Metering Europe celebrated its 10th Edition in Amsterdam from 22 to 24 September. The DLMS User Association – as each year from the very first Metering Europe in 1999 in Madrid – was present at this event. As we have all witnessed, ME has grown into probably the single most important annual gathering of people involved in metering from Europe and beyond. Indeed, the number of the participants and the size of the exhibition surpassed all forecasts. While we enjoyed celebrating together, there were serious business reasons to be there.

Metering has changed a lot in the past 10 years, moving from electromechanical to complex electronic technologies, and from manual reading to two-way, quasi-real-time data exchange: smart metering starts to become a reality. The conference, focusing on this subject this year, gave us the opportunity to say what we had to say and to learn what we needed to learn.

Six years ago, in 2002, we also met in Amsterdam. The IEC 62056 and the EN 13757-1 standards describing the DLMS/COSEM specification had just been published and the first meters certified as DLMS/COSEM compliant were exhibited. We also launched the DLMS/COSEM training seminars there, a popular item of the metering conferences ever since.

DLMS/COSEM – the only international standard supporting all utilities, applications, and a wide range of communication media, as well as providing testable interoperability – has grown to be the standard of first choice for smart metering. Its unparalleled worldwide acceptance is clearly indicated, among other factors, by the fast-growing membership of the DLMS UA, which exceeds 120, and by the number of certified meters, which have reached a hundred.

The COSEM data model, while essentially stable, is continuously enhanced with new features to support the requirements of smart metering. The latest enhancements include remote control of the supply to the premises, data exchange with M-Bus devices, firmware update, customer messages, event handling and many more. Data security has been identified as a key issue of smart metering systems. DLMS/COSEM now protects the confidentiality and authenticity of messages using AES encryption algorithms with 128 bit keys. This technology is believed to be adequate through and beyond 2030. The DLMS-based communication profiles now include a powerline carrier, a popular medium for smart metering systems, along with PSTN, GSM, GPRS and the Internet. We are also working to adopt new media to further enrich this offering. All this work is carried out by the working groups of the DLMS UA, engaging the best experts worldwide, with a direct grip on real market needs.

At the DLMS/COSEM seminar in Amsterdam – overbooked this year! – we had the opportunity to talk about these developments to a global audience from Australia to the UK and from Sweden to Saudi Arabia. These new elements will be published soon in a new edition of the Blue Book and the Green Book.

International standardisation is a key element of the strategy of the DLMS UA, as we believe that the grandiose vision of smart grids will come true only if they are built on open, international standards. In line with this strategy, the DLMS UA maintains a formal liaison with IEC TC 13 WG 14, the standardisation body responsible for meter data exchange. At the meeting of TC 13 in Poitiers, France in October 2008, the DLMS UA offered its latest results for a fast-track international standardisation.

Come and join us! Let’s work together to make the vision of smart metering and smart grids happen.

Please contact us for more information or any queries about the DLMS User Association at Pre-de-la-Fontaine 19, CH-1217 Meyrin-Geneva, Switzerland; email dlms@dlms.com; or visit our website, www.dlms.com

Győző Kmethy, President Paul Fuchs, General Secretary