When industries and sectors evolve, very often a new set of rules and standards for products and services can be required. In these instances, there can be a number of pathways available to industry, including the implementation of national regulation, the development of industry codes of practice, or the development of Australian Standards.
The energy supply sector has experienced many recent changes. Some of these include the development of the Minimum Functionality and Shared Protocol (MFSP) by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the Power of Choice Review undertaken by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC).
In response, stakeholders turned to Standards Australia to ensure that Australian Standards for Metering Equipment were contemporary and relevant.
Standards Australia leads and promotes a respected and unbiased standards development process ensuring all competing interests are heard, their points of view considered and consensus reached.
Under this model of standards development, Australian stakeholders came together at the Standards Australia offices in March to set a clear path towards safer, more efficient and market-ready smart meters at the first forum of Standards Australia’s Roadmap for Advanced Metering Standards.
The forum participants considered the key standards-related issues during a discussion moderated by Standards Australia regarding the rollout of smart meters, and agreed to focus their activities on four work streams:
- General requirements, tariff and load control
- Accuracy and protocol
- Acceptance and dependability.
The focused work on safety will be undertaken by a committee comprised of balanced representation from government, industry and consumers. The committee will commence work on the modified adoption of IEC 62053.31 Electricity metering equipment (AC) – General requirements, tests and test conditions – Part 31: Product safety requirements and tests. This will involve the consideration of unique Australian conditions that may require modification to the International Standard to ensure its suitability in Australia.
The Australian public and all stakeholders will have an opportunity to share their views on any proposed modifications to IEC 62053.31 during the public comment stage. This stage ensures that the wider community has an opportunity to review the content and direction of the standard prior to its completion.
Research and investigative work relating to the modified adoption of IEC 62053.31 will be undertaken by relevant technical experts in the other three work streams hosted by Standards Australia.
Ultimately, stakeholders are sitting in a pivotal position. Through Standards Australia’s Roadmap process and participation in the work streams, they will assess the usefulness of existing Australian Standards, consider the International Standards developed by the IEC’s Technical Committee for Metering Equipment (IEC TC 13), and develop a clear pathway towards a comprehensive infrastructure for metering equipment standards in Australia.
The first forum in the Roadmap kicked off with presentations delivered by guest speakers Roy Kaplan of the Australian Energy Market Operator and Neil Fraser of the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council. The two presenters set the context for the Roadmap, explaining the necessity for contemporary and relevant Australian Standards for Metering Equipment.
The forum also heard from industry representatives, consumer groups and key proponents including Vector, Origin, the Energy Networks Association, Landis+Gyr and EDMI.
The second forum in the Roadmap for Advanced Metering will be held later this year at the Standards Australia offices in Sydney. Reports generated by EL011 and the three other work streams will be delivered at the next forum.
With the launch of the Roadmap, the pathway forward is becoming clearer. Stakeholders will set the agenda for smart metering standards for a smarter Australia.