The digital spine of the energy system
To protect the planet and achieve our net-zero ambitions, we need to reduce our use of fossil fuels and make better use of cleaner, greener energy to power our homes and road transport. Our energy system is already changing to drive this – empowering consumers with smart meters that give them and their energy provider a detailed picture of consumption.
This transformation of our energy system is made possible by a secure network, separate to public broadband, that connects smart meters to energy suppliers. This telecommunications network is operated by the Data Communications Company – the DCC.
Why is the DCC network important?
Our network protects consumers and enables Britain to make the fullest use of renewable energy. To make our homes more efficient we’ll all need to use more devices like solar panels, heat pumps, electric vehicles, and home energy storage. But to work really well, these devices depend on the data that is transmitted over the DCC network. It’s vital that the network continues to securely transport this data – and provide the digital spine of our energy system.
The role of the DCC
Since being awarded the Smart Meter Communication Licence in 2013, the DCC has designed, built, and now manages the telecommunications technology infrastructure that underpins the smart meter roll-out. At scale, the smart metering system will support secure data communication across 100 million devices in 30 million premises, as well as delivering the central systems needed to support faster, more reliable switching.
What the DCC is responsible for
Smart meter enrolment: support the roll-out of smart metering by ensuring new smart meters can be connected to the network at the first time of asking.
The network: develop, operate and maintain the smart meter network, with a dedicated team monitoring its performance 24/7 365 days a year.
Security: operate to the highest security standards as defined by Critical National Infrastructure. The smart meter network was designed with security at its core, alongside the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – part of GCHQ.
Efficiency: deliver all of the above in an efficient and economical manner to ensure we are delivering value for money for our customers, and ultimately consumers.
What the DCC is not responsible for
Smart meter installations: the government has required energy suppliers in England, Scotland, and Wales to provide smart meters to their customers.
Policy changes that affect the cost of living and energy crisis: the government along with the regulator are responsible for energy policy and associated changes, however DCC can act as a platform for policy implementation.
Promotion and advertising of the smart meter roll-out: Smart Energy GB (SEGB) is the not for-profit campaign helping everyone in Britain understand the importance of smart meters and their benefits to people and the environment.
Meter readings: the DCC does not have access to individual meter readings. These are encrypted and securely transported to energy providers and distribution networks.
Our leadership team
Our executive leadership team brings experience and expertise from energy, government, telecoms and industry. They are passionate about delivering the best outcomes for our customers, colleagues and country.Discover who leads the vision
Who we work for
We work with energy retailers, Distribution Network Operators, Managed Service Providers and other businesses with an interest in our network. Our customers are some of the best in Britain and are the most important thing to us. You can see some of them here or click on the button below for a complete list.
Business and Development Plan
Moving forward, together
Working closely with our customers we've identified priorities for today, and plans for the future. They're all contained in our latest Business and Development Plan.
Serving our customers and Britain's energy consumers
We work together with Ofgem, Government and the energy industry to deliver for our customers and Britain's energy consumers.
Leading the Charge
At the DCC, our purpose is to make Britain more connected so we can all lead smarter, greener lives – but we’re not alone in our mission. That’s why we’ve partnered with the ECA (Electrical Contractors' Association) and Content With Purpose to take part in a digital series alongside nine other organisations that are Leading the Charge towards net-zero.
Your questions answered
What is the DCC?
The DCC is building and maintaining the network to which Britain's smart meters will connect to. When the roll-out is complete, more than 30 million homes will be connected to our network.
When will the smart meter roll-out be complete?
The roll-out is forecast to be completed by 2025. Last year (2022), a total of 6.3 million smart meters were connected to our network.
How much of the country is covered by the DCC network?
More than 99.3% of premises in the country are currently covered by our network, and this will rise further.
How is the DCC funded?
The DCC is funded by our customers, the energy retailers and Distribution Network Operators (DNOs).
Can the network be used for any other purpose?
In the future, DCC technology can be a platform to deliver further public benefit, a national asset which will provide secure, reliable connectivity to devices, whilst maintaining privacy and security for individuals.
Any extra services the DCC offers can bring in revenue, which in turn will help us meet our licence obligation to bring costs down for our existing customers.