SEC Newsletter 17 December 2021

Welcome to the last edition of the SEC Newsletter of 2021! We would like to thank you for your continued support and hope you have enjoyed the editions produced so far.

 

In this edition you are invited to respond to the SEC Panel Draft Budget 2022-2025 consultation, learn more about the details of the Electronic General Meeting and the current Change Board elections. You will also find out about approved Modification Proposals, new Draft Proposals and Modification Consultations on which you are invited to provide feedback and many more important topics.

 

We always like to hear from you, and we welcome feedback on this edition as well as any topics you would like covered in future editions. Feel free to contact us via secas@gemserv.com.

 

We hope you enjoy the festive season, and we look forward to bringing you more information in the New year. Hope you enjoy the read, and as Christmas is upon us remember “Christmas gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us.” Take care and be safe.

 

Respond to the SEC Panel Draft Budget Consultation

SEC Parties are invited to respond to the SEC Panel Draft Budget 2022-2025 consultation by 5pm on 28 January 2022, available here. It is simple to provide your feedback, simply include it in an email to secas@gemserv.com, and highlight if you would prefer any of your feedback to be marked as confidential/anonymous. Feedback will be considered by the Panel, and any modifications to the Draft Budget discussed at its February 2022 meeting.

 

Change Board Elections are now Open

Would you like to be involved in making the final decisions on proposed modifications to the SEC? The 2021 Change Board elections are now open and the following seats are up for nomination:

  • 1 member from each Large Supplier voting group with one vote each (13 individuals)
  • 3 Small Suppliers
  • 3 Network Parties
  • 3 Other SEC Parties
  • 1 Consumer Representative

You are invited to make a nomination for your Party Category using the online form here by Monday 20 December 2021. You will need to be logged in to access the form.

 

Nominee Requirements

Voting Members will be appointed via a vote among Parties in the corresponding Party Category. They will serve a one-year term starting in February 2022 and may stand for re-election at the end of this period.

 

Voting

In the event that there are more nominations than there are available seats in a particular Party Category, a vote will occur. Each Voting Group within a Party Category up for election is entitled to cast one vote for their preferred nominee. Once the nomination window has closed, eligible candidates will be advised if a vote is going ahead, and voting forms will be distributed to the relevant Voting Groups. If required, voting will go live on Tuesday 4 January 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.

 

Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) Interactions: What to do

SEC Parties can now access the updated Interactions during the SoLR Process document here once they have logged in. This document outlines the various interactions of those involved in the SoLR Process from a Smart Metering view to help clarify responsibilities. SEC Parties can also download our SoLR Checklist and Guidance Notes here which provide useful information on the steps that need to be completed.

If you have any questions on these documents, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.

 

Did you know about the following SEC website features?

We have a wide variety of features and forms on the SEC website to help you. Please find more information below:

 

Electronic General Meeting

Shareholders have been advised that an electronic General Meeting of Smart Energy Code Company (SECCo) Ltd will be held on Monday 20 December 2021 at 1pm.

 

This meeting will facilitate a vote on the change of SECCo Auditor. The current auditor recently advised SECCo that it no longer wishes to continue as the auditor for SECCo for commercial reasons, and the SECCo Board subsequently requested the SECAS Finance Team to obtain quotes from alternative audit firms. Another auditor has been proposed as a reputable, competitively priced and appropriately sized firm to act as SECCo Auditor, and details have been circulated to Shareholders for voting.

 

Voting has now closed and the outcome of the vote will be made available to Shareholders as soon as possible, following the electronic General Meeting on 20 December 2021. If you have any questions, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.

 

Current vacancies

Want to join the SECAS Team? Please find the two available positions below:

  • Smart Energy Operations Analyst – Are you looking for a role which allows you to develop your stakeholder management, organisational and analytical skills whilst building your technical knowledge in the Smart Energy sector?

 

  • SECAS Senior Governance Administrator – Are you looking for a role which allows you to further develop your Governance and writing skills, whilst developing detailed knowledge in the Smart Energy sector?

 

If you have any questions, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.

 

New Draft Proposals

Seven new Draft Proposals have been raised since the last newsletter. You are invited to provide feedback to the Change Team to help us understand whether this affects you.

 

DP189 ‘Party Obligations for Communications Hub Orders’

 

 

 

Currently the minimum delivery quantity for Comms Hubs is either 640 or 896 depending on the variant and region. Requiring a minimum order quantity of this volume confers a disadvantage to Small Suppliers whose business strategy is not suited to a ‘high volume, low margin’ model. Requiring Parties to order in higher quantities than their planned deployment subjects those Parties to costs for storage of the Devices and rental of the SIM cards, despite the Devices not being in use.

