Recent announcements from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Ofgem have convinced companies there is industry-wide benefit in having technology standards to hasten the adoption of Smart Meter technologies in the UK.
The initiative enables energy suppliers to access a variety of smart meters and in-home displays that comply with the Supplier’s Requirements for Smart Metering (SRSM) specification.
The three smart meter companies plan to develop interchangeable and interoperable command sets to support smart Home Area Networks (HAN’s) based on Zigbee’s Smart Energy Profile (SEP) and Wide Area Networks (WAN’s) based on DLMS protocols. This means smart products from the three participating companies can be installed as part of any given household’s smart system. Outside the collaboration, the companies will remain competitive in all other aspects of meter production, including cost of supply, capability, reliability and durability.
Standards will benefit UK consumers by increasing competition in the supply of meter systems which is expected to hasten the adoption of smart meters as well as reduce the cost of the roll-out.
The project will happen in stages. The goal for the first four milestones is: head end system (HES) interchangeability by Oct 2010; base level SEP interoperability by Feb 2011; base level DLMS interoperability by May 2011; and prepayment interoperability by Sep 2011.
Frank Hyldmar of Elster says, “Smart Metering in the UK is a huge technical and logistical project. Interim solutions jointly developed by industry leaders can only ease the transition to open standards and enable an earlier adoption of Smart Metering solutions.”
John Stretch from Landis + Gyr agrees. “The UK’s model for smart energy is amongst the most advanced in the world. UK consumers will benefit significantly from accelerated adoption of open standards and a collaborative approach to mass roll-out.”
Secure’s Babu Babel adds, “We are fully supportive of this initiative and believe it will provide the market with workable solutions far more quickly than current processes and provide a bridge to an enduring interoperable market.”