meter, the modern measuring device can show the energy consumption in more detail. In addition to the current power consumption, historical consumption values ​​for the last 24 months are shown on the meter display. Anyone who consumes more than 6,000 kWh / a receives an "intelligent measuring system". In addition to the meter, the intelligent measuring system consists of a so-called smart meter gateway - a communication unit for remote reading. The meter readings are sent automatically, directly and securely to the respective energy supplier, network operator (distribution network operator and transmission network operator) and metering point operator.


6. How do modern measuring systems work?

A modern measuring device records the actual energy consumption and the actual usage time, but does not send any meter readings to the outside. As before, the meter reading is read manually once a year by the municipal utilities or the customer. In addition to the current power consumption, the consumption values ​​of the last 24 months can be viewed for a specific period on the display of the modern measuring equipment.


7. How do intelligent measuring systems work?

In addition to an intelligent meter (so-called basic meter), an intelligent measuring system has a smart meter gateway. The smart meter gateway is, among other things, a communication unit. It can manage access rights, process measured values ​​and automatically transfer them to several authorized persons. It represents the "intelligent" interface to the power grid.

The meter readings are sent automatically, directly and securely to the municipal utilities as your distribution network operator, the responsible transmission network operator, your energy supplier, metering point operator and, if necessary, other authorized bodies. The meter readings are transmitted in highly encrypted form via a secure internet connection provided by the metering point operator (e.g. via GPRS). You don't have to provide an internet connection here for your intelligent measuring system to work. The gateway does not use your WLAN either, if you have one. This type of reading means the end of estimates in the event of missing readings and the end of manual readings. In addition to the current power consumption, historical values, e.g. the consumption of the last month, can be viewed on the display of the intelligent measuring system.

8. How safe are the new meters?

The new meters are very safe. The gateway of the "intelligent measuring system" is certified by the Federal Office for Information Security according to the so-called "BSI protection profile". The security standard used by the gateway is higher than the standard for online banking.
Your historical consumption values ​​on the modern measuring device are also protected with a meter-specific PIN. You can also get the most important information without entering a PIN: The meter readings are visible in the first line of the display (delivery, purchase, HT / LT scrolling in the display). After entering the PIN, the second line is visible in the display with the history values ​​for the past 24 months and the current output.

9. How sensitive is the data to be collected with intelligent measuring systems in terms of data protection law?

It is possible that smart metering generates data that is legally relevant in terms of data protection. Any digital communication infrastructure can be exposed to the dangers of hacking attacks. The legislator therefore provides the highest security measures to protect sensitive data. This includes, for example, that the gateways may only be parameterized by a certified administrator.

Data protection and data security should be guaranteed by the "privacy-by-design" approach of the new technology. "Privacy-by-design" means that the technology, by definition, only allows limited functions. For example, metering point operators can only recognize the sender (e.g. household customer) and recipient (e.g. electricity supplier) of data, but their content (e.g. amount of electricity) is encrypted. The “privacy-by-design” approach is comparable to a letter distribution center in which the sender and recipient are known, but the contents of the letter remain closed.

The data protection standard is higher than the standard for online banking and comparable to the security standard of the chip on the identity card.

10. What data do smart meters store? Who has access to my smart meter data and how is it used?

Your smart meter has information about your electricity consumption. It does not store any personal information that could identify you. All information about your energy consumption is protected. The legislator sets strict requirements:

  • for your data,
  • who can access it and
  • how you choose to share this.

You can choose:

  • how often your smart meter sends your data to your electricity supplier,
  • whether you would like to share your data on your energy consumption with other market participants, such as providers of direct marketing or visualization portals.
  • whether your supplier can use your meter readings for sales and marketing purposes.

Only your metering point operator, your network operator and your supplier have access to your data and will not share them without your consent.

At your request, your utility company can use the information to provide you with tailored energy efficiency advice and improve their service, including the accuracy of your billing if you have given them permission.

According to § 54 Abs. 1 MsbG, customers receive a standardized form in which the data communication resulting from the contract is listed briefly, simply, clearly and comprehensibly. In particular, the form contains information on who receives which data from whom, how often and for what purpose.

11. Do the new counters increase the risk of cyber attacks?

Like today's meters, modern measuring systems are not connected to a communication network. So it is impossible to access it from the outside. With the gateway, intelligent measuring systems have a communication unit, but this is subject to the highest security standards. Certain security features are already stored in the device during production, which is intended to prevent unauthorized access.

12. Do I need an Internet / broadband connection in my house to use intelligent metering systems?

No, you do not have to provide an Internet / broadband connection or any other type of telecommunications. The intelligent measuring system transmits data via its own, independent connection.

