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At a “proof of interoperability” demonstration, senior government officials from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) watched the DCC’s systems connect with a SMETS1 meter. The DCC then simulated a household smart meter enrolling onto the secure data network under a new energy supplier and tariff. Achieving the interoperability milestone took just a few minutes.
Currently some first generation smart meters may temporarily lose smart functionality if consumers switch. Today’s demonstration is a major step forward in the upgrade of the national smart meter communications network.
Consumers with first-generation smart meters will see their smart capabilities restored once the meters are enrolled into the national smart meter communications network. Enrolment will happen automatically, without the consumer needing to take any action.
The upgrade to support enrolment, starting now, will be completed by the end of 2020 to ensure all devices stay smart when switching.
From 5 December, for most energy companies SMETS1 meters for credit consumers will no longer count towards their roll-out obligations. They are likely to intensify installation of second-generation (SMETS2) meters, which were designed to work on the DCC network.
There are now more than 160,000 SMETS2 meters installed onto the DCC network, with daily installation rates steadily rising.
Angus Flett, CEO of the Data Communications Company, welcomed the successful demonstration of SMETS1 interoperability:
“This confirmation represents a significant milestone in our work to migrate millions of SMETS1 meters onto the DCC’s secure network.
“Coupled with the rising numbers of second generation meters being installed each day, real momentum is building behind this major transformation of Britain’s energy system.”