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SECAS Newsletter March 2017

Sent on : March 31, 2017

    blue-bullet Designation of SEC 5.6 - 1st April 2017
    yellow-bullet Issues Resolution Process now in place

    green-bullet Approved SEC Panel Budget 2017 - 2020


Designation of SEC 5.6 – 1st April 2017

A new version of the SEC will come into effect on 1st April 2017, in line with the Authority’s (BEIS) approval of a Modification Proposal on 26th January 2017.

The Authority approved Modification Proposal SECMP0016 – Consideration of ‘’Maximum Credit Value’’ in credit cover calculation.

SECMP0016 sought to alter the SEC Credit Cover requirement calculation so that it takes into account the credit value specified by an independent credit assessor.

Parties are required to provide a Credit Cover Requirement (CCR), to the Data Communication Company (DCC) in the form of Credit Support. The Proposer highlighted that this Credit Support is working capital that could otherwise be invested elsewhere in the business.

The change alters how the CCR, (and thus Credit Support) is calculated, reducing the Credit Support held by the DCC from 72% of total Value At Risk of all SEC Parties to approximately 30%.  

Changes will be made to SEC Section A.1.1 and Sections J3.2 – J3.13. Once designated, SEC 5.6 will be available on the SECAS Website here.


Issues Resolution Process

Under the enduring governance regime, the Panel recognise that Parties may come across issues with the SEC requirements and provisions. Therefore, an Issues Resolution Process has been established to enable Parties to raise and track issues through to their resolution.

Using the Issues Form, available on the SEC Website, Parties can raise issues that fall under two broad categories:

  1. A matter that may require discussion and subsequent clarification of SEC requirements and provisions. The outcome may then require additional or updated guidance or a Modification Proposal to be raised; or
  2. Pre-modification: a matter that a party wishes to discuss prior to formally raising a Modification Proposal being prepared and submitted into the modification process.

Once an issue is raised, SECAS will provide Critical Friend support to determine the most appropriate route for progression. Input from Panel Sub-Committees may also be provided to determine whether resolution of the issues will require formal Modification Proposals. A swim lane Process Diagram for Issue Resolution has also been produced to provide an overview of the key steps for the consideration and progression of SEC Issues.

 All issues that are raised will be logged on the Issues Log. This log will provide details of the issues raised and their resolution following completion of the process. 


Approved SEC Panel Budget 2017 - 2020

In January 2017, the Panel consulted on its good-faith estimate of the Recoverable Costs that it anticipates will be incurred (or committed to) during 2017- 2020. This was accompanied by the detail of activities that are anticipated within 2017-2018.

Based on the feedback received from the consultation, the Panel agreed a number of amendments to the budget prior to publication. The Approved Budget is now available on the SEC Website here, and will be effective 1st April 2017.

On a monthly basis, the Board will monitor spend against the budget to ensure costs are economically and efficiently incurred.

SEC Governance

Designation of SEC 5.5

SEC version 5.5 came into effect on 15th March 2017, in line with decisions made by SEC Change Board at its meeting on the 22nd February 2017.

At that meeting, the Change Board approved a Modification Proposal, SECMP0026 - Changes to the Security Sub-Committee Nomination Process.

SECMP0026 sought to alter the Security Sub-Committee’s member nomination process in three areas:

  • Require that nominators must hold a relevant senior position within their organisation.
  • Grant the SSC authority to reject nominees if they lack the relevant security expertise.
  • Require the nominees to undergo security vetting.

Changes were made to SEC Section G: Security to implement this prospective change, thus there are no implications on existing Security Sub-Committee members.

Modification Updates

SEC Modification Proposal Update Following March 2017 Panel Meeting

The Panel considered three Initial Modification Reports (IMRs) at their March 2017 meeting:

Following consideration of SECMP0031 and SECMP0032, the Panel agreed to refer these  to BEIS for consideration on whether the transitional provisions in SEC Section X2.3 (d) should be applied. It was due to these modifications potentially impacting areas that were previously considered and consulted on as part of the concluded Smart Metering Implementation Programme (SMIP), and could potentially have major implications on the programme.

SEC Section X2.3(d) allows BEIS to direct the Panel to cancel or suspend any modification. If BEIS does not direct, the Panel will reconsider either or both Modification Proposals at the next possible SEC Panel meeting.

During the March 2017 meeting, the Panel also reviewed four Draft Modification Reports (DMRs):

The Panel agreed for SECMP0004, SECMP0008, SECMP0011, SECMP0021 and SECMP0033 to proceed to Modification Report Consultation. These were issued on Wednesday, 15th March  2017.

The next Modifications’ Question Hour will be held at 11 am on Tuesday 18th April 2017. Further information and the teleconference details can be found here.

SEC Panel

The SEC Panel held its latest meeting on 10th March 2017. The key topics discussed can be found in the Meeting Headlines here, with the more detailed discussions and outcomes available in the Final Minutes, here.

During the meeting, a number of key items were discussed, including:

  • The new DCC Managing Director, Angus Flett, highlighted that the ongoing focus on the DCC’s supply chain structure will improve the quality of service in handling the demands and will offer consistency to industry.  It was also highlighted that lessons learnt from Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification 1 (SMETS1) will be taken into consideration for SMETS2.
  • The Release 1.3 Governance Approach will include a potential extraordinary SEC Panel meeting via teleconference on 7th April 2017 to make a determination on System Integration Testing (SIT) Exit following the Testing Advisory Group (TAG) meetings on 30th & 31st March 2017. It was highlighted that the SIT Auditor will attend the TAG meeting on 12th April 2017 to provide recommendation on the entry criteria, with the End-To-End (E2E) is expected to be available for 6th April 2017.