13. Will my new meter also show costs?

No, your meter only shows your consumption in the display, but no costs. If you have an intelligent measuring system, your energy supplier is obliged to provide you with free information once a month “Calculating the current costs when specifying the meter reading” (in accordance with Section 40 of the Energy Industry Act (EnWG)). Talk to your energy supplier for more information.

14. What are the advantages of the smart meter rollout for me?

Modern measuring equipment and intelligent measuring systems show you exactly how much energy you are using. Intelligent measuring systems also send meter readings to the energy supplier on a specific date, so that there are no more manual readings or estimated bills. With your "modern measuring device" or your "intelligent measuring system" you will always be able to keep track of your electricity consumption. If you have an intelligent measuring system, a consumption visualization can help you to get an exact overview and to analyze your consumption on this basis.

With a look into the somewhat more distant future, the new intelligent measuring systems will enable you to use switchable loads (e.g. electric cars), generators and storage systems flexibly. This enables you to automate your house based on energy consumption and prices (keyword “Smart Home”). It is conceivable that the dishwasher or the electric car will automatically switch on or charge during the course of the day when electricity is cheap.

15. What does it depend on whether I get an intelligent measuring system or modern measuring equipment?

According to § 31 MsbG, the legislator prescribes that customers with an annual consumption> 6,000 kWh / a and generation systems with a generation output> 7 kWp will receive an intelligent measuring system in the future. Smaller consumers and producers are usually equipped with a modern measuring device. The initial measurement of the annual consumption is based on the average consumption of the last three years.

The average 4-person household in Germany consumes around 3,500 kWh / a of electricity.

16. Do I have to pay more for the new meters?

With the introduction of the new technology, the fees for metering point operation will change in accordance with Section 31 MsbG. How much you will pay for your meter and measurement in the future depends on your annual consumption.
The legislature provides for different fees for different consumption classes and has set upper limits. As a rule, your metering point operator will charge you more for the new technology than for your old meter. The respective prices can be found in the official price sheet of the metering point operator, which is published on the Internet.

17. How do the planned price caps come about?

The upper price limits were set by law on the basis of a detailed study and are intended to ensure that, on the one hand, the additional costs are as low as possible for you as a customer and, on the other hand, that the metering point operator does not incur any long-term losses as a result of the smart meter rollout.

18. How can I save money with the new meter?

“Smart meters” make it easier for us to identify the situations in which we use a lot of energy and thus open up the possibility of making changes in our consumer behavior. An example of this is the replacement of old electrical appliances.If you use the information that is shown on the meter's display or in a visualization, you can reduce your energy consumption and thus your energy costs.

19. Why does my neighbor pay a different price for his meter than I do?

The legislator has set upper price limits for modern measuring equipment and "intelligent measuring systems" in the Measuring Point Operation Act § 31. The upper price limit for a “modern measuring device” is 20 euros per year. The upper price limits for an intelligent measuring system depend on the annual consumption or the installed generation line. Customers with higher consumption pay more than customers with lower annual consumption. The argumentation of the legislator is: Those who use more can also save more and thus have a greater benefit from the "intelligent measuring system".

20. Will I still get energy bills?

Yes. You will also continue to receive regular energy bills once a year by default.

A large number of customers currently receive an annual invoice for the energy supply, including the metering and network charges as well as the statutory surcharges (e.g. the EEG surcharge) and taxes from the energy supplier. As a result of the amendments to the Metering Point Operation Act, the supplier is no longer obliged to bill the metering fees for “modern metering equipment” and “intelligent metering systems”. It is therefore possible that the local metering point operator will send you a separate invoice for the provision and operation of the electricity meter.

21. Can I object to the installation of an intelligent measuring system or a modern measuring device?

No, the installation is regulated by law.
Once an intelligent measuring system is installed, it remains installed and cannot be removed again.

22. I already have an electronic meter today, is it already a "modern measuring device" or an "intelligent measuring system"?

Modern measuring equipment and intelligent measuring systems are expected to be gradually installed from 2018.
The main difference between an older electronic meter and a modern measuring device is that the modern measuring device has a 24-month memory for your consumption values. The old electronic meters can display a maximum of 12 months.

23. When do I get a smart meter?

The legislature presents a rough procedure for the installation of modern measuring devices and intelligent measuring systems. The "modern measuring equipment" must be installed by the measuring point operator from 2017 to 2032. Intelligent measuring systems are first used by consumers with a consumption of more than 10,000 kWh / a. The installation of “intelligent measuring systems” at customers with a consumption of 6,000 kWh / a or more is not planned until 2020.
Within the consumption groups defined by law, the metering point operator (MSB) determines which meter is to be replaced and when. Various criteria can be decisive for this. If, for example, the calibration period of your old meter expires, the MSB is obliged to install an intelligent meter (depending on your consumption and generation capacity, a modern measuring device or an intelligent measuring system). You will be informed in writing by your MSB three months before the planned meter change.

