Fleshing out Britain’s smart meter DCC


Following the recent awarding of the license and contracts for Britain’s smart meter data and communications company (DCC), the government has now set out, in a new consultation, proposals for the provision of the service.

Specifically the consultation seeks input on the Smart Energy Code, which is the framework governing the end-to-end management of the country’s smart metering. Content to the Code is being introduced in stages, with this second stage addressing areas required to aid design, build and test of systems in the run up to systems integration testing.

The consultation calls for the DCC to establish a registration data interface for registration data exchange, as well as a user gateway, through which service users – i.e. suppliers, network operators and other bodies – will communicate with the DCC and vice versa.

Specific services that will be available across the gateway in relation to smart metering equipment include:

  • Enrolment services
  • Core communication services
  • Elective communication services, and
  • Other enabling services (e.g. withdrawal or replacement of equipment, and ‘local command’ services where commands are sent to equipment via local devices rather than remotely).

To support these parse and correlate software will be required, which the DCC will develop.

The DCC will also be required to maintain a smart metering inventory listing all devices that are enrolled, or intended to be enrolled as part of a smart metering system, or which have subsequently been withdrawn or replaced.

To ensure that its systems (and processes) continue to operate effectively and efficiently, the DCC will be required to undertake maintenance activity, which should occur at a time of least impact on services. To support users a self-service interface as well as a service desk must be provided.

Other content of the consultation includes:

  • The requirements of the interface between the communications hub and either the electricity meter or a hot shoe (the Intimate Physical Interface, through which power is provided to the communications hub for its operation)
  • Security requirements
  • Communications hub financing and charging.

The contracts for the DCC were confirmed in September. Smart DCC Ltd, a part of Capita PLC, was awarded the DCC license, with CGI IT UK Ltd as the data service provider and Arqiva and Telefonica UK as the communications service providers.