GEN-40—Application and implementation of Measurement Canada’s specifications for the approval of both software controlled electricity and gas meters and event loggers

The copy of this document located on Measurement Canada's website is considered to be the controlled copy.

Category: General
Bulletin: GEN-40
Document(s): Specifications for the approval of software controlled electricity and gas metering devices, specifications relating to event loggers for electricity and gas metering devices
Issue date: 2011-11-07
Effective date: 2011-11-07


Table of contents


1.0 Background

Measurement Canada (MC) recently completed the establishment of two new specifications which will have a significant impact on the Canadian electricity and gas metering marketplace. The specifications of reference were developed by a joint government / industry working group and are entitled: Specifications for the Approval of Software Controlled Electricity and Gas Metering Devices and Specifications Relating to Event Loggers for Electricity and Gas Metering Devices.

2.0 Purpose

The purpose of this information bulletin is to highlight specific provisions and requirements of the above-noted specifications and to communicate the Agency's implementation plan with regard to how they will apply in practice.

3.0 Application and implementation of software specifications

Compliance with the software specifications will provide for Measurement Canada recognition of electricity or gas meters that possess one of the following software update capabilities which, where approved, may be performed without triggering the need for device reverification under the Act:

  1. the ability to update legally relevant software (e.g. metrological software);
  2. the ability to update legally non-relevant software only (e.g. communication software); or
  3. the ability to update both legally relevant and non-relevant software.

It should be noted that software update capability is not a mandatory requirement and, as such, electricity and gas meters may continue to be approved without the capability for software updating. Meters previously approved by Measurement Canada will also maintain their approval status. Additionally, where a meter has been issued an approval modification letter (MAL) to recognize the updating of legally non-relevant software, these meters will maintain their recognition status until the device incurs a pattern modification which requires approval

re-evaluation (refer to MC Bulletin Gen-06). With the release of the software specifications, MALs will no longer be issued by the Agency to address meter software update capability.

4.0 Software specification requirements

The software specifications have been based on the International Organization of Legal Metrology's Guidance document D-31: General Requirements for Software Controlled Measuring Instruments. Although it can be stated that the specifications closely follow international guidelines, there is one significant difference with the requirements that have been introduced in Canada. This deviation is in the area of pattern approval examinations and compliance assessment methodologies. More specifically, Measurement Canada will not be performing software source code analysis as a pattern approval validation methodology. The Agency has introduced the requirement for meter manufacturers / approval applicants to provide Measurement Canada with attestations of source code and software compliance as an alternative.

Although the pattern approval assessment process will include validation on the basis of functional testing, documentation review will have a very significant role in the determination of compliance. In this regard, it is imperative that meter manufacturers / approval applicants pay particular attention to the type approval documentation requirements prescribed by section 11.2 of the software specifications. Approval applications which are incomplete in detail or which do not include the required attestation statements will be considered insufficient for the purposes of pattern approval.

5.0 Application and implementation of event logger specification

Compliance with the Specifications Relating to Event Loggers for Electricity and Gas Metering Devices is applicable to all devices that are seeking approval for either legally relevant software update capability or as configurable devices under the Specifications for the Approval of Software Controlled Electricity and Gas Metering Devices. Metering devices that are approved for legally relevant software update capability are those which comply with the specification's traced update requirements. Configurable devices are those metering devices that are approved to permit legally relevant parameters to be deleted, appended to, modified, or substituted (i.e. configurable parameters).

The implementation of the Specifications Relating to Event Loggers for Electricity and Gas Metering Devices will apply as follows:

  1. For all devices seeking to be approved with the capability for updating legally relevant software (without triggering the need for meter reverification), application will become mandatory effective on the date of the event logger specification's authorisation.
  2. For all devices seeking to be approved as configurable devices that are currently not recognized as such (i.e. the ability to modify a configurable parameter is currently prevented by physical seal or the modification of the parameter is considered a verification triggering event), application will become mandatory effective on the date of the event logger specification's authorisation.
  3. Subject to paragraph (iii), for devices where the ability to modify a legally relevant parameter is not prevented by a physical seal or where modification of the parameter is not currently considered a verification triggering event:
    1. application will become optional effective as of the date of the event logger specification's authorisation, and become mandatory for all new devices seeking to be approved as configurable devices effective January 1, 2013.
    2. for meter makes / models previously approved with legally relevant parameter configuration capability which do not possess an event logger, or which possess an event logger that does not comply with the requirements of the Specifications Relating to Event Loggers for Electricity and Gas Metering Devices, application will become mandatory effective as per the requirements of section 4.4 of MC Bulletin Gen-06.
    3. the requirements of the Specifications Relating to Event Loggers for Electricity and Gas Metering Devices are not retroactively applicable to previously verified meters with legally relevant parameter configuration capability which do not possess an event logger or which possess an event logger which does not comply with the requirements of the subject Specifications.

6.0 Event logger specification requirements

The event logger specification recognizes two different types of event loggers that may be approved under the requirements of the specification, namely: the self contained event logger (type A), and the event logger with exportable event log (type B). The primary difference between the two event logger types is specific to the actions which must be undertaken by the meter owner once the event logger's event log reaches capacity. In the case of a self contained event logger, reaching event log capacity requires the meter to be reverified. Event loggers with exportable event logs do not trigger the same meter reverification requirement, however, additional requirements of significance must be implemented by meter owners with regard to exported event log integrity and storage.

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