Identify and tag electricity meters

GS1 individual numbers are called GIAI (Global Individual Asset Identifier) and are used in Sweden to identify electricity meters.

Create GIAI to identify electricity meters

GIAI can consist of up to 30 characters, but in Sweden there are electricity network companies that only use 16 characters. GIAI is normally created with a GS1 Company prefix and a serial number, but to identify electricity meters in Sweden, we also use a check digit. You can calculate the check digit using a service on our website.

  1. Enter your GS1 Company prefix consisting of 6-9 digits.
  2. Give your unit a serial number. The serial number is alphanumeric and consists of different numbers of characters depending on the length of the company prefix and the number of positions used by the serial number. If the company prefix has fewer than nine digits, create the number as below, but the serial number can consist of more than 21 digits.

  3. Finally, you should calculate and enter a check digit. The check digit cannot be determined by yourself and must be calculated.

Giving an electricity meter an identity

An electricity meter can be identified and marked by the electricity network company or by the manufacturer of the meter. Keep in mind that electricity network owners and electricity meter suppliers must agree in advance on who should be responsible for giving the electricity meters unique identities.

Regardless of who identifies and tags the electricity meters, it is very important to keep track of which numbers are used. Two meters must never have the same number. There are three options for identifying and tagging an electricity meter:

  1. The electricity network company subscribes to a GS1 Company prefix and ensures that the electricity meters are identified and labelled with GIAI. Depending on the agreement with the manufacturer of the electricity meters, the labeling may be carried out by the manufacturer or by the network owner himself.
  2. The manufacturer of the electricity meter subscribes to a GS1 Company prefix and identifies the electricity meters. The company prefix is used to identify electricity meters belonging to only one electricity network company. After final delivery of the labelled electricity meters, the manufacturer of the meters transfers the company prefix to the electricity network company.
  3. The manufacturer of the electricity meter subscribes to a GS1 Company prefix and identifies the electricity meters. The company prefix is used to identify electricity meters supplied to different electricity network owners. After final delivery, the manufacturer retains and is responsible for the company prefix.

With the GS1 system, the same GS1 Company Prefix can be used to create unique numbers for both facilities and meters.

Tag electricity meters

To mark an electricity meter with GIAI, the barcode GS1-128 should be used. GS1-128 includes so-called application identifiers (AI). They describe the type of data element that is in the barcode. An application identifier consists of two to four digits and is printed in parentheses below the barcode along with the data element. The application identifier for GIAI is 8004.

If you want to print barcode labels yourself, you need a piece of software and an “on demand” printer. If you don’t have access to software or a printer, you can hire someone to do it for you, such as a packaging designer, advertising agency, or printing service.

Here is a list of barcode suppliers that can help you.

The picture shows an example of how the barcode is placed on the electricity meter. Figures under barcode: (8004) 5055142812345674 (awarded by a UK company for the Swedish market).

Storing the electricity meter identity in a database

Note that the numbers in the application identifier should not be stored in databases together with the electricity meter identity.

Rules on sale and transfer

Electricity meters identified with a GIAI must never be re-marked as each electricity meter must be traceable far back in time in the event of a conflict of meter reading or measurement accuracy. If an electricity network owner sells parts of its electricity network, the buyer must allow the supplied meters to retain their identity. Responsibility for the GS1 Company prefix used in the identification is unchanged.

If the electricity meters have been identified in accordance with options 1 or 2 above, and if the electricity network company ceases to exist and is entirely taken over by another network company, the company prefix shall also be transferred to the new owner.