SEC Newsletter 12 August 2021

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the SEC Newsletter.

In this edition you will learn about upcoming webinars held by SECAS and the DCC, plus how to submit your SEC Panel representative nominations to have a direct influence on the SEC. Read on to also learn about the new Draft Proposals and Modification Consultations which you are invited to provide feedback on. We hope you enjoy this edition.

 

Know someone who could influence the SEC Panel and Parties? SEC Panel nominations are open now!

There is still time to submit your SEC Panel nominations, before 5pm on 19 August 2021. To do so, please use the online form here, once you have logged in. Self-nominations are permitted. Nominees don’t have to be a SEC Party, however they must be nominated by a SEC Party. For further information, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.

 

Security Sub-Committee Election Update

Nominations for upcoming vacancies within the Security Sub-Committee (SSC) have been received and we are happy to welcome our returning Large Supplier and Small Supplier Representatives.

Several nominations were received for the Other User seat; therefore, voting is underway for Other Users to select their preferred candidate. Voting is open for Other Users only until 5pm on 16 August 2021. Those eligible to vote can do so by contacting the SSC Helpdesk.

 

The Electricity Networks seat remains vacant. SEC Parties are invited to nominate themselves or someone you know for the Electricity Networks seat by completing the nomination form here. If you have any questions, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.

 

Topic-focused webinars to build your SEC knowledge

SEC Parties are invited to join our short topic-focused webinars to keep you informed about key SEC updates. If you can’t join the live webinars, you can still access the webinar videos and presentation slides on our webinars page.

 

  • Alternative Home Area Network – What Suppliers Need to Know: 28 September 2021 at 11am. The Alternative Home Area Network Company (Alt HAN Co) Managing Director, Paul Cooper, will explain the delivery approach, summarise progress made during 2021, the journey to being an Alt HAN user and why Suppliers should get on board with Alt HAN. You’ll also have an opportunity to put your questions to the Alt HAN Team. To register, please click here.

 

The DCC also has two upcoming webinars around its engagement regarding the Network Evolution Communications Hub Transition Approach:

  • 9 September 2021: All DCC Customers are invited to take part in this workshop to provide your input and have your say on the scope and timelines for the Communications Hub Transition Approach for the Communications Hub and Networks programme being developed by the DCC. The workshop will look at the following:
    1. Background and scope
    2. Transition milestones and Programme milestone dependencies
    3. High level forecasting and ordering transition options
    4. Next steps

 

  • 20 September 2021: Following the consultation on the delivery plan for the Network Evolution Data Service Provider (DSP) Programme, which is due to be published on 10 September 2021, the DCC invites you to join this supporting webinar. The webinar is intended to ensure that you understand the plan and provide an opportunity to ask any questions about the Consultation ahead of your response.

To register for either of the above DCC webinars, please email customerengagement@smartdcc.co.uk.

 

Would you like to join the SECAS Team?

We are currently recruiting for the following two positions:

  • SEC Technical Operations Consultant – Do you have a background in Smart Metering, the ability to work with multiple stakeholders and can successfully identify & address client requirements? To find out more about this role and how to apply, please click here.

 

  • SEC Senior Governance Administrator – Can you coordinate multiple meetings, manage their minutes, prepare meeting papers and maintain strong client relationships? To find out more about this role and how to apply, please click here.

 

Read the July 2021 CACoP Newsletter

The July 2021 CACoP Newsletter is available on the SECAS website here. This edition contains updates about the new Working Group Code of Conduct document. You can also find out about the Energy Code Review, the launch date for the central CACoP website, and details of future CACoP Forum meetings. If you have any questions, please contact the CACoP Team.

 

Invitation to join the next DCC Quarterly Finance Forum

All DCC customers are welcome to join the DCC’s online Quarterly Finance Forum which takes place over two days on 21 September 13.00 – 15.00 and 22 September 10.30 – 12.30. Attendees are encouraged to join both days. You will hear about the DCC’s key spending decisions, and a thorough update of programmes in advance of the DCC’s charging statement, which is due to be issued on 7 October 2021.

The DCC has evolved these sessions to incorporate new projects and emerging areas of spending. You will be encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback. The DCC Programme Directors and Chief Officers will be available to you throughout the meeting.

Please register by emailing customerengagement@smartdcc.co.uk.

 

New Draft Proposals

One new Draft Proposal has been raised since the last newsletter. You are invited to provide feedback to the Change Team to help us understand whether the issue affects your Party.

