Choosing the right technology platform for your journey into the world of digital energy services.
At the core of any digital energy service is the ability to access data provided by the home’s energy meters. Given the wide range of electricity and gas meters deployed in the field, support for all the relevant meters cannot be taken for granted. While some smart meter specifications appear straightforward, there are often variations in meter behaviour due to inconsistent interpretations of the standards. Most smart meter specifications also allow for firmware updates, which means support for a specific smart meter is no longer a one-time validation exercise but a moving target requiring continuous maintenance and testing.
Full and reliable meter ecosystem coverage is especially challenging in Great Britain due to the sophistication and complexities of the GB Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification (SMETS). Unlike most smart meter approaches, SMETS includes a smart energy Home Area Network based on the ZigBee Smart Energy Profile (SEP), designed to meet “the diverse needs of a global ecosystem of utilities, product manufacturers and regulators as they plan to meet future energy, water and gas needs”. With these technical opportunities comes a significant interoperability and testing burden, which only a small handful of providers have shouldered so far (and even fewer will be able to maintain).
While it is fair to assume that smart meter ecosystems become more consistent and stable as the technology matures, there will be opposing forces such as the increased adoption of micro-generation, in-home batteries, electric vehicles and smart appliances and the emergence of residential demand management services that add new interoperability challenges in the home and in the cloud. With this in mind, it is important to take a strategic approach and look to the future when selecting a digital technology partner – simply focusing on meeting today’s challenges without considering a partner’s ability to evolve and thrive in this future world could turn out to be an expensive mistake.
This white paper was written by Rik Temmink (Chief Data Services Officer) and Adrian van den Heever (Chief Technology Officer) of geo, the UK’s leading smart energy technology company. If you would like to explore the topics discussed in this white paper in more detail, please contact geo by phone on +44(0)1223 850 210 or by email at email@example.com.
GB Smart Metering Equipment Technical SpecificationSMETS