Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the SEC Newsletter.
In this edition you will learn about how you can build your SEC knowledge by joining our upcoming Alt HAN and Introduction to the SEC webinars, and how to contribute to the SMDA Scope Review. We appreciate this is an uncertain time for many Suppliers, read on find out what support SECAS and the DCC can offer and who to contact to share your concerns and feedback. You will also find out about the new Draft Proposals and Modification Consultations which you are invited to provide feedback on. We hope you enjoy this edition.
Build your SEC knowledge, join our topic-focused webinars
SEC Parties are invited to join the following upcoming webinars:
- Alternative Home Area Network – What Suppliers Need to Know: 28 September 2021 at 11am-12pm. The Alternative Home Area Network Company (Alt HAN Co) Managing Director, Paul Cooper, and the Alt HAN Team, 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.
- Introduction to the SEC – back to basics: 19 October 2021 at 11:30am-1pm. Are you new to your role? Has your Party recently acceded to the SEC? This webinar offers you the opportunity to build your knowledge of the SEC and get to grips with the basics from SECAS and the DCC. To register please click here. If you have any questions you would like to ask SECAS or the DCC, please provide them to the SECAS Helpdesk by 5pm on 12 October 2021.
DCC Customers are invited to DCC’s online workshop on 11 October 2021
SEC Parties are invited to join a two hour workshop in the afternoon on 11 October 2021 to capture your views on a new methodology the DCC is producing on Device Selection. The Device Selection Methodology aims to ensure that the DCC uses appropriate and manageable volumes of Devices in testing, and will initially be intended for use in the Network Evolution Communication Hubs and Networks.
Your input will directly shape the methodology. The workshop will cover:
1. An overview of the Device Selection Methodology criteria as currently suggested;
2. A discussion of what rules may apply to the methodology; and
3. A discussion to determine whether there should be additional considerations for Device Selection.
Please register your interest by emailing email@example.com. We look forward to you joining.
Would you like to join the SECAS Team?
We are currently recruiting for the following two positions:
- Party Engagement Consultant – We are looking for someone with a background in Smart Metering, excellent communication and relationship management skills and a keen eye for detail. If you are a highly organised self-starter and enjoy relationship-building and driving service enhancements, we want to hear from you! To find out more about this role and how to apply, please click here.
- Smart Energy Business Analyst – Do you understand the GB Smart Metering arrangements, and the governance and technical arrangements underpinning these, and have worked in the energy or Smart Metering sector for at least two years? Are you highly organised, able to proactively research the background to an issue, identify the root problems and appropriate solutions? To find out more about this role and how to apply, please click here.
Rising energy prices, how SECAS and the DCC can support you
Increasing energy prices over the last six months has contributed to six Energy Suppliers ceasing to trade in the last three weeks. With more expected to follow, SECAS recognises that SEC Parties are facing numerous challenges and need clear guidance now more than ever.
If you have concerns, SECAS encourages you to contact the SECAS Helpdesk, or your relevant SEC Panel representative, who will support you in any way possible. For any DCC payment and invoice queries, please contact the DCC Customer Invoices Team (noting that payment terms remain the same).
You are also invited to share how you think we can help appointed Suppliers through the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process. SECAS is currently drafting a guidance document and checklist for the SoLR process to help ensure that every step is clear and undertaken in a timely manner.
Take a look at this BEIS document which provides further information on the cause and actions to protect industry and supply here. Small Suppliers are encouraged to contact the SECAS Helpdesk to sign up to the monthly Small Supplier engagement call where you can discuss concerns and share feedback with your Panel representatives. The next meeting will take place on 20 October 2021.
Contribute to the SMDA Scheme Scope Review Consultation by 1 October 2021
The Smart Meter Device Assurance (SMDA) Scheme invites your feedback on the following:
- Proposed changes to the scope of testing suggested by Network Operators for an Electricity Smart Meter Equipment (ESME);
- Communications Hubs testing;
- Interest in add-on validation services provided by the SMDA Test House; and
- Whether further changes to the scope of the SMDA Scheme are required and if so, what these changes should be and the benefits that they would bring.
To respond to the consultation document, SEC Parties should fill in the response template and send it to the SMDA Team by 5pm on 1 October 2021. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the new Version of the SMKI Recovery Key Guidance
SEC Parties are invited to read the updated Smart Metering Key Infrastructure Recovery Key Guidance (v1.3), which was approved at the September 2021 SMKI Policy Management Authority (PMA) meeting.
