28 November 2019

Behind The Meter- Unlocking Potential

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For many years Consumers have become accustomed to infrequent meter reads and suppliers unable to offer much in the form of innovation. The advent of Smart Metering has brought about the potential for significant change in the Energy Supply arena, but are we able to take full advantage and are the systems that support it ready? My blog looks into this conundrum and the actions needed to unlock the potential and give true insight and value to the Consumer.

The Journey to the Connected Home.

The interaction for a Consumer with their utility meter has for many years, been somewhat limited; at best providing meter reads for the avoidance of Energy Suppliers attempting to estimate. However, with the roll out of the Smart Metering Programme, now well advanced, Energy Suppliers now have access to a richness of data enabling far more flexible and innovative tariffs very much tailored to the characteristics of each Consumer. The Consumer also has the ability to better understand their behaviours from and Energy usage perspective and in turn gain insight to inform behavioural change. However, there is a question mark hanging over the need and desire for change and ultimately whether tangible and worthwhile improvements can be made? The answer, to a degree, lies within the motivations of Consumers and the complexities that may exist behind the meter?

As part of the UK’s plans to decarbonise the energy system, we have seen the emergence of the Electric Vehicle, albeit initially driven by early adopters and lease companies, although from the 1st July, the mandating of Smart EV Charging devices for domestic use does add a level complexity to how smart data is managed in the context of the Settlements market. Whilst the implementation of the DCC for managing data interaction is the given methodology for Smart Meter Data, “Behind the Meter” devices and emerging technologies require are far flexible model that allow innovative approaches to be explored and developed.

Whilst today, the Settlements market is unable to fully accommodate behind the meter assets, changes have been proposed, such as P375, P376 and 379 which will see a major overall and recognise Behind the Meter assets as approved measurement devices to settle against. Once implemented the likes of meter splitting will be readily available allowing far more insightful tariffs to be offered to Consumers and more benefit to be realised by the Consumer via the effective management of the meter and assets within a connected home.

Rising to the Challenge.

Siemens is also on a journey of its own, committing to an ambitious 2030 Carbon Neutral Programme and during a detailed analysis of its carbon footprint, highlighted that 55% was attributable to its fleet of commercial vehicles and company cars. As a result, the aim is therefore to transition from the bias towards the combustion engine to an EV future. As we see the introduction of range stretching new vehicle variants, its clear that some obstacles will be removed. However, we have aspirations to put in place a Green Energy Supplier to ensure we robustly deliver our 2030 vision. For that reason, we have a number of collaborative trials we are embarking on with meter splitting at the heart. To begin with, the focus will be on invoice splitting but takes us to a place where we can have two suppliers per property allowing EV usage to be directed to our Green Energy Partner. Elexon an OFGEM are engaged and aligned with our thinking and fully anticipate to be complimentary with the outcomes of P375, 376 and P379.

Our Energy System is changing rapidly and we need to ensure we adapt in an agile manner to remove barriers from truly unlocking the potential.

To find out more visit www.siemens.co.uk/metering

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