DECC - Smart Metering Programme Foundation Smart Market - Executive Summary
The Government Response to the Consultation on the Foundation Smart Market and Further Consultation
Purpose of this document
The Foundation Smart Market consultation of November 2012 considered issues relating to change of supplier for customers with SMETS compliant smart meters during the Foundation Stage (Smart Change of Supplier), and the enrolment and adoption of Foundation Stage (‘Foundation’) smart metering systems and communications into the DCC service. It sought views on options and proposals to address these issues, including potential new regulation.
This document:
  • summarises the consultation responses;
  • sets out the Government’s conclusions on the three Smart Change Of Supplier licence conditions that were consulted upon;
  • consults on the legal drafting for these three licence conditions;
  • proposes and consults on a fourth licence condition to support Smart Change of Supplier;
  • sets out criteria and a number of conclusions in relation to the enrolment and adoption of Foundation metering systems and communications by the DCC; and
  • consults on some further options in relation to cost recovery associated with enrolment and adoption.
Smart Change of Supplier
The Government has concluded that it will introduce three new Supply Licence conditions to support Smart Change of Supplier:
  • following a change of supplier, the losing supplier of a consumer with a SMETS compliant smart metering system will be required to:
    • provide the gaining supplier with the details of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) for the relevant smart metering equipment; and
    • provide the MAP with the identity of the gaining supplier.
  • where a gaining supplier acquires a SMETS compliant smart metering system on change of supplier, it will be required to agree rental terms with the relevant MAP, within one or six months (depending on whether it has existing commercial arrangements with the MAP) or return the smart metering equipment to the MAP, within one month thereafter; and
  • a supplier will be required to take all reasonable steps to install a SMETS-compliant smart metering system when it replaces a SMETS- compliant smart metering system following change of supplier.
The Government has given further consideration to how a positive consumer experience upon change of supplier could be further supported. This document therefore consults on a potential fourth licence condition. This would require suppliers to continue to carry out remote meter reads when gaining a SMETS compliant metering system.
Enrolment and Adoption
The Government believes there are important and common benefits from the DCC being able to enrol and adopt SMETS 1 equipment, including in particular more reliably efficient and effective switching of customers with such meters. It should also reduce the risk of assets being replaced before the end of their operating lives.
The Government therefore believes an important task for the DCC, its service providers, and energy suppliers will be to establish a project to develop systems under which the DCC will operate SMETS 1 meters on behalf of suppliers.
The Government has concluded that this work should be carried forward according to a number of key principles:
  • that all significant populations of SMETS1 meters should be supported;
  • that the first generation of enrolment should be undertaken as a single exercise to minimise costs; and
  • that the costs of the system development should be spread across all users in the same manner as the development cost of the main DCC systems.
This Response document sets out the enrolment criteria which will be included within regulation and which, if met, should ensure that meters would be technically capable of enrolment into the DCC service.
The Government will continue to work with industry to define the timing and requirements for the initial systems projects to support enrolment of Foundation meters.
The Government is consulting further on proposals for recovery of on-going communications costs for Foundation meters.
Effect of Proposals
The combined package of measures confirmed and/or being consulted upon in this document is designed to:
  • facilitate the enrolment of SMETS1 metering systems installed during the Foundation Stage into the DCC;
  • provide further clarity to suppliers on the process they will need to follow to achieve timely enrolment of any meters that they have installed during the Foundation Stage. It is expected that, subject to suppliers and the DCC complying with the requirements of this process, enrolment could be achieved before or shortly after the DCC commences services;
  • increase the confidence of suppliers installing SMETS-compliant metering systems and parties funding such investments during Foundation; and
  • help ensure that consumers with smart meters that choose to switch supplier during Foundation will continue to have a positive experience and receive the benefits of smart metering.
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