By Bent Ole Gram Mortensen, Professor, Department of Law, University of Southern Denmark
FOCUS DIGITALI- SATION
to ensure the implementation of smart metering systems that assist the active participation of consumers in the electricity and gas supply markets. The biggest progress installing smart meters has so far been made in the electricity supply field but meters for water, natural gas and district heating have also become “smart” in many places. The reason for the out roll of smart meters is primary to help consumers to adapt their consumption to real-time energy prices. But the expected better data can be used for many different things, including invoicing, fault detection, dimensioning and optimization of the grid. And one has to hope that will be the case, because it is a huge economic and logistic task to change hundreds of millions of utility meters, and the new meters will have to be changed more often than the old ones. PERSONAL DATA We have had laws on personal data in Europe for decades. And with good reason. Most of us are not interested in sharing information about ourselves with everyone. That is part of what we call privacy. Actually, protection of privacy is part of the code of practice of the Convention on Human Rights.
Of course, it did - communicate, that is. Many households and businesses in Europe are equipped with a digital utility meter that can register and pass on the consumption (supply data) remotely. These meters are usually referred to as smart or intelligent meters. Smart meters include more than automatic meter reading (AMR), saving the utility providers the periodic trips to each physical location to read a meter. Smart meters are based on an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), which also includes two-way communication between the meter and a central system and records energy consumption hourly or more frequently. And these digital meters connect to a server at the utility company that provides electricity, heating, gas and/or water to the specific household or business. This new technology requires insight, timely consideration and political focus on all levels. Let's hope that utilities and legislators are able to meet that challenge. Because the change from conventional meters to digital utility meters is happening within the EU right now. And smart meters have for some time been on the political agenda in the EU. The meters (“electronic metering”) were mentioned as a tool to gain energy efficiency already back in 2006 in the Energy Service Directive. In accordance with the market directives for electricity and natural gas from the Third Energy Package (2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC), Member States are required
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