Through digitization and the energy transition itself The energy supply in Germany is changing fundamentally. Here, electricity from renewable energies is becoming more and more important for us modern life – among other things in the household, in communication or our hobbies. A 4-person household in Germany consumes around 4,000 kWh of electricity per year. We know that thanks to our electricity meter. There are two different types of this: modern measuring devices that collect consumption data process digital, and analog electricity meters.
In the course of the energy transition, the old analog meters will be used replaced by modern measuring equipment. A modern measuring device alone cannot send the meter reading to the meter operator, such as the public utility company. The value must therefore be determined manually once a year. This can happen in two ways: Either by a person using the electricity Consumers can read it at home or by mailing the value to the municipal utilities or communicated online. A smart meter gateway is also required if meter readings and other data are to be sent via a communication network. Together with the modern measuring device, this forms an "intelligent measuring system". The smart meter gateway is a communication unit with an integrated security module. It enables transparency about the individual power consumption and provides authorized recipients with the required measurement data for billing purposes available z. B. the energy supplier for invoicing. In addition, consumption and Generating systems such as solar systems can be controlled in a way that is beneficial to the grid. The smart meter gateway is therefore the key technology for the digitization of the energy transition.
The meter data, such as the daily or monthly energy consumption, are personal data and must therefore be subject to high Security requirements are particularly protected. The Federal Office for Information Security, BSI for short, has therefore defined high security standards for smart meter gateways. Some of these requirements are, for example, that data may only be transmitted securely in encrypted form. In addition, the data may only be used as often as necessary and can only be sent to authorized recipients. Every data transmission must be logged visibly for the consumer. Compliance with the specifications is part of a certification checked and ensured by the BSI. Only smart meter gateways certified by the BSI may be installed in intelligent measuring systems. This is how the BSI ensures that the high requirements for Data security and data protection are met.
According to the “Law on the Digitization of the Energy Transition”, by 2032 all households must modern measuring equipment, and in special cases intelligent measuring systems, must be installed. Since 2020, metering point operators such as the municipal utilities have been legally obliged to in households with an annual electricity consumption of at least 6,000 kWh to install an intelligent measuring system. If a household consumes less than 6,000 kWh, the local meter operator determines whether an intelligent measuring system or just a modern measuring device is installed. He is also responsible for installation and operation. The end users bear the costs. In order to protect consumers from excessive costs, the legislature has defines an upper price limit to which the metering point operators must adhere. But why is that necessary? Our energy network is currently changing dramatically: Renewable energies are becoming more and more important.
Instead of a few large power plants, a large number of small, integrated decentralized generation plants and flexible consumption facilities. At the same time, energy consumption and generation are becoming more and more individual. For example, more and more households have in invested its own photovoltaic system on the roof. In this way, the electricity for self-consumption is generated and consumed. Electromobility also influences our energy network: In the future, more and more cars will be charged in the evening and night. These changes affect the stability of our energy network. In order for it to continue to be reliably available, the network operators have to be automated Data on the state of the power grid is available – the power grid is being digitized. Smart meter gateways allow such data to be sent without endangering consumer privacy.
In addition, thanks to intelligent measuring systems, every consumer knows how much energy it actually uses. This enables him to better compare tariffs and find power guzzlers in the household. In this way, every consumer also provides one valuable contribution to the success of the energy transition..