SMDA Update – One year on
Dear SMDA Members,
We hope you are staying safe and well.
The SMDA scheme remains open and committed to providing a high quality service to all our members.
A year in the life of SMDA
It’s been one year since the first SMDA Partial Assurance (PA) Certificates, covering Credit functionality within the Central and South regions, were awarded to two Release 1 PPMIDs. Since then, the Scheme has continued to push forward and adapt to meet industry needs, with numerous changes being introduced and various milestones achieved. This special newsletter will celebrate each of the Scheme’s achievements and outline the Scheme’s future goals.
ESMEs on the DAR
Shortly after PA was awarded to PPMID devices, the Scheme awarded assurance to its first ESME device. Subsequently, the Scheme now has a total of three PPMIDs and seven ESME devices registered on the Device Assurance Register (DAR), covering both new devices and those upgraded as part of the exemption process.
Pre-payment in Central and South Regions
In November 2019, SMDA announced that Pre-payment testing was now available in the Central and South regions, allowing for full functionality testing in these areas. The Scheme continues to push towards Full Assurance (FA) across all areas of Great Britain, and this was a welcome step towards achieving this.
A key part of being able to offer PA testing was the introduction of the Tolerated Issues process. This allows devices to gain assurance, despite not necessarily being able to pass the full suite of SMDA tests. An example of this would be where test failures are being caused by issues that sit outside of the manufacturer’s control to resolve, for example as a result of ambiguities in the industry specifications. The Tolerated Issues process is controlled through the Management Panel, and all tolerated issues are listed in the document “SMDA-246 SMDA Tolerated Issues for Partial Assurance in the Central and South Regions v1.4” available on our website here. Tolerated issues are classed as either common or device specific and are approved based on their risk to the industry and the manufacturer’s scope to resolve the issue.
Where a device has passed with a tolerated issue, a rectification plan is developed, which outlines any steps the manufacturer needs to take to resolve this issue. The plans are reviewed every six months and could result in SMDA assurance being revoked if insufficient progress is being made towards rectifying an issue.
Release 2 and November 19 Release Testing
In a further extension to testing coverage, the Scheme also completed the upgrade of its testing infrastructure this year to enable Release 2 and November 19 device testing in the Central and South regions on Single Band Comms Hubs.
Devices are already being tested against both baselines and we would therefore encourage manufacturers looking for assurance on these device types to submit their devices for testing. Please contact the Test House on email@example.com if you’d like to discuss this option for your device.
DCC Proof of Concept
Based on industry feedback and the recommendations made in the BEIS’ Interoperability on Change report, the Scheme and DCC have worked together to develop a Proof of Concept Pilot Programme for Comms Hub testing. The testing was successfully completed and the results shared with DCC. Next steps involve reviewing the effectiveness of the testing to determine the benefit of introducing this type of testing into the DCC’s Comms Hub testing process. BEIS continue to take an active interest in this work and we are working closely with them to ensure the recommendations in their report can be achieved.
The Scheme intends to keep building on its positive year by continuing to invest and develop its testing capabilities. Work is currently underway to upgrade our Comms Hubs to be able to test in the Northern region, and we are also developing new tests to cover Variant Devices including polyphase, twin element and five terminal meters. Furthermore, we are reviewing the impact to the Scheme of the changes being introduced in the November 20 Release.
The Scheme is also expecting the first GSME device to be added to the DAR shortly, which will be an exciting accomplishment for the Scheme.
Finally, work continues to review the SMDA funding model. A consultation was undertaken in May, with the vast majority of respondents favouring the option for SMDA costs to be covered under the Smart Energy Code (SEC). We are working closely with SEC to implement this, with a view to securing the longevity of SMDA into the future.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our members for their continued support of the Scheme and look forward to working with you closely over the coming months to help keep SMDA moving forward.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions on the information provided in this update.
Louise Singleton, Head of SMDA Scheme