On 4th August 2020, we installed Britain’s first ever polyphase SMETS2 smart meter at the property of a Good Energy customer, marking a significant milestone for the country’s transition to a smarter, greener energy system.
The long-awaited device – which will finally provide homes and businesses connected to a three-phase electricity supply with the option of a smart meter – was fitted by SMS for a domestic customer of our client, Good Energy.
This milestone development means that hundreds of thousands of customers connected to a three-phase supply across UK homes and business will now be able to join the green energy revolution by having a smart meter installed. Until now, many of these customers have not been able to take advantage of smart meters, which automatically log energy consumption to facilitate accurate billing. Smart meters are also an essential enabler of energy efficiency and green technologies – such as electric vehicles – that encourage flexible demand and help reduce carbon emissions and costs.
As Good Energy’s smart meter installation partner and meter asset provider (MAP), we assist this client in delivering the smart meters that are fundamental to Britain’s low-carbon energy transition.
An award-winning renewable energy supplier, Good Energy specialises in utilising digital innovation to help UK households and businesses manage their electricity usage more efficiently. By empowering more people to generate, store and share clean power, Good Energy aims to tackle climate change and lead the charge towards a cleaner, distributed energy system.
In setting out to be one of the UK’s first meter installers to offer its energy supplier customers a polyphase SMETS2 meter solution, we worked with our meter manufacturer partner Aclara to assess the scope of introducing this new and highly anticipated device to the UK market.
After completing due diligence and assurance, we made the commitment to develop the solution for our clients, setting out on a year-long journey to bring it to market. This included working closely with Aclara, energy suppliers, and Smart DCC, performing a rigorous testing and verification process at our dedicated test centre in Bolton, Lancashire.
Once the initial testing along with manufacturing builds and certification processes were completed (a significant challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic), we performed further production proving tests in our SMEST2 facility (a state-of-the-art mock residential street) to build extra confidence and finalise preparation before launch. Our SMETS2 and operations teams then coordinated with Good Energy to identify a suitable customer connected to a three-phase supply for the inaugural UK install.
Customer journey & installation
We used our efficient and highly dependable customer journey procedures to arrange, attend and successfully install Britain’s first ever polyphase SMETS2 meter at a customer of Good Energy, Emmanuel Obubuafo. As well as a customer of Good Energy, Emmanuel is the supplier’s Smart Programme Manager, with whom we have built a strong working relationship.
SMS ensured that a pre-visit site survey was undertaken and that Emmanuel was kept fully informed at every stage in the process, as is the case with any smart installation we carry out.
Keen to build on the success of this landmark installation, we are currently working with Good Energy to roll out a further cohort of polyphase SMETS2 meters for its 3-phase supply customers around the UK, who are eager to take advantage of a SMETS2 smart meter.
Watch the video of the installation, produced by Good Energy, below.
With the availability of the new polyphase SMETS2 smart meter, it is now possible for high volume and complex electricity users to join the smart, clean, green energy revolution.
Most UK households have what is known as a ‘single phase’ meter, connected at 230 or 240 volts via two wires — active and neutral. But there are hundreds of thousands of sites across the country that operate on a ‘three phase’ connection, connected at 400 or 415 volts by three active wires, or ‘phases’, and one neutral. These sites have a different kind of connection because they use higher loads of electricity, and/or have a more complex set up — such as on-site generation, battery storage or an electric vehicle charging facility. Until now, such sites have not been able to use the latest smart metering technology.
Given the clean energy system of the future relies on these bigger sites using, generating and sharing their power as part of a smarter grid, that’s a problem the energy industry needed to fix and we are proud to say that we have been integral to developing a solution: the new polyphase SMETS2 smart meter.
Importantly, as a second-generation smart meter this new technology will allow customers – from homes and small businesses to organisations with larger and more complex electricity supplies – to connect to the secure nationwide network run by the Data Communications Company (Smart DCC), enabling seamless switching between energy suppliers.
Our fully managed meter & data services
Since becoming smart meter partners in 2018 through our fully managed meter asset provision (MAP) service, SMS and Good Energy have built a pipeline of SMETS2 meter installations for Good Energy’s UK customer base. The campaign has so far focused on electricity recertification customers, and we are now transitioning to Economy 7 and ‘standard’ meter types. Our conversion rates on Good Energy’s recertification customers is proving very successful at approximately 36% (11% above the industry average) and is testament to the engaged customer base of Good Energy, the planning and management of our campaigns and our trusted customer journey processes.
Besides our industry leading metering services, SMS is also a leading data service provider for the UK’s energy suppliers, including collection and aggregation solutions, data management and elective half-hourly (EHH) settlement. Through this package of data services, we today manage more than 6 million data points across the UK energy market and collect and process more than 5.4 billion meter reads per year.
“In the two years that SMS have been installation partners and asset providers for Good Energy’s domestic smart meter rollout campaign, we have found the company a highly competent and dependable outfit to work with. From their frontline engineering workforce to their back office operations team, professionalism runs right the way through their customer journey process.
I look forward to continue working with everyone at SMS on our smart campaign, and potentially to expand the scope of our relationship in the field of metering and data services in order to deliver market-leading green energy products to our customers.”