Advanced Metering

Technology which enables an automated bi-directional communication between the energy meter and the utility. The communication is not limited to meter data alone but also includes information about consumption, tariffs, alerts and complementary services. (LandisGyr)


Automated or advanced metering infrastructure, utility infrastructure with two-way communications for metering and associated systems allowing delivery of a wide variety of services and applications to the utility and customer. (Smart Grid Today)


Application programming interface -- a piece of software that lets applicationns interact with the functions of an operatring system or other piece of software. (Smart Grid Today)

Automated Meter Reading

Automated Meter Reading (AMR) collects utility meter data via radio or other networking technology. AMR is a form of Advanced Metering that uses communication devices to communicate data from the meter to the utility or to a meter data management provider. AMR may be used to transmit simple energy usage data from the meter or to transmit more complex measures of energy recorded in the meter. Moreover, it can feature advanced functionality such as outage detection or remote programming of meters by an authorised party. (LandisGyr)

Billing cycle

Period of days in which a utility or supplier totals customer energy use and produces the customer bill. (LandisGyr)


Current Average Demand (LandisGyr).


Customer average interruption frequency index, a measure of electric utility reliability. (Smart Grid Today)


Capital expense or expenditure. (Smart Grid Today)


European Committee for Electro-technical Standardization.


Common Information Model, a standard developed by the electric power industry which aims to allow application software to exchange information about the configuration and status of an electrical network. (LandisGyr)


Usually used in the metering context to specify a meter’s accuracy. IEC defines classes as 0.2%, 0.5%, 1.0% and 2.0% max. measurement deviation; the new MID (Metering instrument directive) specifies classes A, B, C. Class C represents the highest accuracy. The term is sometimes also used for environmental, mechanical and electromagnetic conditions. (LandisGyr)


Companion Specification for Energy Metering, specifications required in addition to DLMS, which describe the interface to the meter. (LandisGyr)


Customer premises equipment such as phones, modems, routers and set-top-boxes. (Smart Grid Today)


Current transformer. An alternating current device which reduces actual current flow through meter with a fixed ratio. (LandisGyr)

CT Ratio

The relationship of a current transformers' primary to secondary rating. This ratio defines the multiplication factor that has to be applied to the meter output in order to obtain the actual metered amount. (LandisGyr)


Distribution automation, a general term referring to a class of technology that lets electric utilities monitor and remotely control their power distribution networks with two-way computer networking and computerized data handling. (Smart Grid Today)

Daily Consumption

The amount of energy a consumer uses in a 24 hour day. It is captured at a specific time each day, usually at midnight, and refers to active energy. (LandisGyr)

Data Collector

The organisation that is responsible for reading the data from the meter and passing it on for processing. (European Smart metering alliance)

Demand billing

The demand upon which billing to a customer is based, as specified in the rate schedule or contract. The billing demand doesn’t have to coincide with the actual measured demand for a billing period. Such a charge might be applied to an industrial customer who may have inconsistent supplies of raw materials, but who must have access to substantial amounts of energy when those materials are available, or to a seasonal customer who requires large amounts of energy at one time of the year for which a utility company must make extra facilities constantly available. (LandisGyr)

Demand interval

The interval of time over which a demand measurement is taken. Common intervals: 10, 15, 30, or 60 minutes. (LandisGyr)

Demand response

Demand response, on the contrary, implies a ‘bottom up’ approach: customers become active in managing their consumption in order to achieve efficiency gains and thus reap monetary/economic benefits. Demand response can be defined as “the changes in electric usage by end-use customers from their normal consumption patterns in response to changes in the price of electricity over time. Further, demand response can also be defined as the incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high wholesale market prices or when system reliability is jeopardised. Demand response includes all intentional modifications to consumption patterns of electricity of end-use customers that are intended to alter the timing, level of instantaneous demand, or the total electricity consumption.” Demand response aims to reduce electricity consumption in times of high energy cost or network constraints by allowing customers to respond to price or quantity signals. Customers’ demand response can either be: • Manual: they see prices, for example on a display, and decide to shift their consumption; or • Automated: their consumption is shifted automatically through technical signals and based on an agreement established with the supplier. For instance, customers could agree to shift part of their consumption to times when prices are at a certain level. (EURELECTRIC report views on Demand-Side Participation)

Demand-side management (DSM) / Load Management

DSM has been used by the power industry over the last thirty years with the aim “to reduce energy consumption and improve overall electricity usage efficiency through the implementation of policies and methods that control electricity demand. Demand side management is usually a task for power companies/utilities to reduce or remove peak load, hence deferring the installation of new capacities and distribution facilities. The commonly used methods for demand-side management are: combination of high-efficiency generation units, peak-load shaving, load shifting, and operating practices facilitating efficient usage of electricity.” DSM is therefore characterised by a ‘top-down’ approach: the utility decides to implement measures on the demand side to increase the efficiency of the energy system. (EURELECTRIC report views on Demand-Side Participation)

Dispersed Generation

Power generation connected to the electricity distribution network. Today DG is seldom centrally planned or dispatched, but that will change, because the increasing penetration of DG will make is necessary to increasingly use DG as controllable resources for the power system and for the electricity market. (European Smart metering alliance)

Distributed Energy Resource,

A controllable energy resource connected to the electricity distribution network. Thus controllable loads, DG and electricity storage are DER. (European Smart metering alliance)

Distributed Generation

Power generation at the point of consumption. Generating power on-site, rather than centrally, eliminates the cost, complexity, interdependencies, and inefficiencies associated with transmission and distribution. Like distributed computing (i.e. the PC) and distributed telephony (i.e. the mobile phone), distributed generation shifts control to the consumer. (Bloomenergy)

Distribution System Operator, abbreviation DSO

DSO manages and operates a distribution network for energy (electricity, gas, heat) or water. DSO has operators, control rooms and various ICT systems for distribution management and automation. In the competitive electricity market the distribution of electricity is usually a natural monopoly controlled by the regulating authorities. (European Smart metering alliance)


Electromagnetic compatibility, the condition where communications equipment is running without causing or suffering unacceptable degradation due to unintentional electromagnetic interference to or from other equipment in the same environment. (Smart Grid Today)


European Telecommunications Standards Institute, a key standards body. (Smart Grid Today)


Software that's embedded in a hardware device including in the computer chips themselves. (Smart Grid Today)


A network management device usually within a home or business that distributes throughout the premises the variety of available broadband services such as internet, voice and video.


