The LPRA Expresses its Concerns over Smart Metering Security

The LPRA recently expressed concerns over the security of data related to Smart Metering, formally both at European Level and in a communiqué with members of the British Parliament.

Factually, Smart Metering has the ability to bring about energy saving and to improve customer service levels and therefore should be encouraged. However, it also poses a serious threat should there be insufficient control of security or inadequate thought processes behind the type of data harvested and stored in the data collection and billing centres.

Raw data from Smart Meters is much like a signature of a household or business. With the latest generation technology, data is virtually real-time and taken at intervals as frequently as once every 15-minutes. Hence, it does not require much analysis for the data to become a very powerful tool in the hands of criminals, giving them effectively an insight into the activity or lack of activity in homes and businesses alike.

The LPRA’s position is certainly not against Smart Metering, but it has issued a formal warning, plus this Press Release to industry and regulators alike, warning that the reputation and hence the success of Smart Metering will ultimately rely upon customer support and cooperation. We fear that just one major well publicised incident relating to the criminal use of metering data, which in extreme cases could include the remote switching off of power to defeat security gates / cameras, etc and Smart Metering could be dead overnight.