Iskraemeco, Itron and Landis+Gyr have announced an 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 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 have completed a testing phase that 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.

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.