7 August 2018 Metering, Smart Meter Rollout

Data Communications Company makes progress with SMETS2 system testing

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The DCC is being supported by SMS Plc to ensure first-generation smart meters installed prior to the SMETS2 go-live date will smoothly communicate with the new data network.

SMS Plc’s metering test lab, which is currently being used to support the Data Communications Company (DCC) with its programme to integrate SMETS1 smart meters with the new SMETS2 metering network, is now fully operational.

Mandated to manage the data and communications network for Britain’s smart meters, the DCC has been using SMS Plc’s base in Cardiff since April 2018 as it looks to finalise its systems ahead of the nationwide roll out of next-generation SMETS2 meters.

Testing at the lab is being conducted to ensure that all the original SMETS1 smart meters (currently being installed as part of the government’s Smart Metering Implementation Programme) maintain full functionality when adopted and enrolled into the new DCC data network. This will ensure that these first-generation meters remain ‘smart’ if a consumer decides to switch energy supplier in the future.

Smart meter testing

Since winning the competitive tender to host the DCC testing, SMS have been tasked to man the test lab and take control of all active physical tests within the lab.

Some of the daily tasks being carried out are:

• Installing/exchanging meters
• Synchronising meters with In-House Displays (IHDs) to ensure device-sets are test-ready
• Emulating faults i.e. low battery or tamper alarm
• Stock management of over 500 assets
• Working with meter manufacturers

SMS Plc continues to provide this service, with the company having received excellent feedback from DCC and their service providers on the project.

Commenting on the ongoing testing, Jon Russell, SMS Plc’s Head of Electricity I&C Metering, said: “We are extremely pleased with the progress we have made in such a short time. We continue to build our strong relationship with DCC, and the rapport between our lab technicians and the DCC testing staff has been very productive and is working seamlessly.”

“Our work with the DCC on this project demonstrates our commitment to playing a key role in improving the smart meter system for the benefit of suppliers and consumers alike, and to be at the heart of the low-carbon smart energy revolution.”

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