Smart meters UK: DECC extends data centre deadline


Smart meter data centre extending deadlineIn the UK, CGI, the company responsible for processing all smart meter data has secured a six-month extension to kick off its operational services.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey said in a written statement: “I have today approved the Data and Communications Company’s plan as provided for under powers in the DCC’s licences.

“Under this revised plan, the DCC will plan to deliver operational services from April 2016 rather than its current target of December 2015.”

However, Mr Davey said in order to “deliver to a plan in which all parties have confidence”, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has made provision for a maximum of six months contingency that must “be duly justified”.

Davey said the extension to the rollout timetable would “enable the DCC’s systems and services to come together with the energy companies’ systems and processes in a coordinated start to the main installation phase”.

The statement follows news in October 2014 that DCC, which is in charge of gathering and processing smart meter data, had admitted there is “no feasible way to maintain the timescales of the current… plan”.

Building a meter data network

In January this year, CGI selected network operator Gamma as a sub contractor to connect energy suppliers to the DCC.

UK company Gamma, which specializes in simplified software services for business, will provide back-end communications using its own next-generation MPLS network.

The network will allow business systems at gas and electricity suppliers, network operators and energy service companies to access the DCC and allow data from smart meters within their service areas to flow into the central repository, a key part of the UK’s smart metering implementation plan.

Tara McGeehan, vice-president utilities at CGI UK, said: “Gamma’s technology is a key part of the communications to the DCC User Gateway and the rollout of the smart meter programme which will help to establish a more reliable and secure nationwide electricity supply to consumers. This is a great step towards delivering the DCC solution.”