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ESMIG director addresses security and privacy concerns at Metering, Billing/CRM Europe 2012


11 Oct 2012


Innovation & Enterprise

ESMIG director addresses security and privacy concerns at Metering, Billing/CRM Europe 2012

As Europe prepares to adopt Smart Metering, ESMIG considers associated security and privacy concerns

Brussels – 11 October 2012 A key presentation at this week’s Metering, Billing/CRM Europe 2012 conference, was given by Willem Strabbing, Managing Director of ESMIG, the European Smart Metering Industry Group, who considered the approach as well as the security and privacy implications of a Europe-wide adoption of Smart Metering technologies.

Mr Strabbing’s presentation, entitled “Deriving security requirements from smart grid / Smart Metering use cases”, looked at security and privacy issues in relation to real smart grid / Smart Metering use cases, which have already been examined and assessed in early pilot projects across the continent. ESMIG has developed Smart Metering Use Cases for the Smart Meters Coordination Group acting on the M441 mandate, and is currently in the process of developing privacy and security requirements based on these Use Cases.

He commented, “The introduction of Smart Meters in Europe has implications for both systems interoperability, and security and privacy for stakeholders, including consumers. Only when these issues have been addressed and explained to all parties, can a successful roll-out take place. We believe that a use-case approach is the best way to address Europe’s security and privacy concerns around Smart Metering.”

The wide-ranging speech also covered: the importance of Use Cases (experience based on real pilot projects) in introducing Smart Metering, a European approach to defining security requirements and certification of Smart Metering implementations. Technical aspects were also described such as the deliverables produced under the M441 and M490 Mandates for Smart Metering and smart grids.

Mr Strabbing explained that the logical next steps, after current work under existing mandates has finished at the end of 2012, would be to define a European reference set of privacy and security requirements and a European approach for certification on privacy and security aspects, based on these requirements. In a workshop, organised by ESMIG and Eurelectric on the same day as the speech, ESMIG presented these proposed next steps and discussed the matters with European utilities to learn their views on these issues and plan the way forward.

Following the presentation, in a Question and Answer session, delegates from the wider Smart Metering sector and other interested parties asked Mr Strabbing whether now is the right time for defining requirements for privacy and security when some standards are already in place. He explained that standardisation is a continuing process. “It is necessary to maintain privacy and security requirements but at the same time to keep revising and updating them. The same approach applies to operating standards”.


The European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG) is the European industry association that provides knowledge and expertise on Smart Metering and related communications at a European level. ESMIG's members are the leading companies in the European Smart Metering Market: meter manufacturers, IT companies, communications product and service providers and system integrators. ESMIG covers all aspects of Smart Metering, including electricity, gas, water and heat measurement. Member companies cover the entire value chain from meter manufacturing, software, installation and consulting to communications and system integration. By giving support to European Union Institutions, Member States and Standardisation Organisations, the industry group aims to assist in the development of national and European-wide introduction, roll-out and management of Smart Metering solutions.

ESMIG is an Official Associate of the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign: