SEC Newsletter 17 March 2021

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

This edition is jampacked with updates for you to enjoy, including how you can watch our recent Introduction to the SEC webinar, how you could represent your Party category by joining a Sub-Committee, and much more. We hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter.

 

Watch the Introduction to the SEC – ‘back to basics’ webinar

Thank you to those who attended our ‘Introduction to the SEC – back to basics’ webinar on 11 March 2021. Over 60 attendees joined to learn about the SEC and what it means to be a SEC Party, with presentations from SECAS, the DCC, BEIS and Ofgem. Thank you to all of the attendees who provided feedback. It was fantastic to learn that the webinar had met your expectations.

SEC Parties can watch the short webinar presentations and view the slides here. If you have any questions, or suggested topics for future webinars, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.

 

View the SEC Panel Approved Budget 2021-2024

You can now view the Approved Budget for the Regulatory Years 2021-2024 on the SEC website here. In January each year, the Panel is required to set out a draft budget for the following three Regulatory Years. Following consultation with Parties and Panel approval, the Approved Budget is published on the SEC Website. The Approved Budget for 2021-2024 will become effective on 1 April 2021.

 

Help SECAS Listen, Learn and Improve

SEC Parties are encouraged to provide feedback, or raise concerns or issues about your experience with SECAS services, by contacting the SECAS Helpdesk. Your valuable insight will help us to continually listen, learn and improve.

 

Represent your Party type by joining one of our Sub-Committees

Would you like to have a direct say on industry matters and steer the future of Smart Energy? You can play an integral role in doing just that, by joining either the Smart Metering Key Infrastructure Policy Management Authority (SMKI PMA) or the SEC Change Sub-Committee (CSC) who have a number of vacancies:

 

SMKI PMA

  • Opportunity for you to play a vital role in managing the policy surrounding the Smart Meter Key Infrastructure of the Smart Metering industry.
  • The SMKI PMA meets monthly and governs the SMKI Document Set. It aims to gain assurance of the DCC’s operation of SMKI Services.
  • Seats are available for a Large Supplier, Small Supplier or Electricity Network to join in May 2021 which marks the end of term for several Members.
  • Please submit your SMKI PMA Nomination Form (Annex B) to the SECAS Helpdesk by close on 24 March 2021.

 

Change Sub-Committee

  • Opportunity for you to influence changes to the SEC and the wider industry.
  • The CSC meets monthly to review new Draft Proposals and help ensure all issues identified are clear or whether further work is required.
  • Seats are available for Large and Small Suppliers, Electricity and Gas Networks, Other SEC Parties and a Consumer Member to join in April 2021, which marks the end of term for several Members.
  • Please submit your CSC nomination form to the SEC Change Team by close on 24 March 2021.

 

Security Controls Framework V2.3 and Agreed Interpretations V2.2 now published

SEC Parties can now view the updated Security Controls Framework (SCF) Version 2.3 Part 1, Part 2 and the Agreed Interpretations V2.2. Multiple clarifications have been made, including the acceptable standards of evidence for compliance, Alt HAN assurance and security obligations on Shared Resource Providers. Both tracked-changed versions and clean versions can be found on the website. Please contact the SECAS Helpdesk with any questions.

 

Consultation on our review of the SEC modification framework – your opportunity to comment

You are invited to respond to our industry consultation on our proposals arising from our end-to-end review of the modification framework and provide your thoughts on our findings and recommendations. You can download the consultation here. Responses are invited by 24 March 2021.

 

New Draft Proposals

There have been three new Draft Proposals raised since the last Newsletter.

 

 

 

 

DP154 ‘CH Returns SLA Amendment

 

 

SEC Parties have raised concerns about their Communications Hub removal and return processes. It isn’t possible to send Service Request 8.14.3 within five working days of processing the removal of a Communications Hub. They believe this Service Level Agreement (SLA) should be extended to 15 working days to prevent incurring charges and breaching the SEC.

 

 

 

DP155 ‘Communications Hub Re-Flash’

 

The SEC allows for the return of Communications Hubs (CHs) in line with SEC Section F ‘Smart Metering System Requirements’ and Appendix I ‘CH Installation and Maintenance Support Materials’. However, the SEC has no process for returning a CH to the DCC for re-flashing the Device (upgrading its firmware to the most recent Release version) and then retaking delivery of that Device once the re-flashing process is complete. Furthermore, there is not an Explicit Charge that could be used for this service. Installing older versions of CHs such as the Release 1.3 version presents issues for Suppliers. This is due to the over-the-air (OTA) upgrade which increases the length of time needed for an installation.

