Adoption of existing Smart Meters by the Data Communications Company (DCC)

To address the difficulties consumers face to retain smart services when switching suppliers, it is the intention that all smart meters, regardless of version, will communicate exclusively with the DCC.

BEIS has recently started a consultation on when this will happen, and which meters will be supported. Currently, most smart meters already installed conform to the Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification (SMETS1). Suppliers currently communicate with these smart meters using a variety of different service providers, which can cause many difficulties for the customer.

BEIS is proposing that suppliers will be required to enrol all SMETS1 meters with the DCC within six months from the date that the DCC will be able to start supporting these meters. This date is unconfirmed at the moment, but the secretary of state will have powers to set the date in the future. Once the initial transfer has occurred, when a supplier acquires a non-enrolled SMETS1 meter it must enrol it or replace it within six months. All SMETS1 must be enrolled or replaced by SMETS2 by 31 December 2020 - the designated end of the rollout programme.

BEIS is also consulting on which SMETS1 meters are cost-effective to enrol with the DCC and believes that the following meter types can be enrolled without the costs outweighing the benefits:

  • Aclara
  • Honeywell Elster
  • Itron
  • Landis + Gyr

BEIS believes that there is a net societal benefit of £210-£320m, considering the security costs and the technical feasibility of the meters. For two other types, EDMI and Secure Meters, BEIS believes there is not enough information to make an informed judgement and so has committed to a discussion later in the year. You can read the proposal to enrol the cohorts here and the requirement for all SMETS 1 meters to be installed, here.

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