The EU Directives concerning common rules for the internal market for electricty and gas (2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC) and the EU Directive on energy efficiency (2012/27/EU) require Member States to ensure the implementation of 'intelligent metering systems' that shall assist the active participation of consumers in the energy market. Regarding electricity, where there was a positive assessment of the long-term costs and benefits, then at least 80% of the households should be equipped with smart metering systems by 2020. In order to address these challenges, the European Commission and EFTA mandated CEN, CENELEC and ETSI (Mandate M/441) in 2009 to development an open architecture for utility meters involving communication protocols enabling interoperability (smart metering).
In response to Mandate M/441, the European Standardization Organizations (ESOs), CEN, CENELEC and ETSI decided to combine their expertise and resources by establishing the Smart Meters Coordination Group (SM-CG). This group is a joint advisory body that provides a focal point concerning smart metering standardization issues.
The first phase of the mandate requests the ESOs to produce a European standard for communications. In this context, the SM-CG produced a Technical Report, CEN-CLC-ETSI TR 50572:2011 'Functional reference architecture for communications in smart metering systems' (pdf format), which identifies the functional entities and interfaces that the communications standards should address. It is intended to support the development of software and hardware architecture and related standards.