Innovative metering will advance the cause of microgeneration


London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — October 11, 2006 – UK electricity and gas regulator Ofgem says microgeneration could be a significant part of the country’s energy mix – and that measures to promote innovation in metering should take the interests of microgeneration into account.

Ofgem believes that more innovative metering, installed as part of microgeneration systems, could help microgeneration capitalize on its potential and assist its market penetration. The regulator is committed to removing any barriers to smarter metering, so that suppliers can provide what customers want – including microgeneration offerings.

In the same way that smart metering could more generally be part of more innovative retail supply arrangements, it could also help suppliers to structure and manage microgeneration offers to customers, according to Ofgem. In particular, it could:

  • Lower the total cost of metering to suppliers and their customers, by reducing the costs of collecting and processing the meter data
  • Offer load management control relays, low tariff control relays and time-stamped data capture, enabling more accurate valuation of microgeneration exports
  • Increase awareness of energy use; there is some evidence that delivery of real-time consumption and production information together with microgeneration may deliver greater energy efficiency than either on its own.

Ofgem points out that the Energy Retail Association has already begun work on interoperability, and that ERA supplier members are working to define smart metering functionality and communications standards that all will agree to support. It is possible that these standards can be developed to agree common technical platforms for dealing with the needs of microgenerators – for example in the treatment of import and export meter data.

Ofgem’s interoperability working group will meet for the first time this month, and will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to address these kinds of concerns.