 

 

DP190 ‘Standard Event and Alert Screens on SMETS2 Meters’

 

There is currently no common industry process for displaying recorded faults on Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification (SMETS)2 Meters, despite there being a common set of Great Britain Companion Specification (GBCS) Event and Alert Codes. Without a clear record of faults on SMETS2 Meters, there is a risk that faulty Meters which have been returned to the Device Manufacturers will be reset and redeployed to the field, to be installed at Premises without the underlying fault being resolved.

 

 

DP192 ‘Extend Scheduled Services for SMETS1 Devices’

 

Service Request Variants (SRV) 4.3 ‘Read Instantaneous Prepay Values’ and SRV 4.4.3 ‘Retrieve Billing Calendar Triggered Billing Data Log’, can only be requested on an ‘On-Demand’ service basis or as a ‘Future Dated’ service. Eligible Users must send one of these SRVs to the DCC each time the associated data is required. These SRVs are not currently eligible for Scheduled Services so Users cannot use SRV 5.1 ‘Create Schedule’ to schedule these on a repeating frequency.

 

 

MP193 ‘Incorporation of Category 3 Issue Resolution Proposals into the SEC – Batch 6’

 

MP194 ‘Incorporation of Category 2 Issue Resolution Proposals into the SEC – Batch 7’

 

BEIS currently has responsibility for receiving and responding to issues raised internally, by the DCC, and by other interested Parties with regards to the SEC Technical Specifications.

The Technical Specification Issue Resolution Sub-group (TSIRS) discusses these issues and determines all solutions. They have requested these to be progressed as a Modification Proposal for implementation into the SEC.

These Issue Resolution Proposals (IRPs) are split into categories depending on their impact. Category 3 IRPs have no impact on the DCC systems, whereas Category 2 IRPs do not impact the DCC system, but will require DCC Service Provider testing.

 

 

DP195 ‘Security Sub-Committee guidance on Device Assurance’

 

The Security Sub-Committee (SSC) has produced and published guidance to support Device triage and refurbishment. This is still appropriate for Use Cases 001 (Home Area Network (HAN) Reset via a Port), 002 (Identifying Installed Smart Metering Key Infrastructure (SMKI) Certs) and 003 (HAN Reset via the Device User Interface) but is being updated for Use Case 004 (Factory Reset). However, without being referenced in the SEC, the guidance lacks status and does not provide SEC Parties with the certainty they require.

 

 

DP196 ‘Further IVP Extension for pre-SMETS2 v4.2 Devices’

 

The number of installations has dramatically reduced due to concerns and regulations around COVID-19. Although the Installation Validity Period (IVP) end-date was previously extended under MP148 ‘IVP Extension for pre-SMETS2 v4.2 Devices’, these issues have continued throughout 2021. The Proposed Solution is to extend the IVP end-date for any pre-SMETS2 v4.2 Devices for a further 12 months to 27 April 2023.

 

Refinement Consultations

There are currently four Modification Proposals undergoing Refinement Consultation. 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.

 

 

MP159 ‘Credit Cover Review’

 

Download the consultation here.

 

Closing Date:

21 December 2021

 

 

The DCC and the SEC Panel have reviewed SEC Section J3 ‘Credit Cover’ and have identified several areas that would benefit from further clarification. There has been some misinterpretation of the current SEC legal text which has led to increased risk of cost socialisation.

The Proposed Solution addresses the identified inefficiencies within the current process and rewrites certain clauses in Plain English to mitigate the risk of misinterpretation.

 

 

MP143 ‘Incorporating IRPs into GBCS v3 series’

 

Download the consultation here.

 

Closing Date:

4 January 2022

 

 

During the development of MP098, there was no material benefit to implement the 20 IRPs into the GBCS version 3.x series, only the GBCS v4.x series.

The Proposed Solution was originally to incorporate these 20 IRPs into the GBCS v3.x series. However, following feedback from TSIRS and Device Manufacturers, this has now been amended to implement only 5 IRPs that are required to remain compliant with the Commercial Product Assurance (CPA) scheme.

 

 

MP170 ‘Firmware updates to Point to Point Alt HAN Devices’

 

Download the consultation here.

 

Closing Date:

4 January 2022

 

 

Alternative Home Area Network (Alt HAN) Devices are being developed to address situations where one, or both, of the gas meter or In Home Display (IHD) are out of range. Currently there is no provision in the SEC for Over-The-Air (OTA) firmware updates to these Devices.

The Proposed Solution will re-use the OTA functionality that was developed as part of SECMP0007. To do this, the Device will join the HAN as if it were a Prepayment Meter Interface Device (PPMID). Service Users will be able to differentiate between a genuine PPMID and an Alt HAN P2P Device but the Comms Hub will not.

