Unleashing the Swiss Smartmeter's CII
Empower citizens to use their energy data. Using the smartmeter's CII beyond visualisation to steer local consumption.
Swiss law (StromVV Art 8a) requires all installed smartmeters to offer a local "consumer information interface" (CII) to provide all measured data at the moment of its recording. Despite 2+ years since this has become mandatory by the end of 2017 it is still very hard to obtain sufficient information from the DSO (distribution system operator) on the particular CII put in place on the installed smartmeter.
Different technical interfaces (CII) are in use on various smartmeters in Switzerland which inhibits interoperability for innovative solutions. It is almost impossible to find publicly available information on what kind of CII is offered by the 600+ different DSO of Switzerland.
Where as in the netherlands, the energy sector organisation (netbeheernederland.nl similar to VSE in Switzerland) has required all smartmeters installed during the past years already to offer the same well designed CII called DSMR P1 (also adopted by Belgium and Luxembourg), the swiss authorities or the market participants have regrettably not decided on a mandatory standard to be required. This unfortunate situation has inhibited the market in Switzerland for innvovative applications. And a large amount of money and ressources is currently spent (and are finally wasted) by installing additional private energy meters behind the DSO's smartmeter.
Let's try to improve on that.
MotivationOne motivation to use the CII beyond visualisation might come from the following problem definition:
Photovoltaic systems (PVS) with an output of 5-15 kW are increasingly being installed on roofs of swiss houses. Often there is a 300 L electric boiler connected on 3 phases of 400 V with a power of 6 kW for the hot water demand, which is charged during the night via a ripple control of the DSO. Because Art 8c of the StromVV has obliged the DSOs since 2018 to remunerate the customer for such flexibility useful to the grid, some DSOs remove the ripple control when connecting a new PVS to the grid and at the same time installing a smartmeter.
If energy is permanently supplied to the electric boiler, around 30-50% of the annually required heating energy of approx. 3.8 MWh/a  can already be used from the PVS production. By means of an electronic control system, an additional max. of 40% of the grid supply could be substituted trough PVS production. With a tariff difference between the feed-in tariff and grid procurement of approx. 100 Fr/MWh, savings of only 150 Fr per year would result.
For an economic solution, the costs for the necessary power control (including installation) should not exceed a few 100 Fr. However, many products available today  quickly require investment costs of 1'000 - 3'000 Fr which is far beyond any efficient and economically justifiable solution.
 Example: (a) Energy4me units 1'083 Fr [ control unit 377 Fr, switching power supply 39 Fr, AC meter 248 Fr, thyristor controller 280 Fr, mains filter 139 Fr ] Q:https://www.energy4me.ch/energiemanagement/ (b) Expenses for electricians for installations: 500-1'000 Fr.
Goals & tasks
Together we shall discuss and demonstrate how easy and cost-efficient a simple solution to this scenario can be put in place using DSMR-P1 with an ESP Microcontroller and a piece of open-source software coupled with a very affordable wifi-enabled powerswitch-actor. Attaching any of the various visualisation- or energymanagement-sytems (EMS) for home automation over MQTT might then be relatively straight-forward.
But the key challenge is how to deal with the diversity of CII such that all citizens may get easy and efficient access to their own owned energy data. Many additional questions still have to be worked on. We hope that we may tackle some of these together with the expertise of those supporting this challenge.
We developed a concept and PoC roadmap to provide a "universal" adapter from smart meters to home IoT platforms, see "Source" for details.