SEC Newsletter 30 April 2021

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

Read this edition to find out how SEC Parties can help inform the SEC Strategic plan, plus where to find new Credit Cover Guidance Notes which have been written in Plain English to help Parties understand their obligations under SEC Section J. Read on to also learn about the End of Year Regulatory Report, how you can join the Change Sub-Committee if you are a Gas Network or Other SEC Party, and three new Modification Proposals.

 

Opportunities to join the SECAS Team

If you or your colleagues have a good understanding of the Great British (GB) Smart Metering arrangements and are considering the next step in your career, you may be interested in the following roles:

  • Technical Operations SEC Consultant – Do you have a background in Smart Metering and a solid understanding of the technical architecture underpinning GB Smart Metering? Are you proactive in identifying client requirements and have excellent planning and organisational skills? To find out more about this role, please click here.

 

  • Smart Energy Business Analyst – Are you highly organised, able to proactively research the background to an issue, identify the root cause of problems and appropriate solutions, and able to translate technical information into Plain English? To find out more about this role and apply to join the Change Team, please click here.

 

Opt in to the 2021 Ofgem Cross-Code Administration Performance Survey by 4 May

Don’t miss the opportunity to share your views on how you think SECAS is performing, and any areas you think could improve, by taking part in the 2021 Ofgem Cross-Code Administration Performance Survey.

 

Thank you to all SEC Parties who have already opted in to participate. For those who have not yet done so, please indicate your consent by emailing the SECAS Helpdesk by 5pm on 4 May 2021. For more information, please click here.

 

New Credit Cover Guidance: Check your Party is compliant with its obligations

SEC Parties are encouraged to read the new SECAS Credit Cover guidance here, designed to explain your obligations under SEC Section J in Plain English to help avoid your Party entering into Event of Default. You may be interested to read our other recently updated Guidance Notes to help you learn and understand various SEC processes. If you have any feedback, or think further guidance on a particular subject would be useful, please contact the SECAS Helpdesk.

 

Privacy Controls Framework v2.10 and Privacy Change Requests

The Privacy Controls Framework (PCF) has been updated to include guidance to Other Users regarding the new SEC Privacy Change Request Form for Other Users to propose changes to their Panel-approved Privacy processes. The guidance includes details on the subsequent validation by SECAS and the User Independent Privacy Auditor and any required follow-up actions.

 

In addition, information has been added regarding the addition of a ‘mini-Random Sample Privacy Assessment’ as part of the fourth year and subsequent Full Privacy Assessment process. A summary of the changes to the PCF can be found here. Please contact the SECAS Helpdesk with any questions.

 

Help inform the SEC Strategic Plan

The SEC Panel approved the newly formed Strategic Working Group’s (SWG) Mission Statement, Objectives and Material Event criteria at its meeting on 16 April 2021. For more information about the group, along with the Terms of Reference, please take a look here.

 

The SWG has developed a ten-year Roadmap and readiness plan which outlines its activities, with a draft mind-map available for SEC Parties to view here (you must be logged into the SEC website to view), which outlines several of its strategic events. SEC Parties are invited to review this high-level ‘mind-map’ and input on its completeness to ensure the SWG captures as many of the material strategic events at this stage as possible. Your views are key to gather, collate and prioritise these events.

 

The SWG will periodically release documentation for your review and will aim to continue engaging with you as it establishes the Strategic Roadmap. Please return any feedback to the SECAS Helpdesk by 13 May 2021.

 

End of Year Regulatory and Budgetary Reports now available

SEC Parties can now view the End of Regulatory Year Report here, which the SEC Panel has produced regarding the operation of the SEC. Spanning the Regulatory Year from 1 April 2020 and ending on 31 March 2021, the report includes activities that underpin the strategic aims of the Panel to manage the operation of the SEC, and support the Smart Metering Implementation Programme (SMIP) Transition phase and the Joint Industry Plan.

 

SEC Parties can also view the End of Budgetary Year Report here. This is aimed to provide transparency for Parties to view the out turn of the Panel budget over the same regulatory year.

 

New online forms to add, edit or remove ALCS and HCALCS Labels

Live Import Suppliers can now access online forms to add, edit, or remove labels in the Auxiliary Load Control Switch (ALCS) and Home Area Network (HAN) Connected Auxiliary Load Control Switch (HCALCS) Labels List.

 

Integrated ALCS and connected HCALCS enable Electrical Smart Metering Equipment (ESME) to control load switching for different electrical appliances. Form submissions will be used to inform the Technical Architecture and Business Architecture Sub-Committee (TABASC) of requests to add, edit or remove labels in the ALCS / HCALCS Labels List. (You must be logged into the SEC website to do this):

 

For more information, please view the TABASC webpage, and contact the SECAS Helpdesk with any questions.