If you would like to receive an intelligent meter beforehand at your own request, ask your meter operator directly.

24. I am a tenant. Do I also get a smart meter?

Yes. During the rollout period (2017 to 2032), all old meters will be exchanged for new meters (a modern metering device or an intelligent metering system, depending on your consumption and generation capacity), regardless of whether it is a rental property or your property. A separate approval from your landlord is not required.

25. I am a tenant. Can my landlord decide which meter I will install and who my meter operator is?

In special cases, the legislature in the Metering Point Operation Act allows the connection owner (landlord) to select the metering point operator and thus also the meter for the connection user (tenant):

Section 6: The connectee can select the metering point operator in accordance with Section 5 (1) if

  • as a result, all metering points in the property are equipped with intelligent metering systems for electricity,
  • In addition to the electricity metering point operation, at least one additional metering point operation from the gas, district heating or heating sectors is bundled via the smart meter gateway
  • the bundled metering point operation for each affected connection user of the property does not lead to any additional costs compared to the sum of the costs for the previous separate metering point operation.

The connectee (landlord) must inform you in writing of his plan at least one month in advance. Your right to freely choose an energy supplier and your electricity tariff is not restricted by this regulation.

Regulations apply after a transition period from 2021.

26. How does the installation of the modern measuring device or the intelligent measuring system work?

Your meter operator will:

  • Inform you in writing about the planned renovation 3 months in advance
  • Contact you to coordinate the date and time with you
  • Tell you what to expect, how long it will take and, if there are any specifics, what to do

As soon as you have agreed on a time and date, an installer will come to your home at the agreed time to install your new meter. The installer can identify himself with his ID card. You need to:

  • be at home to let the installer in,
  • ensure that the installer has access to your previous electricity meter - make sure that he has easy access (the meter is freely accessible),
  • if it becomes difficult to get to your meter, let your energy supplier know when you make an appointment,
  • If you are the owner of a new building and a meter is being installed for the first time, it is your duty to design the meter space in accordance with the requirements of VDE application rule 4101 so that the (new) technology can be installed. These are specified by the network operator.

The installation of a “modern measuring device” is similar to the installation of an old meter and will usually only take about 15 minutes.
When installing an "intelligent metering system", additional steps are required, e.g. connecting the network / port to the telecommunications connection. Ideally, the installation of an “intelligent measuring system” takes about 30 - 40 minutes.

All installations are carried out by fully trained fitters in order to keep the process of assembly and commissioning in your house as short as possible. While the meter is being replaced, your electricity must be turned off for a few minutes - this is common practice for meters with three-point attachment. EHZ meters can be changed without interruption.

Usually the new meters are installed where their previous meters were already installed. If they need to be installed elsewhere, your installer will ask you in advance.

27. The new meter does not fit in my meter cabinet. Who is responsible for the adjustment?

If you are planning a new building, you are responsible for a precisely fitting meter cabinet so that the metering point operator can put the system into operation. There are corresponding specifications from the network operator for this purpose. In the case of existing properties, the connectee is responsible for adapting the meter cabinet.

Note: Find out about our valid technical connection conditions (TAB).

28. I'm moving. Can my new tenant read my (historical) consumption values ​​on the modern measuring device or intelligent measuring system?

If the meter has been connected to a gateway (intelligent measuring system), the historical values ​​are no longer visible in the meter display and therefore do not have to be deleted. When using a modern measuring device, the historical consumption data (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) is reset by your input on the meter. This ensures that the next tenant does not have access to your consumption data.

29. I have just moved in and an intelligent measuring system is already installed there. But my consumption is so low that I would only need a cheaper, modern measuring device. Can I have the intelligent measuring system expanded?

If an intelligent measuring system is already installed in your new apartment / house, it cannot be expanded again. The legislator prescribes that built-in intelligent measuring systems may not be subsequently replaced by modern measuring devices.

30. I have an intelligent measuring system, but now I use less than 6,000 kWh / a. Can I have the intelligent measuring system expanded again (against a modern measuring system)?

No, the legislature stipulates that built-in intelligent measuring systems may not be subsequently replaced by modern measuring devices.

31. I have a digital counter. But why is my utility still reading once a year?

In principle, digital meters cannot be read remotely. This only applies if it is an intelligent measuring system. If your utility reads your electricity consumption manually once a year or sends you a request to read it manually, you do not have an intelligent measuring system that automatically transmits your data to the utility, but a modern measuring device. The modern measuring device is not read remotely, so that manual reading is still required. If you no longer want to read your electricity meter manually, you can request the installation of an “intelligent metering system” from your MSB.

In addition, of course, the utility continues to manually read the values ​​of other meters such as gas, water and heat if these meters are not read remotely.