The ongoing roll-out of smart meters across the country is turning an aging area of the market into one of the most innovative and forward-thinking in the world. This wave of tech adoption reflects just one aspect of the ongoing transformation in Great Britain’s energy market. Providing meter readings on a manual basis is increasingly seen as inconvenient. And it is one of many reasons why customers have traditionally switched off, and largely ignored, their energy consumption.
Setting out to resolve this, the GB smart metering program represents one of the biggest digital infrastructure projects in recent history. The public is beginning to understand how these digital advancements in technology touch our daily lives in ways we could never have imagined just 15 years ago. Further, utility customers are coming to see that these innovations are now positively affecting the technology and capability of metering devices.
SMETS1 is the standard for the minimum common functionality of smart meters that was established in December 2012. Under SMETS1, the continued "smart" operation of the pools of smart meters deployed by UK energy suppliers when customers opted to change supplier was difficult to guarantee. The decision to enroll SMETS1 devices into the DCC is helping to ensure their future smart functionality. As a supplier of smart meters in the UK, Landis+Gyr has been actively supporting the requisite changes for the enrollment and adoption of the 6 million or so SMETS1 devices deployed with UK customers. Generis, a subsidiary of Landis + Gyr, will be supplying a vital component for the prepayment functionality required by that development program.
Beyond SMETS1, with the SMETS2 roll-out now paving the way to smart grid and intelligent power generation, the UK’s backbone for energy innovation is going from strength to strength.
Whether by enabling customer-facing connected home equipment to access much more detailed and more relevant energy information, or by developing applications within the smart infrastructure that can operate using a shared set of rules and information, it is this innovation that will ensure that the UK’s ground-breaking smart program ultimately delivers for consumers. Smart meter infrastructure offers the chance to change the way people consume, produce and store energy as well as how they choose and interact with their supplier.
The increase in functionality brings an increase in asset value: meters are no longer one-way, "dumb" devices but a vital, intelligent part of a dynamic energy infrastructure that must support the UK as we head toward an increasingly green and renewable future. Tracking these assets from pre-delivery to the wall to their final decommissioning is another essential function Generis’ systems provide, both in the cloud and on-premise.
With all the talk of innovation, it’s easy to forget that the current messaging systems for customer interaction in the market will be around a good while longer. Smart meters will be central to the future energy system which is now evolving at quite a pace, providing a reliable platform for continued innovation and progress for many years to come . . .but let’s not forget that the existing industry messaging platforms have scope for innovation too.