 

 

MP096 ‘DNO Power Outage Alerts’

 

Download the consultation here.

 

Closing Date:

7 January 2022

 

 

The DCC is obliged to provide Power Outage Alerts (POAs) to Industry within 60 seconds when a power outage has lasted more than three minutes. Once power has been restored, a Power Restoration Alert (PRA) is sent to the DNO, also within 60 seconds. The DCC does not currently meet this performance and is not able to without significant costs.

The DCC has proposed a solution where it will carry out testing to demonstrate current baseline performance. The DCC will measure the performance over an extended period, compared to the measurement taken at a specific point in time during the Technical Study. The SEC would then be amended to match this minimum baseline performance for speed of Alerts and success rate for POAs and PRAs.

 

Modification Report Consultation

There are currently five open Modification Report Consultations. You are invited to provide feedback to the Change Team to help us understand your views on whether the modification should be approved.

 

 

MP188 ‘Temporary Communications Hub Ordering and Delivery Rules extension’

 

Download the consultation here.

 

Closing Date:

17 December 2021

 

 

The DCC considers that an extension to the validity period of the Temporary Communications Hub Ordering and Delivery Rules (TCHODR) should be granted, so that requirements on 2022 orders can be amended and Comms Hub volumes secured. This document is currently set to expire as of 1 January 2022. The DCC also proposes that there is no end-date on the TCHODR itself; instead, any requirements set out will include a specific end date agreed by the Panel following consultation.

The DCC are currently consulting on the rules that will be contained within the document. Once the consultation closes, the DCC will present the responses to the SEC Panel for sign off, as per the process set out in SEC Section F5.1A.

 

 

MP191 ‘Extending CHTS v1.0 & v1.1 IVP and MVP end dates’

 

Download the consultation here.

 

Closing Date:

7 January 2022

 

 

The current Maintenance Validity Period (MVP) end date for CHTS versions 1.0 & 1.1 and GBCS versions 1.1 & 2.1 means there is a risk that there will a period where Communications Hubs will be non-compliant with a version of Communications Hub Technical Specification (CHTS)/GBCS with valid maintenance end dates. The proposal is to extend the MVP dates by 12 months.

 

 

MP109 ‘ADT and Exit Quarantine file delivery mechanism’

 

Download the consultation here.

 

Closing Date:

7 January 2022

 

 

The SEC requires that Anomaly Detection Threshold (ADT) files and Exit Quarantine files are provided to the DCC by email. The DCC believes that it would be a more secure process to provide this information via SharePoint. It is believed that email transfer is insecure and poses potential security risks as it lacks end to end encryption and is potentially susceptible to security breaches through either deliberate malicious activity or erroneous activity.

 

 

MP116 ‘Service Request Forecasting’

 

Download the consultation here.

 

Closing Date:

7 January 2022

 

 

Each quarter, DCC Users must submit an eight-month forecast of the number of Service Requests that the User anticipates sending. The DCC has raised concern that the accuracy of the forecasts needs to improve to produce data that will improve the management of demand on the DCC User Interface Services.

The Proposed Solution will remove the obligation for DCC Users to have to provide these forecasts allowing the DCC to produce its own forecasts internally. The DCC requests that Users provide input into the forecasting process, though there is no obligation to do so. The DCC has agreed that it will be responsible for the final sign-off for each forecast.

 

 

MP173 ‘SMKI & DCCKI Document Set reviews’

 

Download the consultation here.

 

Closing Date:

7 January 2022

 

The SMKI Policy Management Authority (PMA) has carried out a review of the SMKI and DCC Key Infrastructure (DCCKI) Document Sets and has identified housekeeping changes and general improvements that need to be made.

The Proposed Solution is to implement the changes identified from the SMKI and DCCKI Document Set review. These changes have been identified by the SMKI Specialist and reviewed and recommended by the SMKI PMA Working Group.

 

 

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 December 2021 WHITE SEC Panel Meeting 99 Documentation. SEC Parties can also view the Transitional Governance Update (TGU) Paper in the December 2021 GREEN SEC Panel Meeting 99 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-Friday 9-5pm (excluding bank holidays).

 

Date                          Meeting or Event
17 December SEC Panel Meeting 99
21 December Change Sub-Committee Meeting 34
4 January Operations Group Meeting 63
5 January Monthly Working Group Meeting – January 2022
6 January Technical Architecture and Business Architecture Sub-Committee Meeting 73
12 January Smart Metering Key Infrastructure Policy Management Authority Meeting 89
12 January Security Sub-Committee Meeting 138
14 January SEC Panel Meeting 100
18 January Change Sub-Committee Meeting 35