 

DP178 ‘Removing DSP validation against the SMI join status for SR8.8.x’

 

Download the request for information here

 

The on-site Device Installation and Commission (I&C) process fails when the Data Service Provider (DSP) does not receive successful messages for joins of Service Reference Variants (SRVs) 8.7.x. This prevents the Service User from being able to send an ‘Unjoin’ command. This is because the business validation on the SRV commands 8.8.1 ‘Unjoin Service (Critical)’ or 8.8.2 ‘Unjoin Service (Non-Critical)’, check that a Device is joined to the Smart Metering Inventory (SMI) to allow it to be un-joined. This results in Devices failing the I&C process which must then be fixed by manually updating the SMI database at a cost of £2,000 per correction.

 

Modification Report Consultations closing next week

Two Modification Report Consultations will close on 16 August 2021. SEC Parties are invited to share your comments before the Modification Proposals are taken to the next Change Board meeting, when a final decision will be made. For more information, and to respond to any of these consultations, download the relevant consultation pack linked below and send your response to the Change Team.

 

SECMP0024 ‘Enduring Approach to Communication Hub Firmware Management’

 

Download the consultation here

 

The Proposer advises that nothing is in place to automatically notify Suppliers once firmware updates have been activated on Communications Hubs (CHs). The Proposer also considers there to be a need for a formalised process to manage firmware updates to CHs between the DCC and Suppliers. The Proposed Solution seeks to implement a new DCC Alert that will be sent to Suppliers upon firmware being activated on Communications Hubs. This Alert will contain the Communications Hub firmware version.

 

 

MP104 ‘Security Improvements’

 

Download the consultation here

 

DCC Users are required to Digitally sign XML format Service Requests and sign Pre-Commands with a User Role Signing Private Key. That Key must be a separate dedicated Key that must not be used for communication with Devices. The Security Sub-Committee (SSC) is concerned that Keys could be used incorrectly. However, without the means to validate the use of separate Keys, there is no way to monitor if or how frequently this occurs, and no way to advise Users to enable them to ensure they are compliant with the SEC.

The solution is to implement a DCC validation check to identify if this is occurring and, if necessary, work with DCC Users to ensure compliance.

 

New Refinement Consultation

There is one Modification Proposal undergoing Refinement Consultation which is due to close on 3 September 2021. As a SEC Party, you can help influence the Proposed Solution, help determine the business case for the change, and comment on how the proposal will affect your organisation. For more information and to respond the consultation, download the consultation pack linked below and send your response to the Change Team.

 

MP122B ‘Operational Metrics – Part 2’

 

Download the consultation here

 

A need to improve transparency and relevance of measures contained within the DCC Performance Measurement Report (PMR) has been identified. In its monthly review of the PMR, the Operations Group has found it increasingly difficult to report to the SEC Panel on the issues within the report.

As a result of the issues encountered, the Operational Metrics Review (OMR) was undertaken to better understand the PMR measures, consider amendments and recommendations of new performance indicators. Through workshops and User surveys, Users want to see reporting that reflects the business processes that the DCC supports.

 

Technical Specifications for the November 2021 SEC Release

You can now find drafts for each of the Technical Specifications to be implemented in the November 2021 SEC Release published on the release webpage here. The draft Specifications include mark-up to text, commentary identifying which Modification implemented the change and, where applicable, which Issue Resolution Proposal (IRP) the changes came from.

 

These documents currently reflect the approval of SECMP0007, MP090, MP105, MP150, MP158 and the anticipated approval of DP164. If you have any questions, please contact the Change Team.

 

Open Industry Consultations Webpage

Please visit our Open Industry Consultations webpage for details of consultations that may be of interest to SEC Parties. If you are aware of a consultation that should be added, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.

 

For other publications that may be of interest to you, please view the Operations Report in the August 2021 WHITE SEC Panel Meeting 95 Documentation. SEC Parties can also view the Transitional Governance Update (TGU) Paper in the August 2021 GREEN SEC Panel Meeting 95 Documentation.

 

SECAS Helpdesk

Please contact the SECAS Helpdesk with any questions and a member of the team will be happy to help. Helpdesk hours are Monday to Friday 9 – 5 pm (excluding bank holidays).

 

Date                      Meeting, Event or Deadline  
13 August  SEC Panel Meeting 95 
18 August  Small Suppliers Engagement Call 
23 August  Operations Group Meeting 55 
25 August  Testing Advisory Group Meeting 82 
25 August  Security Sub-Committee Meeting 130 
25 August  Change Board Meeting 57 
1 September  Monthly Working Group Meeting – September 2021 
2 September  Technical Architecture and Business Architecture Sub-Committee Meeting 69 
7 September  Operations Group Meeting 56 
8 September  Smart Metering Key Infrastructure Policy Management Authority Meeting 85 
8 September  Security Sub-Committee Meeting 131 
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