Enabling smart meter system innovation through grant-funded activity
The DCC is obligated through our licence to carry out business in a manner that drives competition within the energy market and to support innovation in the design and operation of energy networks.
In alignment with our our strategic priorities, DCC is working on a number of projects that can help realise the potential and public benefit of the smart meter system.
Smart meter data can play an important role in supporting Britain reach its Net Zero targets and tackle some of the other societal challenges the country faces, such as fuel poverty. One way the Government and the regulator seek to resolve these types of policy challenges is through investment in research, development, and innovation competitions.
Several recent competitions from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) have been directly designed to enable innovation across the smart metering system.
Modernising Energy Data Applications (MEDA)
As part of a two-year project funded by Innovate UK and sponsored by DESNZ and Ofgem, DCC worked on a project led by Urban Tide alongside partners, the Connected Places Catapult, South East Net Zero Energy Hub and the University College London, to develop a new tool that will help identify areas at higher risk of fuel poverty.
Aimed at organisations who invest in energy efficiency measures, the software called ‘uZero’ uses AI and anonymised smart meter system data from the DCC to allow energy suppliers, housing associations, and local authorities to deliver targeted support.
Automatic Asset Registration (AAR)
AAR is part of the overarching DESNZ Flexibility Innovation Programme, which seeks to fund innovation across a range of key smart energy applications.
One of the phase 1 projects within AAR, the Low Carbon Technology Connect (LCT) project is exploring the regulatory, data access, technical and legal requirements of managing and building data-gathering networks, which will enable new energy assets such as solar PV, batteries, EV chargers and heat pumps to be registered and visible to networks.
The project is led by software technology company GreenSync, which is working with Energy Systems Catapult, DCC and UK Power Networks, supported by several leading global Low Carbon Technologies (LCT) equipment manufacturers and service providers.
Smart meter-based Internet of Things (IoT) applications
This programme also sits within the DESNZ Flexibility Innovation Programme and aims to determine the feasibility of connecting IoT sensor devices to the smart meter system.
Phase 1 includes the Smart Metering Internet of Things System (SMIOTS) project which is investigating using sensors connected via the DCC network to provide data for the flexible and efficient use of energy.
Led by Hildebrand, working with DCC and the University of Salford, the project will develop an in-home temperature and humidity sensor, incorporated within a standard PPMID device, and tested against the DCC systems integration testing (SIT) environment. The design will be generalised for other types of low data rate sensing to support a range of potential applications at the individual home level, and also at neighbourhood, regional, national and network scale.
A key aim of the project is that energy consumers will have full control of the use and sharing of data from these sensors. Security and privacy controls will continue to be enforced. The system will hold an inventory of devices and relay messages rather than storing the sensor readings themselves.
Partner with the DCC
We are always keen to hear from innovators across industry and other organisations. If you are interested in partnering with the DCC on current or future innovation competitions, please get in touch.