Smart Metering Policy Update
The UK Government has announced non-domestic energy customers can choose between advanced meters and smart meters.
Previously in January 2018 , BEIS announced that both the SMETS1 end-date, and the Advanced Meter Exception (AME) end-date will be pushed back to 5 October 2018. This deadline marks the last time non-domestic customers could choose AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) devices over smart meters… until now.
On 27 March 2018 the UK Government responded to the August 2017 consultation on non-domestic smart metering policy proposals.
Their response sets out the Government’s final conclusions on a package of measures designed to give non-domestic consumers access to the full benefits of smart meters but also recognising the diverse nature of these energy users and the need for proportionate regulation.
- Energy suppliers will be allowed to offer SME and larger business consumers (but not micro-businesses) with sites in scope of the smart metering mandate a choice between an advanced meter and a smart meter.
- Energy suppliers to non-domestic premises will still be required to use the Data Communications Company (DCC) for the operation of SMETS2 meters. Therefore, most non-domestic energy suppliers will be required to become DCC Users by 31 August 2018.
- However, this requirement will not apply to energy suppliers who only have advanced meters and no SMETS2 meters within their portfolio. Although they must become a DCC User if they intend to operate a SMETS2 meter at a later date.
- This decision will give specialist, smaller energy suppliers the flexibility to decide when to become a DCC User based on the needs and preferences of their larger energy consumer portfolio.
The ruling will enable non-domestic customers the freedom to choose the best solution for their needs beyond the previous October deadline. Suppliers will also benefit from being able to count AMR installations towards their rollout obligation totals. This is great news.
Our director, Joel Stark has previously commented on the potential negative impact the smart meter rollout could have on businesses.
The first generation of smart meters (SMETS1) are not interoperable which means consumers lose functionality when they change Supplier.
AMR offers equivalent functionality to smart meters but at a significantly lower price. Sites with AMR already enjoy a robust solution with remotely read meters, accurate bills and granular information on energy consumption.
The Government’s policy update is a huge positive step forward as it means that customers that have AMR already installed will be able to more easily retain their hardware and control of their data instead of being obligated to use the DCC.
However, customers still need to take action and ensure they choose the best solution for their energy management needs and portfolio requirements.