- A Week in Smart Metering

Sensitive foreign policy issues add to the unpredictability of grid cyber attacks, says Rose Bundock, editor of
Published: Wed 27 May 2015

Take a moment today to reflect on where your company fits into the big scheme of a national electricity system.

If you’re making meters, then you’re part of the smart grid. And if you’re working in smart grid technology, then you’re part of the Internet of Things.
Pull out again and you’re part of a national infrastructure that is not just governed by energy policy but by foreign policy and international relations.
If reports are to believed, one of Turkey’s national assets - its electricity grid - was hacked at the end of March 2015 resulting in a 12-hour blackout, 40 million people without power and the head of the Turkish grid operator falling on his sword and resigning.
News agency Bloomberg speculated it was Iranian hacker group Parastoo that orchestrated the outage due to Turkey’s support of Saudi Arabia in a dispute against Yemen.
If true, other major cities may be vulnerable to cyber strikes due to their government’s stance on sensitive foreign policy issues, and that's when things get unpredictable.
It appears that while grid regulators and distributors strive to have better control of their grids and its functions, there are forces at work seeking to undermine that.
So feel good about your role in the big picture of national electricity supply and the battle to protect this vital asset.

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In Europe, Compton Greaves (CG), part of the Avantha Group, has secured a deal to supply data concentrators to Portuguese energy operator Energias de Portugal (EDP). CG won a tender to supply PRIME Alliance-certified data concentrator units made by its Spanish subsidiary ZIV.
Global industrial automation company Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) has introduced a new meter designed to measure natural gas that communicates data using activated cellular radio. HPS announced this week it has developed the EC 350 PTZ gas volume corrector to help gas distributors in the delivery of natural gas while meeting government and industrial standards.
In smart meters GB news, E.ON, one of the Big Six energy suppliers, is giving customers with prepaid meters the chance to switch to smart meters and pay less. Meanwhile, Ovo had admitted that IT infrastructure is hindering 5,400 of its customers from viewing or paying their bills.
In the UK, Conservative Member of Parliament Amber Rudd has begun her new role as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Having campaigned strongly on energy reform during the recent UK elections, Ms Rudd, who replaced Liberal Democrat Ed Davey, is likely to drop the price cap on energy and continue to support the rollout of smart meters in all homes across the UK, reports newspaper The Telegraph.
In Europe, Danish metering manufacturer Kamstrup has added network functionality to its automatic reading system for water meters in a bid to simplify installation and data collection.
In the US, Chattanooga Electric Power Board (EPB) and smart grid provider Tantalus have announced performance results, which they claim gives the eastern Tennessee utility the most reliable and fastest AMI system in North America.