The Forum Network Technology/Network Operation in VDE (VDE FNN) and other key players in the energy sector have contributed to an intensive dialog with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) towards accelerating the legally sound introduction of intelligent measuring systems. The necessary measures have been worked out in a consensus across the participating organizations. Following the uncertainty caused by the expedited ruling by the Higher Administrative Court of Münster on March 4, 2021 regarding the general decision of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the subsequently suspended requirement for the plaintiffs to install intelligent measuring systems, the BMWi has now begun providing the necessary clarifications for digitalization of the energy transition. The focus is on adaptations to the Smart Meters Operation Act (MsbG) as part of amendments being made to the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) as well as the optimization of administrative processes.
Phased rollout and improved certification processes to successfully digitalize the energy transition
The amendments include clarifications to ensure a legally sound, phased rollout of intelligent measuring systems, supplements to grandfathering provisions and the clarification of the comprehensive, systemic approach to digitalizing the energy turnaround. To this end, the BMWi, VDE FNN and other stakeholders have jointly developed approaches so that they can be passed into law during the current parliamentary term.
The BSI, which is responsible for certifying smart meter gateways – the central communication unit of intelligent measuring systems – aims to improve administrative processes. In addition to the safety certification, the BSI also plans to establish a formal certification process based on its own technical guidelines as a further verification of the minimum legal requirements for smart meter gateways. This will allow the technical guideline certifications required by the court in Münster to still be carried out and completed in 2021. In the future, the BSI will also provide more detailed reasons when determining the technical feasibility of installing intelligent measuring systems for the respective customer groups in accordance with Article 30 MsbG.
Heike Kerber, Managing Director of VDE FNN, explains, “The planned measures confirm our previous work, which aimed to gradually establish an interoperable and practical communication platform with intelligent measuring systems. The platform is the backbone for successful digitalization of the energy transition and the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.”
VDE FNN is committed to the accelerated and legally secure rollout of intelligent measuring systems and has worked together with other stakeholders in the energy sector under the leadership of the BMWi to amend legislation and improve administrative processes.