The new device, installed by SMS on behalf of Good Energy, opens up the smart meter market to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses, paving way for greater uptake of low-carbon technologies
Britain’s first ever polyphase SMETS2 smart meter was installed yesterday [Tuesday 4th August 2020] at a property in Gloucestershire, 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 installed by meter asset provider SMS plc for a customer of Good Energy.
Three-phase power provides heavy loads of electricity and is predominantly used by industrial and commercial (I&C) or high-usage residential sites. 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.
The development means that hundreds of thousands of customers connected to a three-phase supply across the domestic and I&C markets will now be able to join the UK’s energy revolution by having a smart meter installed. As a second-generation smart meter (SMETS2) the 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.
Designed by US-based smart infrastructure solutions provider, Aclara, the SGM1433-B (part of the SGM1430 polyphase family) is the first fully compliant and certified SMETS2 polyphase electricity meter for the UK market, and will deliver a solution for UK utilities to further automate the management of their meter assets at a total lower cost of ownership.
“With the introduction of this new polyphase variant meter, Aclara becomes the first and only company to provide a complete portfolio of SMETS2 electricity smart meters that our customers in the United Kingdom need to fulfil their smart metering mandates,” said Jason Subirana, Division Vice President of Meters at Aclara. “This gives UK energy suppliers and Meter Asset Providers like SMS Plc access to a single-sourced, comprehensive solution that provides a distinct advantage in the marketplace.”
SMS has worked closely with Aclara and Smart DCC over the past 12 months in order to bring the meter to the UK market, performing a rigorous testing and verification process at SMS’s dedicated test lab in Bolton, Lancashire. SMS – the country’s leading specialist in end-to-end smart meter, data and energy services – has so far installed 1.27 million domestic smart meters on behalf of energy suppliers as part of the smart meter rollout and has a total of 3.74 million metering and data assets under its management.
“We’re really proud to have played such a central role in bringing the polyphase SMETS2 meter to the UK market, and to have carried out the first ever installation for our client Good Energy at the property of their consumer.
This long-awaited solution is a real landmark for the smart energy revolution and the UK’s wider low-carbon transition, providing access to a previously untapped smart meter market, as well as giving larger non-domestic energy consumers a choice between smart and advanced meter technologies."Chief Operating Officer of SMS plc
According to the latest smart meter statistics announced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as of 31 March 2020 there were 21.5 million smart and advanced meters operating in homes and small business, of which Smart DCC has confirmed over 4.6 million of these meters are SMETS2.
Dan Lambert, Chief Operating Officer at the Data Communications Company, commented:
“The DCC’s network is the digital backbone of the energy industry, and the smart meter roll-out is an essential part of Britain’s journey to net zero. Polyphase smart meters will make the DCC’s network available to even more homes and businesses, from farms to tech start-ups. We congratulate SMS plc and all those involved in making this greening technology a reality.”
Robert Cheesewright, Director of Communications at Smart Energy GB, added:
“The introduction of polyphase SMETS2 smart meters means that many more people will be able to benefit from an end to estimated bills and can take part in the much-needed upgrade to our energy system. Smart meters are the building blocks of a cleaner, greener energy system that will help the country to integrate renewable energy sources and make efficient use of electric vehicles and green heating technologies.”
Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder, Good Energy, said:
“The energy system of the future is one in which customers don’t buy power from suppliers like us. They generate, share and store clean power. To build that future, high energy load and complex grid connections have to be smart. It is brilliant to be leading the way with this big milestone on the road to a cleaner, greener future.”
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