 

 

 

DP156 ‘Unit Inconsistency

 

During testing for the Smart Metering Technical Specifications 2 (SMETS2), a defect was raised highlighting a unit of measurement inconsistency. The DCC User Interface Specification (DUIS) / Message Mapping Catalogue (MMC) differs from the actual DCC System behaviour for Maximum Credit Threshold and Maximum Meter Balance. This is located within Service Request Variant (SRV) 2.1 for SMETS2 meters (which aligns to what is stated in the Great Britain Companion Specification (GBCS) Table 14.1). The units differ, whereby DUIS and the MMC use millipence (1000th pence/cent), and the GBCS only measures in whole units of currency (whole pounds or euros).

 

Planned Change Board items

The Change Board will next meet on 24 March 2021. It will discuss the following Modification Proposals, which will either be voted upon for approval, or for recommendation to the Authority to determine whether the Modification Proposal should be approved or rejected. If you have any questions or comments about the upcoming items, please contact the Change Team.

 

 

 

SECMP0056 ‘IHD / PPMID Zigbee Attributes Available on the HAN’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently under the SEC, SMETS2 Type 1 and Type 2 devices (specifically In-Home Displays (IHDs) and Prepayment Interface Devices (PPMIDs), and Consumer Access Devices (CADs)) are not notified of a Change of Tenancy or Change of Supplier event. This could allow a new tenant to access the previous tenant’s personal information and place the Supplier in breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The solution proposes to make the appropriate Zigbee attributes available to IHDs/PPMIDs on the Home Area Network (HAN) under SMETS2 as is currently the case in SMETS1.

 

 

 

MP105 ‘Sending SR11.2 to Devices in Suspended State’

 

When firmware is successfully activated on a Device, the corresponding Service Request 11.3 ‘Activate Firmware’ does not always generate a response to the Data Services Provider (DSP). Consequently, the new firmware version is not updated in the Smart Metering Inventory (SMI) and the Device remains in a ‘Suspended’ state, even though the new firmware has been successfully activated. This means the Device is not fully operational. Currently the DSP only updates the firmware version in the SMI if the response is ‘success’.

 

 

 

MP148 ‘IVP Extension for pre-SMETS2 v4.2 Devices’

 

 

 

 

 

The SEC sets out the Smart Metering Technical Specifications. To ensure interoperability, the dates that these Technical Specifications can be used are set out within SEC Schedule 11 ‘Technical Specification Applicability Tables’ (TSAT). In 2020, the UK government issued social distancing guidance to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, meaning only essential meter installations took place. If the existing Installation Validity Period (IVP) end-date of 27 April 2021 remains, and the reduced speed of installations continues to take place, then thousands of Devices will be wasted.

 

 

 

MP150 ‘Removing Table 28c from the GBCS’

 

GBCS Table 28c ‘Wide Area Network Alert and Power Event Log settings to be configured prior to installation of Devices’ is recognised as a duplicate of information that exists elsewhere in the GBCS. This is an inefficient use of the GBCS and could lead to maintenance issues in future with the same information appearing in two separate places. Additionally, GBCS Table 16.2 ‘Event and Alert Codes’ provides the full context for Event and Alert Codes, whereas Table 28c only provides limited information.

 

Modcasts

You can listen to our latest Modcast here, where we talk through the SEC Panel outcomes and planned Change Board items, the issued consultations above and the items taken to the Change Sub Committee last month. New Modcasts are released monthly on the Change Reporting webpage.

 

Would you like to join the SECAS Team?

We are currently recruiting for a Smart Energy Business Analyst to join the SECAS team:

Are you highly organised, able to proactively research the background to an issue, identify the root cause and appropriate solutions, and explain technical information in Plain English? To find out more about this role and apply to join the Change Team, please click here.

 

Open Industry Consultations Webpage

Please visit our Open Industry Consultations webpage for details of consultations that may be of interest to SEC Parties.

 

For other publications that may be of interest to you, please view the Operations Report in the March 2021 WHITE SEC Panel Meeting Documentation. SEC Parties can also view the Transitional Governance Update (TGU) Paper in the March 2021 GREEN SEC Panel Meeting 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, Event or Deadline  
22 March  Operations Group Meeting 45 
24 March  Security Sub-Committee Meeting 120 
24 March  Change Board Meeting 52 
31 March  Testing Advisory Group Meeting 77 
1 April  Technical Architecture and Business Architecture Sub-Committee Meeting 64 
6 April  Operations Group Meeting 46 
7 April  Monthly Working Group Meeting – April 2021 
14 April  Security Sub-Committee Meeting 121 
16 April  SEC Panel Meeting 91 

 

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