The document now more explicitly recognises what the SMKI PMA may consider in deciding whether to require the use of the SMKI Recovery Private Key or the Contingency Private Key (including the Contingency Symmetric Key). For more information, and to access the document, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.
SECAS welcomes SEC Panel and Sub-Committee Members to begin their term
The 2021 SEC Panel and Operations Group elections have now concluded. Thank you to all Parties who submitted a nomination and participated in voting! We welcome the following Members to represent your Party category and look forward to working with them over the coming two years. If you have any feedback on the Panel election process, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.
If you would like to nominate yourself or an individual for any of the vacant Operations Group seats, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.
New Draft Proposals
Four 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 these affect your Party.
The DCC holds the Smart Meter Inventory (SMI) which is a database of Devices that records Smart Meter Device data, which Suppliers can provide data to.
Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) wish to access SMI data to assess and manage the health of any smart assets they own. The data items that MAPs wish to access relate only to the metering asset and not the Responsible Supplier using the asset.
MAPs have requested that the DCC provides a data service fully paid for by the MAPs using the service, such that there will be no cost implications for DCC Users.
In a SEC Panel or Sub-Committee election, there are sometimes more candidate nominations received than the seats available in that SEC Party Category. SEC Parties in that category are invited to vote for their preferred candidate, and the outcome of this vote is published, without the detailed breakdown of votes.
The proposer believes that publishing the breakdown of votes would increase transparency and encourage more engagement and participation from SEC Parties.
The DCC is required to provide several reports on failures in the Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS) 2+ Post Commissioning process to multiple Industry Parties. However, some failures have occurred in the Post Commissioning process whereby a Device that has been successfully Commissioned, could be defined as having failed under the current criteria set out in the SEC.
Failures in the Post Commissioning process are therefore being over-reported to a significant degree, resulting in time and resources being wasted on ‘false positive’ cases and diverting focus from genuine issues.
Twin element meters have two terminals. This enables the independent measurement of energy from two circuits (import and export) which is needed to calculate net energy consumption.
Currently, twin element meters only provide consumption data as a combined value across both phases. Therefore, tariffs cannot be applied to individual phase data. Although some electricity meters support measurement of each phase, the SEC and DCC systems do not currently support functionality allowing individual phase data to be retrieved.
Requests for Information
There are currently two Requests for Information (RFIs) out for consultation. You are invited to provide feedback to the Change Team to help us understand the scale of the issue, and to help scope a solution for the benefit of SEC Parties.
Download the consultation here
24 September 2021
If a Communications Hub installation fails, the installing Supplier sends it back to the Communications Service Provider (CSP). If the CSP does not find a fault with the Communications Hub, the Supplier is charged a fee. Only some are found to be genuinely faulty.
The current solution involves the development of a Hand-Held Terminal (HHT) that the Supplier can use to send commands to an unsuccessfully installed Communications Hub, allowing them to run diagnostics and to reset the Communications Hub if required. An alternative solution is being investigated due to the high cost of the described solution.
Download the consultation here
12 October 2021
Over the Air (OTA) firmware updates on some Electricity Smart Metering Equipment (ESMEs) cause an interruption to the Communications Hub for more than three minutes and therefore generate a Power Outage Alert (POA). This Alert is sent to the relevant Distribution Network Operator (DNO), who cannot determine whether the POA relates to a genuine power outage or an OTA firmware update.
It is understood that approximately 1.4m currently installed ESMEs could cause this issue. Suppliers are requested to provide insight to help refine the solution.
Access the drafts of the Technical Specifications for the November 2021 SEC Release
You can now access the final drafts of the Technical Specifications for the November 2021 SEC Release on the release webpage here. These include mark-ups, commentary identifying the modification and, where applicable, the Issue Resolution Proposal (IRP) the changes came from. These documents reflect the approval of SECMP0007, MP090, MP105, MP150, MP158, MP164 as well as CRP613 and CRP649. 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 September 2021 WHITE SEC Panel Meeting 96 Documentation. SEC Parties can also view the Transitional Governance Update (TGU) Paper in the September 2021 GREEN SEC Panel Meeting 96 Documentation.
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).