The European Directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity (2009/72/EC) requires all member states to “ensure the implementation of intelligent metering systems” in order to foster a more active involvement of customers in the electricity market. Such intelligent metering systems are able to collect and transmit consumption data in a significantly increased resolution and therefore raise privacy concerns. On the other hand, high-resolution measurement data are an essential basis for achieving the aims of higher overall energy efficiency and a significantly increased proportion of electricity originat-ing from fluctuating renewable sources.
While European activities are still in an early stage, Germany has recently amended the national energy law and established specific and comprehensive regulations directed at security and privacy in smart metering environments. The underlying German approach to the regulation of smart grid privacy is ex-amined and critically discussed in the light of the necessary functional provisions within an electricity grid under the regulatory regime of a liberalized market. Alternative approaches from the Netherlands and the UK are presented and compared to the German one. Finally, some implications are derived that might prove valuable for ongoing activities addressing smart grid privacy on the Eu-ropean level.