Transition to smart meters

Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters and they offer a range of intelligent functions. This includes telling you how much energy you are using through a display in your home. They can also communicate directly with your energy supplier which means that no one will need to come and read your meter.

Smart meters offer a range of benefits for consumers. They:

  • give you near real time information on your energy use – expressed in pounds and pence
  • allow you to better manage your energy use (and can thereby help you save money and reduce emissions)
  • will mean consumers get accurate bills - you will only be billed for the energy you actually use

Smart meter roll-out

Rolling out 53 million gas and electricity meters to all homes and small businesses in Great Britain by the end of 2020 requires careful planning and management. Most households will have smart meters installed by their energy company between 2015 and 2020. To deliver this the government established a central change programme and asked us to manage the first phase, which was completed in March 2011.

Since April 2011, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been directly responsible for managing the implementation of the smart meter programme. We have been providing DECC with independent regulatory advice and expertise. We have also taken on additional regulatory functions to support smart metering.  We will continue to take on new functions, including regulation of the new Data and Communications Company (DCC).

Data and Communications Company (DCC)

The DCC is responsible for linking smart meters in homes and small businesses with the systems of energy suppliers, network operators and energy service companies.  DCC will develop and deliver the data and communications service through external providers.

DECC granted the DCC licence to Smart DCC Ltd, a subsidiary of Capita plc with effect from 23 September 2013. For further information please refer to GOV.UK website.

Smart Energy Code (SEC)

When DECC granted the DCC licence, stage 1 of the Smart Energy Code (SEC) also came into force. The SEC is a new industry code and sets out the terms for the provision of the DCC’s services and specifies other provisions to govern the end-to-end management of smart metering. Like other industry codes, we are responsible for approving any modifications to ensure consumers’ interests remain protected.
Some customers have had smart meters installed before the completion of the government’s regulatory framework for the smart meter roll-out. We have put in place measures to protect consumers who receive smart meters early. These include measures to:

  • support effective switching for domestic consumers that have smart meters installed
  • strengthen existing protections for domestic consumers, especially vulnerable consumers, in relation to disconnection and the use of meters operating in prepayment mode

In April 2013 we approved the final Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice. This Code of Practice  will be an important consumer protection measure during the rollout of smart meters, setting out rules and standards of conduct for suppliers installing smart meters.

Smarter Markets Programme

Smart meters can enable reform to existing market arrangements, such as change of supplier processes, which can in turn make the market work better for consumers. Our Smarter Markets Programme aims to proactively identify, and see implemented, changes to these arrangements to enable the development of smarter markets.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 28th Mar 2014
  • Decisions
  • 3 Associated documents
On 24 December 2013 DCC submitted an updated charging statement to us. This was in the form that it expects to use for the regulatory year starting on 1 April 2014. We consulted on the proposed charging statement. This letter sets out the basis for the...

  • Published: 17th Feb 2014
  • Consultations & responses
  • 1 Associated documents
This response sets out our views on the proposed content of stage 3 of the Smart Energy Code.

  • Published: 14th Feb 2014
  • Open letters & correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This joint letter sets out the issues of onsite electricity generation as we understand it and clarifies the current obligations and expectations on industry parties.

  • Published: 12th Feb 2014
  • Closing: 23rd Apr 2014
  • Consultations & responses
  • 4 Associated documents
We are consulting on the draft Regulatory Instructions and Guidance, including the reporting templates for the Smart Meter Communication Licences.

  • Published: 30th Jan 2014
  • Consultations & responses
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is in response to their December 2013 consultation on the Regulatory Arrangements for Enrolment and Adoption of Foundation Meters.

  • Published: 17th Jan 2014
  • Consultations & responses
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter to the Department of Energy and Climate Change is in response to their December 2013 consultation on modifications to the Smart Meter Communication Licence.

  • Published: 9th Jan 2014
  • Closed: 5th Feb 2014
  • Consultations & responses
  • 9 Associated documents
This letter invites views on the updated form of the Charging Statement that Smart DCC Ltd (‘DCC’) submitted to the Authority on 24 December 2013.

  • Published: 4th Dec 2013
  • Closed: 15th Jan 2014
  • Open letters & correspondence
  • 6 Associated documents
This letter examines two separate issues relating to how existing electricity supply licence conditions apply to consumers with smart and advanced meters.

  • Published: 4th Dec 2013
  • Consultations & responses
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter to the Department of Energy and Climate Change is in response to their October 2013 consultation on the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive’s provisions on consumer access to consumption and export data.

  • Published: 29th Nov 2013
  • Consultations & responses
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter, to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Smart Metering Implementation Programme, is in response to their October 2013 consultation on New Smart Energy Code Content (Stage 2)