Delays in the smart meter rollout in Germany: calm before the storm?

14.06.2019

Since the German Metering Point Operation Act (MsbG) came into force in September 2016,

Since the German Metering Point Operation Act (MsbG) came into force in September 2016, the players involved have been waiting for three manufacturers of smart meter gateways to be certified by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), for the technical possibility of rollout according to § 30 MsbG to be fulfilled and for the rollout to start. A lot of time has passed since then. The first players are withdrawing from the business field of smart metering and the startups positioned in the business field are eagerly awaiting the start of the business. In the market analysis of the BSI at the end of January, it was described that even if the rollout is technically possible, not all metering points for which the installation of an intelligent metering system is planned according to § 29 para. 1 MsbG will have to be rolled out yet. Excluded from the rollout obligation are first of all RLM meters, controllable consumption devices according to §14a EnWG as well as decentralized generation plants that are in direct marketing. The number of mandatory installation cases will therefore be lower for the time being. It is generally expected in the industry that (this time for real) in Q3 or Q4 2019 at the latest two more manufacturers of smart meter gateways will be certified - in addition to the already certified PPC AG. This means that there is still some time left for basic metering point operators (=gMSB) to prepare for the rollout. We recommend in particular that the processes surrounding the installation of intelligent measuring systems be coordinated and meticulously tested on the IT side ("How do the measured values from the intelligent measuring system get to the right place at the right time without errors?") and on the organizational side ("Who does what when so that we are as efficient as possible?") in order to avoid unnecessary errors. In addition, the requirements of the secure supply chain ("SilKE") must be fulfilled and the challenges for the metering point operator resulting from the market communication 2020 must be implemented. Every delay and every error cost the gMSB additional money and worsens the business cases, which are usually already not positive anyway. For competitive metering point operators, it is necessary to find an individually suitable positioning and to transfer this into marketability. In our projects we have made the experience that the approaches to the wMSB are quite different from company to company. This is also true, even if certain customer groups are more suitable for the wMSB at first glance than others. Decisive here are the goals for the business area ("securing existing customers", "generating additional income", "growth in customer numbers", etc.) as well as the individual prerequisites of a company, e.g. whether the business area is to be developed alone or with partners, or which depth of value creation is optimal for the wMSB. The appropriate positioning is derived from this, which should then be implemented as quickly as possible in order to be ready when the calm before the storm ends. We have already assisted many energy suppliers with questions relating to smart meter rollouts - both on the grid and sales side. We would be pleased to be at your disposal for a non-binding exchange and support you in your project. Simply get in touch with our team and make an appointment. Andreas Vieten (vieten@conenergy.com) Christof Schidlovski (schidlovski@conenergy.com)

Delays in the smart meter rollout in Germany: calm before the storm?