What are IRPs
Any Party that identifies an issue relating to one of the ‘Great Britain Companion Specification’ (GBCS), ‘Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications’ (SMETS) or ‘Communications Hub Technical Specifications’ (CHTS)) should raise this with Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). That issue is then triaged and where it is decided that the Technical Specifications require a change to fix that issue, an Issue Resolution Proposal (IRP) will be developed.
IRPs are discussed at the Technical Specification Issue Resolution Sub-Group (TSIRS) which is made up of members from a wide variety of stakeholders within the Energy industry, and currently governed by DESNZ. Once TSIRS has agreed the solutions, IRPs are passed to the Smart Energy Code Administrator and Secretariat (SECAS) to incorporate into the SEC via the Modification Process. For further details on the SEC Modification Process, please refer to the ‘End-to-End Process’ document.
IRPs broadly fit into three categories:
- Category 1 – Data Communications Company (DCC) System impacting IRPs;
- Category 2 – Non-DCC System impacting IRPs but require testing by DCC Service Providers; or
- Category 3 – Non-DCC System impacting IRPs that affect the Technical Specification documents only.
Whilst the IRPs are discussed with the DCC and DCC Service Providers, the detailed technical solution and costs are not covered at this point. The Modification Process requires the DCC to complete a Preliminary Assessment (PA) and an Impact Assessment (IA) for each change to the DCC Systems. These Impact Assessments provide the DCC costs to deliver the changes. This information is presented to the Technical Architecture and Business Architecture Sub-Committee (TABASC), the Working Group, and other Sub-Committees that may be affected by the specific IRPs for further feedback.
SEC Parties are also consulted as part of the Refinement Process to identify costs to their organisation for implementing the change, as well as benefits that SEC Parties believe will be delivered by the change.
SEC Parties are consulted further during the Report Phase to gain views on whether the change should be implemented, considering the implementation costs and business case. These views are combined with the business case information within the Modification Report and are considered by the Change Board when deciding whether to implement the solution or not.
The diagram below shows the timetable for the IRPs to be batched together and raised as part of a SEC modification. This is contingent on delivery being scheduled for a November SEC Release.