Smart Metering Case in Austria

By smartgrider In Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Case study Posted 2014-07-19


Market structureFully liberalized in 2001
TSO: Ownership nbundling/ISO
DSO: legal unbundling
Metering is in responsibility of DSO
Number of retail customers -20110,466 million EnergieAG 5.8 Mio AUT
Electricity consumed - 2011 7,3 TWh EnergieAG
68,8 TWh AUT
Peak Demand for Power -201110.900 MW
Net Revenue to Distribution Companies -2010
Distribution Network LV lines < 1 kV
21.934 km EnergieAG
166.023 km AUT
MV lines > 1 kV, < 110 kV
9.039 km EnergieAG
67.688 km AUT
total area
EnergieAG: 10.150
AUT: 83.850 km2 ~ 130 Distribution System Operators - various size and ownership structure
If your case is going to focus on 1 DSO’s experience tell us about that DSO size, ownership.
ContactAndreas Abart
Dipl.- Ing. Dr.


The Energie AG smart metering project AMIS was started as the first broad test case in the region “Upper Austria” in 2005 and led by the regional DSO. After 8 years the system has reached a mature state with approximately 100.000 smart meters and 25.000 load switching devices, which replaced the common ripple control receivers.

Objectives & Benefits

Smart meter benefits to the Customer

  • Detailed information on energy consumption in near real-time
  • Improvement of customer processes, e.g. change of residence
  • New flexible tariffs
  • Support of decentralized feeding-in

Smart meter benefits to the Electricity System and Market

  • Process enhancement by automation of metering processes
  • Automation of the distribution grid
  • Basic technology for smart grids
  • Enabling new business models e.g. Energy management, Demand side management, Home automation

AMI System Architecture


Current Status & Results

Up to now roughly 100.000 meters were deployed in the area of Upper Austria. The complete roll-out of approximately 600.000 meters will be carried out according to the Austrian legal requirements.

It is obvious that first savings could be obtained by the efficient process automation, but a precise estimate for this achievement will not be available until operation of the complete system over a reasonable period of time.

Customers who do not have an AMIS-meter still are required to read the meter for themselves once a year and provide the result via postcard or web portal.

Currently customers benefit from the online portal which provides their daily consumption and recently load profiles as well. Moreover requests arose to provide additional real-time data of energy consumption.

Project Details

  • Smart Meters and Advanced Meter Infrastructure: 0,1 million smart meters deployed Meters to DCs via PLC; DCs to HES via 66% Radio, 30% fiber optics, 4% GPRS, No MDM
  • Tariffs: Something about the pricing structure for electricity
  • Funding: : 100% rate recovered by DSOs
  • Project Cost: Approx 250 € per metering point
  • Project ROI:  –
  • Project Benefit: • $1.6 billion CDN

Lessons Learned & Best Practices

Lesson 1
The introduction of smart metering resembles more a revolution than an evolution. This stems mostly from the fact that simple autarkic meters are replaced by a very complex complete system.

Lesson 2
The processes for the grid system as well as processes for the customers had to be altered significantly which requires a strong commitment throughout the whole company.

Lesson 3
It is necessary to inform and involve customers about the new technology and its possibilities.

Lesson 4
Privacy and IT security have to be considered from the very beginning and the resulting effort and expenses should not be underestimated.

Lesson 5
Smart metering provides a basic tool to achieve energy saving, however the realization is within the responsibility of the customers.

Lesson 6
Due to the lack of established standards, smart metering contains a high risk for the security of the investments. This includes standards for e.g. the communication technology (Power line), the interfaces for customers and multi utility meters and the necessary IT-security.

Lesson 7
New technologies e.g. DLC (Distribution line communication 30-95 kHz) can cause some EMI-Cases which are not covered by any existing standard yet. (See CLC SC205 A Study Report I + II)


Next Steps

In the future further developments will be carried out to fulfill the Austrian legal requirements (IMA-VO). Moreover international trends, developments and standardizations will be observed to be capable to provide the best decisions for the further required developments. The goal is to finish the complete roll-out until 2019 as required by the Austrian law.

Actually some R&D projects in the field of smart grid focusing on an efficient way to integrate DG from renewable power resources especially rooftop PV-systems are based on the use of smart meters. Smart meters are powerful three phase power analyzers at each costumer site and are used for investigating LV-grids and load characteristics as well as voltage measurement site in voltage control systems compensating the voltage rise caused by decentralized generation. Depending on results new technology will be derived from these demo projects and implemented to further LV-grids.


Key Regulations, Legislation & Guidelines

Directive 2006/32/EC on energy end-use efficiency and energy services


Directive 96/92/EC on common rules for the internal market in electricity


Federal Act Providing New Rules for the Organisation of the Electricity Sector – Electricity Act 2010 (Elektrizitätswirtschafts- und –organisationsgesetz 2010 – ElWOG 2010)


Smart Meter Act (Intelligente Messgeräte-Einführungsverordnung):


Roadmap Smart Grids Austria:


Austrian Energy Strategy (Energieforschungsstrategie für Österreich):


Austria’s Smart Grid Policy

The main drivers for utilities in Austria to implement Smart Grids is the European directive for the full rollout of smart metering until 2020 and the imminent requirement to integrate distributed power generation units into the existing infrastructure.

The Austrian Smart Meter Act envisages simple smart meters which record electricity consumption mainly for billing purposes. By the end of 2017, 70% of all Austrian households are expected to be equipped with smart meters and, if technically possible, 95% of households by the end of 2019. In a future perspective Smart Meter data might also be used for a variety of energy services and might also contribute to model low voltage networks more precisely and thus improve network planning and operation in distribution networks. This has already been demonstrated in some field tests.

The European 20-20-20 targets have led to a surge of renewable energy and the future network must be able to manage its fluctuating generation behaviour and also to integrate infrastructure for electric vehicles and storage technologies. These are important drivers for the further developments.

The Austrian Technology and Innovation Policy is heading to investigate the future role for smart grids by developing and testing smart grids technologies and concepts, as they are seen as a key enabling infrastructure to achieve political goals in the direction of sustainability. In particular smart grids are expected to contribute to

  • the optimal integration of renewable energy sources and of decentralized generation
  • increase the efficiency within the energy systems as well as optimize infrastructure investments
  • adding flexibility to the grids
  • enable and integrate smart services and electro-mobility
  • support the development of “energy regions of tomorrow” which aim at a high degree of self-sufficiency
  • keeping high standards of supply security and power quality while increasing the resilience of energy systems and actively considering security and privacy aspects by design

In 2010, the Austrian Technology Platform Smart Grids published the roadmap “The path to the future of electric power systems”.
It suggests a coordinated and structured way to smart grids – from the description of the context and the necessary technological innovations to achieve a secure and sustainable electricity supply in Austria.

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