International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2018 Number 03

Future-proofing pre-payment meters

Key International Standard to enhance security and functionality of metering pre-payment systems

 

Geneva, Switzerland, 2018-05-03 The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) has revised a key International Standard to enhance the security and functionality of metering pre-payment systems. The open Standard Transfer Specification (STS), IEC 62055-41, will benefit customers of electricity, water and gas utilities, particularly in developing countries.

 

Photo: Eskom

The ‘pay-as-you-go’ solution is based on a 20-digit token system that enables consumers to buy in advance and to manage their consumption more efficiently. Offline token-based credit transfer methods are particularly suitable for environments where the online communication infrastructure is poorly supported.


The ‘pay-as-you-go’ solution is based on a 20-digit token system that enables consumers to buy in advance and to manage their consumption more efficiently. Offline token-based credit transfer methods are particularly suitable for environments where the online communication infrastructure is poorly supported.


“Most people living in developing countries find it very difficult to predict how much money they will have left at the end of the month,” says Don Taylor, the convenor of the IEC working group that developed the Standard, as well as the director of the STS association. “Wages are often paid weekly and a monthly electricity bill, similar to what exists in Europe or the USA, would be totally impractical.”


IEC 62055-41 enhances security through a robust and proven encryption technology. “We wanted to improve drastically the encryption algorithms and make them state-of-the-art secure. The idea is for the encryption level to be valid for the next 30 years,” explains Mr. Taylor.


IEC 62055-41 is the only globally recognized International Standard for electricity metering payment systems. It facilitates more efficient grid management by giving utilities access to enhanced consumption data, as well as ensuring interoperability between system components from different manufacturers.


The STS is developed by IEC Technical Committee13: Electrical energy measurement and control. The technologies developed by TC13 help governments to liberalize energy markets and play an important role in the fight on climate change by allowing both utilities and users to track carbon emissions.


About IEC


The IEC is the International Standards and Conformity Assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology. The IEC enables global trade in electronics and electrical goods. Via the IEC worldwide platform, countries are able to participate in global value chains, and companies can develop the standards and conformity assessment systems they need so that safe, efficient products work anywhere in the world.


About STS


The STS was originally created in South Africa in 1993 as an industry Standard to support the public utility’s electrification programme to connect 10 million households to the supply grid by making use of prepayment metering technology.

 

Find out more

Media contact:

Gabriela Ehrlich
Tel: +41 22 919 02 78
Mob: +41 79 600 56 72
Email: Gabriela Ehrlich
Skype: gabriela.ehrlich

 

News release 2018-03

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