 

Help the DCC help you: Complete the DCC Boxed Survey

SEC Parties are invited to respond to the DCC’s survey on a new ‘design proving’ development/test tool developed by the DCC, called DCC Boxed. The survey is available here and must be completed by 14 May 2021. Your engagement and response is key to help shape the tool.

 

SEC Parties are also encouraged to provide their understanding on the regulatory and financial models proposed for DCC Boxed. DCC Boxed has been designed as part of the DCC’s continuation to offer transparency and engagement with its users.

 

SEC Parties will receive a public briefing pack along with the survey. It will explain why the DCC developed DCC Boxed; what it is, how it could be useful for you, how much it could cost DCC Users, and when it could be available. If you have any queries regarding DCC Boxed, please contact chris.barlow@smartdcc.co.uk and helen.metcalfe@smartdcc.co.uk.

 

Represent your Party type by joining the Change Sub-Committee

Would you like to have a direct say on industry matters and steer the future of Smart Energy? If you are a Gas Network Party or an Other SEC Party, you may be interested in the two seats available on the Change Sub-Committee (CSC), giving you the opportunity to influence changes to the SEC and the wider industry.

 

The CSC meets monthly to review new Draft Proposals and helps ensure all issues identified are clear or whether further work is required. If you would like to nominate yourself or an individual, please contact the Change Team.

 

Following the Change Sub-Committee elections held in March 2021, the CSC welcomes the following candidates who were selected by their Party Categories as CSC Members:

Large Suppliers: Emslie Law and Sarah-Jane Marshall

Small Suppliers: Chris Brown and Daniel Davies

Electricity Networks: Gemma Slaney

Other SEC Parties: Alastair Cobb

Consumers: Ed Rees

 

New Draft Proposal

There has been one new Draft Proposal raised since the last Newsletter.

 

 

 

DP160 ‘Certificate Signing Request forecasting’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEC Section L ‘Smart Metering Key Infrastructure and DCC Key Infrastructure’ sets out an obligation where each Party who is an Authorised Subscriber must provide the DCC each quarter with a forecast for the number of Certificate Signing Requests (CSRs) they expect to send in the following eight months.

The DCC believes that the obligation on Users to provide these forecasts should be removed. There is sufficient capacity within the Smart Metering Key Infrastructure (SMKI) services to no longer require the CSR forecasting process except when exceptional volumes of CSRs are to be sent in a given period by a SEC Party.

 

Requests for Information

On 23 April 2021, three Requests for Information (RFIs) were issued to industry. The RFIs discuss the following Modification Proposals and require input from industry to advise on business cases. This will help choose a preferred solution and to assess the impacts these Modification Proposals could have on you. These RFIs close on 17 May 2021. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Change Team.

 

 

 

 

MP096 ‘DNO Power Outage Alerts’

 

 

 

 

 

SEC Section H3.14(g) states that Alerts must be sent to the User within 60 seconds, measured from when the Alert is communicated to or generated by the Communications Hub. This requirement includes Power Outage Alerts (POAs), where an Alert is sent after an initial period of three minutes has passed to allow for power to potentially restore automatically. It also includes Power Restoration Alerts (PRAs) where an Alert is sent once power has been restored. The Communication Service Provider (CSP) contracts were developed in parallel with the SEC during the early stages of the Smart Meter Implementation Programme, and the CSP contracts do not include the same POA and PRA definitions and requirements that are specified in the SEC.

 

 

 

MP117 ‘Bulk CH returns’

 

 

SEC Section F5 ‘Communication Hub Forecasts & Orders’ allows any SEC Party to place orders for Communications Hubs (CHs) from the DCC. Specified SEC Parties can notify the DCC when needing to return the CH. This is done by submitting either DCC User Interface Specification (DUIS) Service Requests (SR) 8.14.3 ‘Communications Hub Status Update – Fault Return’ or 8.14.4 ‘Communications Hub Status Update – No Fault Return’. Currently, these SRs allow DCC Users to input one Global Unique Identifier (GUID) per request. This means that DCC Users must send an individual Service Request to notify the DCC of each CH return.

 

 

 

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).

 

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 April 2021 WHITE SEC Panel Meeting 91 Documentation. SEC Parties can also view the Transitional Governance Update (TGU) Paper in the April 2021 GREEN SEC Panel Meeting 91 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  
4 May  Operations Group Meeting 48 
5 May  Monthly Working Group Meeting – May 2021 
6 May  Technical Architecture and Business Architecture Sub-Committee Meeting 65 
12 May  Security Sub-Committee Meeting 123 
12 May  Other SEC Parties Engagement Call 
14 May  SEC Panel Meeting 92 
18 May  Smart Metering Key Infrastructure Policy Management Authority Meeting 81 
19 May  Small Suppliers Engagement Call 
24 May  Operations Group Meeting 49 
26 May  Testing Advisory Group Meeting 79 
26 May  Security Sub-Committee Meeting 124 
26 May  Change Board Meeting 54 
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