SECAS Engagement Day » FAQ Categories »

Q24) What evidence is there from the deployment of smart meters that consumers are changing their energy usage?

Smart Energy GB undertake regular research into smart meters and how they are used. The outcomes are published on their website.

Research published in May 2019 here found that smart meter owners are more engaged with energy compared to non-owners. They are more likely to understand their own energy use and have a desire to reduce it. Households with a smart meter are doing slightly more to save energy than those without. In particular, smart meter owners are more likely to look into ways to use less energy. Over time, smart meter owners continue to encourage others to use less energy, and increasingly look into energy efficiencies.

Q23) Are the costs of Alt HAN socialised to all SEC Parties?

Alt HAN costs are recovered in full via DCC charges from All Relevant Supplier Parties. Costs which are appropriate to socialise (e.g. the current development phase) will be recovered through Fixed Charges, but costs relating to the provision of equipment for use at individual premises will be recovered through Supplier-specific Explicit Charges.

Q22) Is AltHANCo co-ordinating with the CSS provider regarding building data?

The data requirements for identifying Alt HAN candidate premises have been developed fully through a competitive procurement process for Operational Services. A wide range of data sources are being used and kept under review.

Q21) If the smart deadline is end of 2020, surely July 2020 is too late for Alt HAN to make a significant impact?

The economic case for Alt HAN assumes that the rollout of smart meters will continue beyond 2020 and the policy objective of a mass rollout will be retained, even if at this stage the regulatory obligations and targets for the period beyond 2020 are not set.

Q20) Is there a possibility Alt HAN may never actually deliver a viable solution, that it may just be an expensive experiment?

Alt HAN is important because it seeks to ensure that no classes of customers, for example residents in high-rise apartment blocks, are left behind in the rollout of smart metering functionality and the service improvements that this can support. The solutions in development by Alt HAN use proven technologies and will be rigorously tested before being rolled out at scale. From an economic perspective, there are controls in place to ensure costs are kept to efficient levels, and that these costs are acceptable. For example, Alt HAN Co must demonstrate that its costs are “economic and efficient”, and there are annual and milestone-specific mechanisms to approve budgets. Government can also reduce the scope of Alt HAN if it concludes, based on evidence, that the costs of delivering Alt HAN solutions are “disproportionate” for certain classes of premise.

Q19) If the consumer does not want smart meter functionality, is there a process in place if they have dormant SMETS1 meter in place?

Smart metering will bring significant benefits to consumers and the wider energy system. Government expects energy suppliers to have processes in place to respond to concerns about smart metering, including providing information that may reassure consumers. Once installed, energy suppliers are required under their licence to take all reasonable steps to maintain the smart metering system, including the HAN and WAN. Ofgem is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with these licence conditions.

Q18) Is access to labs charged? If so, are small Suppliers at a disadvantage?

There is no charge for access to labs.

Q17) Will DCC run hackathons to stimulate innovation?

The DCC are considering how appropriate this would be.

Q16) What is the future of DCC engagement with stakeholders and how can we work together to ensure value for money is achieved?

Regular events are run by SECAS and DCC to engage with SEC Parties. Details of engagement events are communicated to SEC Parties via the newsletter and published on the SEC and DCC websites.

Q15) If smart meter WAN coverage is so good in the North, why are installs still proving be problematic?

A15) The Panel recognise there have been a number of issues however these have now been resolved, with thousands of second-generation meters are being installed in the North every day.