The next Panel meeting will be held on 21st April 2017. 

Security Sub-Committee

 The SSC continue to split their time between two streams of core work:

  • Review SEC Party Full User Security Assessments as each SEC Party goes through the User Security Assessment Process; and
  • Discharge their obligations under the SEC and ensure that the End-to-End Security Requirements remain fit-for-purpose.

The SSC were presented with several Security Assessments and updated action plans in March 2017 meaning recommendations of an Assurance Status will be provided to the SEC Panel in the April 2017 meeting. Over the coming year, the SSC will play a pivotal role in ensuring that all SEC Parties subject to the DCC User Mandate are reviewed as part of their wider User Entry Process Requirements.

In terms of wider SSC work, the Sub-Committee has looked at wider security-related matters, such as considering and discussing security risks that could potentially compromise Type 2 Devices. Further analysis will be made and considered by the SSC in the coming months. 


Technical Architecture and Business Architecture Sub-Committee (TABASC) 

The TABASC are continuing to focus on several key areas, including the development of the Business Architecture Document (BAD). Content of the document is being provided to the TABASC in four stages for review, and the third drop of content for the BAD is now out for review with the TABASC.

 The final drop of content for the BAD will be provided in June 2017 where a final End-to-End review will be completed. If you wish to be involved in the BAD review, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk for further details. 



The TABASC have agreed an approach to undertake their obligations in respect of reviewing the effectiveness of the End-to-End Technical Architecture, the Business Architecture and the Home Area Network (HAN) Requirements. This review will be undertaken in stages, with the initial stage being a questionnaire sent to all Users in order to identify areas where a deeper, more detailed review will be required. The initial survey will be undertaken in September 2017.

The next TABASC meeting is scheduled for 20th April 2017.


SMKI Policy Management Authority (SMKI PMA) Update

In addition to the monthly scheduled meeting, the SMKI PMA also met in March 2017 to discuss extraordinary items of business, including:

• 8th March 2017 – the BEIS Transitional Variation (TV) to SMKI-related functionality, which was issued within the BEIS consultation letter on 10th March 2017.

The SMKI PMA discussed the current SMKI  Repository, and the potential issues associated with how SMKI Participants / DCC Users store and file their SMKI-related Certificates. 

In addition, they covered the SMKI and Repository Testing (SRT) Approach Document, which is due to be updated by the DCC in light of new SMKI-related functionality (specifically, Recovery Environment functionality).

• 14th – 15th March 2017 – a two-day SMKI Recovery Workshop discussing the associated processes and procedures of what will be required in the instance that a Recovery Event is instigated by a DCC User and/or SEC Party.

The next SMKI PMA meeting is scheduled for 18th April 2017.



New Guidance – Estimated Timeline for Becoming a DCC User

To facilitate Small Suppliers meeting their DCC User Mandate of 25th November 2017, SECAS with contribution from the DCC, has put together an Estimated Timeline for becoming a DCC User.
The timeline includes time frames for each of the individual steps when undertaking the User Entry Process. If you require more information or clarification regarding the DCC User Mandate please contact the SECAS Helpdesk where the Party Support Analyst team will be on hand for support.

If you would like specific new guidance, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.


Consultation on SEC Variations to Enable DCC Release 1.3 Testing and Live Service

On March 10th 2017, BEIS issued a consultation on removal, activation and introduction of certain SEC transitional variations. They include the following:

  • Removing a transitional variation to the Common Test Scenarios Document (CTSD) on 6th April 2017;
  • Removing several currently active variations when R1.3 is available in the live environment on 12th May 2017;
  • Activating a dormant part of a current transitional variation relating to the Self Service Interface (SSI) on 12th May 2017; and
  • Introducing a new transitional variation relating to the SMKI Recovery procedure on 12th May 2017.

For more detail on the transitional variations please visit the original consultation here. The deadline for responses is 31st March 2017


Smart Energy GB Annual Reports and Accounts

A foreword from the chair Mark Lund; “Smart Energy GB is the national public engagement campaign supporting the most significant upgrade to our country’s energy infrastructure in a generation. It is our task to engage every household and microbusiness across Great Britain, and ensure that they understand what smart meters are, how they are being rolled out, are enthusiastic about getting a smart meter fitted in their home or business and use their new smart meters to take better control of their energy use.”

Their Annual Reports and Accounts are now available to read here.

SECAS Activities

SEC Parties and Accessions

The table below shows the current status of SEC Parties.
 Current SEC Parties 218
 Accession of new Parties to the SEC since last Newsletter                                          3
 Parties withdrawing from the SEC     0
 Expulsion of Parties from the SEC    0
 Changes to SEC Panel Member employment status     0

A list of SEC Parties can be accessed on the SEC Website via the link provided.

Upcoming SEC Calendar Dates

The following meetings coming up over the next month are accessible via the Meeting Calendar on the SECAS Website

 Date (2017)Meetings and Events
7th April Ex-Comm Panel Meeting
12th April TAG Session 29
12th April SSC Meeting 28
18th April SMKI PMA Meeting 34
19th April  SEC Change Board 11
20th April TABASC Meeting 17
21st April SEC Panel Meeting 34

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