Smart Metering consumption

The project Smart Metering consumption focused on the energy consumption of the future smart metering infrastructure - an issue not widely discussed until now.

Short Description




The EU as well as many other countries in the world decided to implement Smart Metering infrastructure. Main efforts in the area of Smart Metering are targeting improvements in the efficiency of the energy supply. A comprehensive estimate of efficiency has to include, aside from the energy changes in the supply and end-use, the power that the infrastructure itself demands for its operation.

In collaboration with key stakeholders, especially manufacturers and power utilities, different available state-of-the-art smart metering solutions have been analyzed. Measurements of the actual energy consumption of Smart Meters under laboratory conditions and under real conditions in household have been carried out. The Institute of Electrical Power Systems of the Graz University of Technology has performed these measurements.

Technical components for the entire communication chain using smart meters have been identified and energy consumptions have been assigned to these technical components starting with the smart meter, followed by the data concentrator and devices at the telecommunication operators as well as the head end servers at the power utility.

Results of the analysis where put together in so called technical scenarios. This is providing a common basis to make comparisons of power requirements of different technologies currently available. In total four technical scenarios have been analyzed addressing the main technologies such as PLC, GPRS/UMTS, radio transmission and M-Bus.

The final aim was to derive realistic rollout scenarios for Austria and Switzerland. Accordingly a projection of the energy consumption due to the roll out of Smart Metering solutions has been calculated.

The project showed the following main results:

  • A widely applicable and flexible methodology for assessing the energy consumption of smart meters has been developed. Since there is no international standard methodology available, this could serve as a basis for further method development at an international level such as IEA or other forums;
  • According to the measurements performed in the project there are significant differences in the energy consumption of smart meters as available today. The measured energy consumption ranged from 1,4W to 4,6W for a 3 phase Smart Meter compared to the energy consumption of a 3 phase Ferraris meter of 3,9W respectively to 4,2W to 4,6W for an 3 phase state-of-the-art electronic meter without communication;
  • Within the entire Smart Metering infrastructure the Smart Meter itself shows the highest amount of energy consumption. With regard to this amount in many cases the main driver for the energy performance of a Smart Meter is the technology used to achieve data communication;
  • The measured consumptions have been put together using most likely assumptions for the Smart Meter roll out to calculate the overall energy consumptions caused by Smart Meters for Austria and Switzerland. These calculated scenarios show that the roll out may lead to an overall reduction in the energy consumption of the metering hardware – providing that the most efficient Smart Meter hardware solutions and communication technology will be rolled out – or at least that the energy consumption will remain in the range of the currently implemented solutions.

The validity of these results is limited to the specific evaluated technologies and currently available hardware only.

Contact Address

Michael Preisel
engineering & management consultancy GmbH
Neubaugasse 25/II/3
1070 Wien