Interview with Geoff Hatherick, Department for Energy and Climate Change, about the current state of implementation of the meters in the UK and forecasts concerning the competent authorities of the department.
In UK we start to talk about smart gas meter since long time, could you explain to us what are the most critical issue? The critical issues have stemmed from the complexity of the GB market, where there is not only competition in supply, but also in metering and metering services. It was, therefore, not possible to have a roll-out led by distribution networks, as in other countries. This meant that the Government had to set more detailed rules than elsewhere, and also to be more involved in the roll-out – it could not, for example, instruct a monopoly distribution network to develop and install meters. In particular, the Government has had to set rules to ensure interoperability of meter and data services. It has done this by working with industry and other parties to develop a common Technical Specification and to establish a central body – the Data and Communications Company – to provide communications services for the meters. One effect of the market complexity and the complexity of the approaches needed to deal with it has been that the roll-out will begin and end later than we had originally envisaged. The GB roll-out will also be in respect of both electricity and gas, rather than electricity only, as in some countries. A further complication has been the need to deliver the multiple benefits foreseen for the Programme, which rely on changes in customer behaviour, as well as activity by suppliers and networks. The Government has also had to set detailed rules about use of the Data and Communications Company. Rules governing interactions between suppliers and consumers have also been put in place. These include the establishment of an industry-led engagement body to assist in access to properties and to help ensure that benefits from smart metering are delivered and an Installation code of Practice governing supplier behavior.
How did you established data communication of meter in the network single or multi-utility?
The core technical specifications of the meter will be common across all suppliers. Communications to and from the meter will be the responsibility of a new licensed organization, the Data and Communications Company, which will provide services to all electricity and gas suppliers and to third parties.
In Italy we have addressed the problem of interoperability of smart meter (the possibility to communicate with any utility in case there is a change of management), as you have dealt it with the subject in the UK?
See above. The common technical specification and the use of a central data communications body will ensure interoperability. Changes of company ownership or management will not affect this.
How long and how technology designed to close the adjustment of mass meter?
The roll-out is designed to be finished by 31 December 2020.