12 October 2022 Company News, Innovation, Metering, Press Release

SMS installs UK’s first ever U16 gas smart meter for Octopus Energy customer

SMS U16 Smart meter
The smart energy infrastructure specialist, SMS, is the first meter installer to bring the device to the UK market.
Until now, thousands of customers with larger gas supplies – such as large domestic dwellings or commercial properties – have not been able to switch their traditional analogue meter to a smart meter.

The UK’s first ever U16 gas smart meter has been installed at a domestic property in Berwick-on-Tweed, Northumberland, marking another milestone for the UK’s smart meter rollout.

The U16 gas smart meter – which has been produced for the UK market by the Danish meter manufacturer, FLONIDAN and supplied to SMS Ltd by ACLARA – was installed by SMS Ltd at the home of an Octopus Energy customer.

Until now, the U16 meter, which is roughly twice the size of the standard U6 gas meter typically installed in domestic households, has not had an updated model manufactured and approved to Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS). This means that customers with larger gas supplies of 16 cubic metres per hour – such as large domestic dwellings or commercial properties – have not been able to switch their traditional analogue meter to a smart meter.

This latest development in the metering industry is significant as the U16 represents the last remaining common meter variant currently installed within the UK domestic market, either gas or electric, to transition to a SMETS compliant model.

Whilst some business energy consumers have already been able to avail of advanced meters or other automatic meter reading (AMR) devices in order to digitally record their gas usage from U16 meters, the variant’s transition to SMETS opens up the option for all U16-supplied customers, domestic or commercial, to benefit from smart meter technology.

The smart meter rollout is a foundation stone of the UK Government’s Net Zero 2050 programme, with the technology considered a key enabler of domestic and industrial energy efficiency and demand-side flexibility, enabling technologies such as electric vehicles to be cost-effectively integrated with renewable energy sources.

Energy infrastructure specialist SMS – the meter installation partner of Octopus Energy and various other UK energy suppliers – worked with ACLARA, FLONIDAN and the Data Communications Company (DCC) to test, commission and approve the new U16 smart meter ready for market-wide rollout at its dedicated meter test lab in Bolton, Lancashire.

Tom Woolley, SMETS specialist at SMS, said:

“The new availability of SMETS2 U16 meters gives energy suppliers and their domestic and commercial customers simple and effective access to secure energy data, which can be used to help improve energy efficiency and, in turn, lower carbon emissions. Given the current climate, the well-established ability of smart meters to enable more efficient and more intelligent energy consumption is not to be sniffed at. The development of the dual-band U16 smart metering device is therefore a much welcomed new technological advancement, and we are excited to be the first to bring the device to the market. Our focus now is to help energy suppliers with rolling out this technology to those consumers who want and need it.”

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