Metering.com - A Week in Smart Metering

Smart grids can clearly bring benefits - but they also appear to bring hazards, writes Rose Bundock, content editor of Metering.com.
Published: Wed 22 Apr 2015

Smart grids can clearly bring benefits - an estimated €3.5 million in savings for the Netherlands according to a test bed report this week - but they also appear to bring hazards.

Finland is widely regarded to have the first truly smart grid but it also holds the dubious title of having the most cyber attacks on its SCADA systems in 2014.

The Scandinavian country was the victim of more than 200,000 SCADA cyber security breaches last year, nearly two thirds more than the second-most-attacked country, the UK at 69,500, followed by the US at 51,000, according to Dell’s annual Threat Report.

Dell attributes the high volumes to the high penetration of SCADA systems installed in these areas and that they are more likely to be connected to the Internet ie. they are part of the smart grid.

The IT giant reported last week that global SCADA cyber attacks increased by 100% in 2014 with the majority being prompted by political conviction rather than financial gain.

The report is sobering for energy companies and utilities, which are realising that with better grid control and responsive to outages comes vulnerability to viruses and data breaches.

The trick says Dell is to make sure that energy and industrial sectors share knowledge and information on SCADA attacks. Who will take up this mantle we wonder?

More from Metering.com

Global round-up: smart meters, prepaid and AMR news

In a global round-up of advanced metering news, Metering.com reports on small-scale rollouts of smart meters in Kenya, prepaid metering units in Jamaica and an automated meter reading system for a small town’s water utility in the US.

Smart meters help US utilities to cut customer bills

In the US, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has approved a settlement allowing state utility Public Service Company to collect US$133 million from customers in rate increases to support smart meter installation. Under the settlement, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) customers are required to pay a separate surcharge of US$3.11 monthly to fund smart meter deployment.

Johannesburg trials load-limiting smart meters to offset blackouts

In South Africa, Johannesburg electricity utility City Power is piloting a load-limiting programme for residents with smart meters in an attempt to ensure households maintain power supply amid rolling national blackouts.

Atmel secures PRIME certification for smart meter solutions

California-based microcontroller company Atmel has secured Powerline Intelligent Metering Evolution (PRIME) v1.4 Profile 2 certification for its smart metering solutions in response to growing customer demand in EMEA, Latin America and Asia.

ComEd recruits community workers to support smart meter installation

In the US, the utility for the state of Illinois Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) is launching a new initiative to engage customers with smart meters. The joint project between ComEd and the small town of Chatham will see the utility training a group of ten local residents as outreach workers to support meter installers.

Global smart meter market worth US18.2bn by 2019, says report

The global smart meter market will be worth US$18.2 billion by 2019, encompassing smart electric, water and gas meters for industrial, commercial and residential applications, according to a new report by US market research and consulting firm MarketsandMarkets.