Smart-meter specialist Landis+Gyr is to begin piloting what it calls “state-of-the-art” smart metering systems with German utility EnBW.
The two companies have signed an agreement that adheres to Germany’s strict data-protection requirements, with German consumers increasingly worried about data privacy following revelations about online snooping by US government agencies.
The companies say they signed the agreement at the end of 2013 and that it will see EnBW test the functionalities of the newly developed smart-metering systems in laboratories and a field setting.
Both Landis+Gyr (Zug, Switzerland) and EnBW (Karlsruhe, Germany) will test prototypes of part of an end-to-end security system – according to guidelines drawn up by the German Federal Office for Information Security – while EnBW will separately conduct tests on a smart residential meter and on administration software for the security system.
“We are working together on a solution that not only meets Germany’s data protection requirements, which are the strictest in the world, but a solution that is state of the art technologically and in terms of functionality,” said Andreas Umbach, Landis+Gyr’s chief executive. “Our gateway development makes it possible for the first time to test how a BSI solution operates both in the laboratory and in the field, and to make further developments in response to the knowledge acquired.”
Umbach added that he expects the partnership to be “path-setting” for Germany’s smart-metering initiatives.
EnBW has indicated it will install and run a total of 10,000 smart-metering endpoints in Baden-Wurttemberg so that it can record, manage and monitor energy consumption.
“At the same time, gateway administration software will be put in place,” said Werner Vorderwulbecke, the managing director of EnBW operations. “EnBW and Landis+Gyr perfectly complement each other in this project.”
The companies say a pilot project will start in the middle of 2014 that studies the suitability of smart-metering systems and system processes for the mass market.
Their aim is to begin an extensive market rollout of the smart-metering systems from 2016 onwards.