The interest of legal metrology for billing applications

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As anyone, I have to pay for the electricity, the gas or the water I am consuming in my house. As anyone, I would be very angry if I am overcharged and very happy if I am undercharged, and it would be the opposite for my energy provider.

This is why the instruments measuring all this for billing purposes are covered by regulations.

The term grid-level billing is related to commercial transactions between utilities, energy providers, or states. The simpler term billing is related to a commercial transaction between an energy provider and an energy consumer (customer). Grid-level billing and billing are both related to legal metrology. Sub-billing is a somewhat different topic that I have described in a post related to the management of energy costs.

IEC TR 63213 is defining the meaning of “billing” application as shown in the below Table 1:

Table 1 – Simplified overview of a billing application

Legal metrology usually applies to measuring instruments used in:

  • Commercial transactions (e.g., weight-price scales for retail stores, petrol pumps, water meters, etc.) when there is a need to protect both the buyer and the seller.
  • Operations concerning public health or safety (e.g., gas analyzers, tachographs, radar speed detectors, breathalyzers, etc.).

For more detailed information on legal metrology applications, refer to the following resources:

Billing meters (also known as revenue meters or utility meters) are covered by regulations such as MID (Measuring Instruments Directive, Directive 2014/32/UE) in Europe. See the blog related to MID.

Standards and regulations applicable to billing are shown in Table 2.

Application Assessment Standards or Rules Methods Standards Product Standards
Any countries can define its own regulation and/or can refer to international documents, such as the IEC International standards or OIML guide

IEC 62052-xx



OIML R46 (Organisation Internationale de la Métrologie Légale)

(1) Participating in the OIML MAA commits the Participants in principle to accepting and using MAA Evaluation Reports issued by Issuing Participants.

European regulation (MID = Measuring Instruments Directive 2014/32/UE

See the blog related to MID.

WELMEC guides

EN 50470-1

EN 50470-3

US regulation ANSI C12.1, ANSI C12.20
Australian regulation (NMI) NMI M-6
Indian regulation IS 16244, IS 15884, IS 13779, IS 14697
Chinese regulation JJG 596
Canadian regulation LBM-EG-07
Russian regulation No.4871-1 issued in 1993 and No.102-FZ issued in 2009 Pattern approval certificate (PAC)

Table 2 – Documents related to Legal metrology

If you are looking for more details, you can check out the following documents:

Theme Type Link
IEC TR 63213 Post Guide to energy measurement applications on the supply and demand side
MID Post European regulation MID related to legal metrology
ANSI C12 White Paper Regulating accuracy: impacts of changes in ANSI C12.1 and ANSI C12.20

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