Iskraemeco, Itron and Landis+Gyr announce interoperable standard

Kranj, Brussels, and Zug, Switzerland – Iskraemeco, Itron and Landis+Gyr today announced a significant initiative in the development of interoperable smart meters supporting utility applications. The three companies expect the new offering will promote faster and broader deployment of advanced metering management (AMM) devices and services based on open standards, thereby responding to a compelling customer demand.

Interoperability has been one of the main points of discussion among energy regulators, policy makers and the industry. There has been a call for universal definitions and communications standards, inter alia through the DLMS-User Association. This created the opportunity for Iskraemeco, Itron and Landis+Gyr to develop interoperability specifications in the context of a series of tendered projects, where interoperability was a prerequisite.

At the request of major utilities, the three companies, all well-known manufacturers of energy meters, have completed a testing phase which proves that each manufacturer's smart meters are fully interoperable with those of the other two manufacturers. This is achieved by incorporating interoperable device interface specifications (IDIS) that are based on existing open international standards as defined and maintained by the DLMS-UA. IDIS is forward-looking and open to any other supplier that wants to incorporate identical interface specifications.

The interfaces of the three companies' smart meters allow customers to mix and match products from different suppliers. This will accelerate the development of smart grid applications. The scope covers a full end-to-end solution, from the Home Area Network to the Wide Area Network and the interface to utilities existing IT infrastructure.

Iskraemeco, Itron and Landis+Gyr expect that the offering of interoperable meters will promote faster and broader deployment of advanced metering management devices and services based on open standards. Utilities managing large grids are apprehensive to rely on a single smart meter provider and believe a "second source of supply" is a must. The three companies pride themselves of having made interoperability specifications a key priority early on.

This development paves the way towards the deployment of smart metering in line with the recently passed EU electricity market Directive, requiring that 80% of EU households will be equipped with smart meters by 2020. Moreover, this development contributes towards fulfilling the EU Commission mandate to the European Standardization Organizations to develop smart metering standards. With this pro-active approach, Iskraemeco, Itron and Landis+Gyr are implementing practical, interoperable and open standards that will drive smart metering forward.

Iskraemeco, Itron and Landis+Gyr intend to make these interface specifications available to all parties willing to develop open, interoperable products, and to facilitate the creation of a true interoperable environment for the future. To this end, DLMS-UA has already been contacted. This announcement by three smart metering

providers shows that the industry is taking active measures to address the concerns voiced by utilities. This initiative demonstrates these companies’ commitment to serve the utility industry and enable them to invest with confidence. This will ensure that European consumers can start enjoying the benefits of smart metering as soon as possible.

IDIS enables greater confidence

“Leading meter manufacturers must come together to ensure that open standards serving the utility industry are not just established but also implemented in a coherent way, and this can only be achieved through an initiative of this sort, focused on delivering tangible field-proven products,” said Franc Kuhar , Steering Committee Member of Iskraemeco.
"By committing ourselves to open interface specifications for utility applications, we are simplifying and future-proofing both software and hardware investments. It is a significant step towards our shared vision of a truly interoperable world," said Marcel Regnier, COO Itron International.

"The development of these interface specifications is important to the utility industry because it will allow for true interoperability and enable customers to invest with confidence" said Oliver Iltisberger, Senior Vice President Energy Management Units for Landis+Gyr. "Up to now we were mainly engaged in defining standards. This additional effort is necessary to convert these standards into truly interoperable products."

To accelerate the objective, the companies each have started prototyping their application interface development in compliance with IDIS to be completed by the end of this year. This will facilitate the creation of a true plug-and-play environment for the future.