On 23rd of December 2016, Gemserv signed the contract appointing NMi as the official SMDA test house for the Smart Meter Device Assurance (SMDA) scheme in Great Britain, meaning that all smart meters and related devices in Great Britain will be tested by NMi to ensure correct functionality.
In the coming years, as one of the means to reduce energy consumption, up to 53 million smart meters will be installed in all houses in Great Britain. Contrary to traditional utility meters, smart meters allow the electricity companies to communicate with the meters in consumers’ homes to obtain up-to-date readings, set tariffs and provide live consumption data. This is done via the Data Communications Company (DCC) and requires hardware and software solutions, as well as security procedures, that have to function correctly under any circumstances.
As the appointed SMDA Test House, NMi will conduct testing of smart metering equipment to provide assurance to the industry that it will work effectively within the smart metering infrastructure.
Interoperability and interchangeability
All utility meters in Europe must be examined in conformity with the Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) before entering the market and currently, over 35% of all utility meters installed in Europe are MID certified by NMi. To ensure compliance with the extra SMDA requirements for Great Britain, NMi has extended its scope with:
- interoperability, to demonstrate that smart metering devices that interact with the Data Communications Company (DCC) systems can successfully receive, interpret, act on and respond to messages; and
- interchangeability, to check that all devices on the Home Area Network (HAN), such as in-home displays, meters, pre-payment interface devices or HAN connected auxiliary load switches can communicate with one another and interpret and act on commands, no matter what brand is being used.
The SMDA scheme provides assurance to consumers, suppliers and financiers that smart metering equipment in consumers’ homes will work effectively. In January 2015, Gemserv was appointed as the SMDA Scheme Operator (SO) by the SMDA Company (SMDA Co). Their main task is to set up the assurance testing scheme. One of the key aspects of the SMDA scheme is to have an independent test house that conducts testing of the devices (NMi). Manufacturers of electricity and gas meters and of other devices like in-home displays and pre-payment interface devices, can have their devices tested at NMi against a set of test specifications developed by the SMDA SO in consultation with the scheme members. Upon successful execution of the SMDA test specifications, the device will be awarded the SMDA assurance mark and registered in the Device Assurance Register (DAR).