Gigahertz, a bandwidth measure meaning billions of bits/second, thus 1 ghz = one billion bits/second. (Smart Grid Today)


Geographic information system used by utilities and other entities to keep a record of the location of every piece of infrastructure they own or use. (Smart Grid Today)


Global positioning satellite, a technology that lets the user know exactly where they are on the surface of the Earth within a few feet or meters. (Smart Grid Today)

Industrial meter

An electricity meter used in industrial and commercial settings. These meters have an extended functionality and communication possibilities and can be integrated into systems for high data availability. (LandisGyr)

Load control

Activities performed by the utility that can interrupt load at the time of peak by interrupting power supply on consumer premises. Load control is usually applied to residential consumers. (LandisGyr)

Load management

Utility activities designed to influence the timing and amount of electricity that customers may use.

Load profile

Hourly or sub-hourly pattern of energy use. It is stored as a list of time stamped power data and is sometimes shown as a graph depicting the power consumption over a specific period. (LandisGyr)

Load profiling

In a deregulated energy market, the public utility commission may require utilities to perform load profile reads on a certain number of customers in each customer class. This load profiling data is needed to determine rates and usage for other customers in the same customer class. (LandisGyr)

Load shedding

The process of deliberately removing (either manually or automatically) preselected customer demand from a power system in response to an abnormal condition to maintain the integrity of the system and minimise overall customer outages. (LandisGyr)

Load shifting

Demand-side management programs designed to encourage consumers to move their use of electricity from on-peak times to off-peak times. (LandisGyr)


Low Voltage, an electrical engineering term that broadly identifies safety considerations of an electricity supply system based on the voltage used. It is often defined as 50-1000 V AC and is the voltage used in the final distribution to users. (LandisGyr)


Meter data management, a system designed to handle the data gathered from usually a large number of meters. (Smart Grid Today)


Meter data management system. (Smart Grid Today)


Metering Point. (LandisGyr)


Medium Voltage, an electrical engineering term that broadly identifies safety considerations of an electricity supply system based on the voltage used. It is often defined as 1-72 kV AC and is the voltage used in the local power lines. (LandisGyr)

Real Time Metering

Metering that records consumer use in the same time frame as pricing changes in the market, typically hourly or more frequently. (LandisGyr)

Real Time Pricing

The pricing of electricity based on the cost of the electricity available for use at the time the electricity is demanded by the customer. As distinguished from TOU pricing, RTP is usually applied to that power demand above a defined base usage for a given customer, and not to all power consumed by that customer. RTP may also encompass charges for transmission and distribution whereas market-based rates cover only the energy (and possibly capacity) portion of an electric bill. (LandisGyr)

Smart grid

A smart grid is an electricity network that can intelligently integrate the behaviour and actions of all its users to ensure a sustainable, economic and secure electricity supply. As a tool that provides much-needed flexibility, smart grids offer potential benefits to the entire electricity value chain (generators, TSOs, DSOs, suppliers and consumers) and to society as a whole. Smart grids will enable DSOs to monitor the electricity flowing within their grids. On the basis of collected data, they will be able to adjust to changing conditions by automatically reconfiguring the network and/or by taking control of connected demand and distributed generation. While smart grids equip DSOs with new tools to keep the system highly reliable and affordable, they will also create new opportunities for customers and service providers. (EURELECTRIC report 10 Steps to smart grids)

Smart meter

A smart meter is an essential device that integrates data collection and communication within smart grids. Thus, many smart grid functionalities cannot be deployed without smart metering. Supplemented by in-home displays and portal solutions, smart meters contribute to higher customer awareness. Using open standards, smart meters will enable dynamic pricing, in turn incentivising customers’ involvement. In doing so, they will catalyse the development of retail markets and enable enlarged business models like network operation and asset management. Later on, they will be integrated with home appliances and home automation networks. (EURELECTRIC report 10 Steps to smart grids)


Time-of-Use tables facilitate load control and planning on the part of utilities. This involves dividing the day, month and year into tariff slots and with higher rates at peak load periods and low tariff rates at off-peak load periods. The TOU table can also be used for load control, signal generation, etc. (LandisGyr)

Transmission rate

The transmission rate, sometimes also called bit rate, represents the digital data quantity transmitted within a specific time. Unit: bit/s or bps. The term “baud rate” is often used for transmission rate, although it signifies the symbol changes per time unit at the interface (unit: baud = symbols/second). Depending on coding, a symbol can consist of several bits of a data stream. The transmission rate can, therefore, be several times higher than the baud rate. (LandisGyr)

Transmission System Operator (TSO)

Natural or legal person responsible for operating, ensuring maintenance, of and, if necessary, developing the transmission system in a given area and, where applicable, its interconnections with other systems, and for ensuring the long-term ability of the system to meet reasonable demands for the transmission of electricity. (DIRECTIVE 2009/72/EC)


Disaggregating the electric utility service into its basic components and offering each component separately for sale with separate rates for each component. For example, generation, transmission and distribution could be unbundled and offered as discrete services or metering and billing could be offered as discrete services. (LandisGyr)