SMDA Monthly Update – May 2019

Dear SMDA Scheme Members

This is our fifth monthly update, which provides an overview of the latest scheme news and activities. If there is anything additional you would like to see in future updates then please do let us know.

Path to Partial Assurance – Progress Update

This month we have continued to progress towards issuing partial assurance certificates, covering Credit in the Central and South regions. In our April update, we explained that while the majority of these tests were passing across all Early Mover Model (EMM) devices, a handful of tests were failing. These were grouped into common issues and device specific issues, with common issues being those that are seen across the industry and are outside of the SMDA scheme and manufacturers’ control to rectify, and device issues being specific to one or two devices.

At MP08, the baseline for partial assurance was set. This covers all tests for Credit in Central and South, minus seven tests that the Management Panel (MP) agreed could be tolerated as they were related to known industry issues.

At MP09, the MP discussed the device specific issues and whether these could be tolerated or not. Many of the issues related to alerts not being received in time or in the correct format, although it was possible to see that the action related to the alert had been completed. The general principle was taken that, where the action was completed, these issues with alerts should be tolerated; where the action was not completed, then the issue could not be tolerated.

Following MP09, the Scheme Operator (SO) and the Test House (TH) reviewed each device to see whether it could be granted partial assurance, based on the tolerances agreed. A follow up call with the MP was held on 30th May to discuss the outcomes. There are still a few unknowns, particularly around the impact on Supplier business processes if some tests are tolerated. The MP have requested a full review of the final position of Partial Assurance before issuing certificates. This review will happen over the next two weeks, with the outcome to be discussed at MP10 on 19th June. We hope that following this meeting, we will have a clear position on Partial Assurance and will be able to confirm whether both EMM and non-EMM devices can be awarded certification.

Submitting New Devices for Assurance Testing

If you are planning on submitting your device for SMDA testing, we would encourage you to contact the Test House as soon as possible to secure your testing slot. We have already had non-EMM devices submitted to the Test House and are progressing testing these against our agreed baseline. The increasing certainty achieved through the work on partial assurance will help devices to complete testing and gain assurance.  To contact the lab, please email smdalab@nmi.nl.

Issuing Partial Assurance Certificates

Once a device has been approved for Partial Assurance, the manufacturer will be contacted and asked to confirm the details of their device to be displayed on the Device Assurance Register (DAR) on the SMDA website. The baseline against which the device has been assured will be noted and this will include the common issues that have been tolerated across all devices. If a device has specific tolerances, a box will be checked on the DAR to show “With Tolerances”. These tolerances will be listed on the manufacturer’s SMDA Certificate. Should a Supplier or MAP wish to know what these issues are, they will be able to request to see the manufacturer’s certificate.

Membership Fees

It’s that time of year again where we ask for SMDA membership fees to be paid. Invoices were issued on 24th April and while many have already been paid, there are still a few outstanding. Please can you ensure that your invoice has been paid by Friday 21st June 2019.

If you have any questions about your invoice, please do not hesitate to get in touch at smdaso@gemserv.com.

BEIS Review into Interoperability on Change

Following a recommendation included in a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) last year, BEIS is commissioning an Independent Review of the assurance activities being undertaken by energy suppliers to satisfy themselves that smart devices being deployed meet the “interoperability on change” test (or interchangeability in SMDA language). This test ensures that devices do not need to be replaced early as a result of Change of Supplier events. The review will also include ensuring that all device types can work with each other, and with the central systems managed by the Smart DCC.

As many Suppliers use SMDA as the sole way of testing interchangeability, SMDA will form part of this review. The SMDA Co Board are fully supportive of this review and see it as a good opportunity to demonstrate how SMDA is supporting the industry in this area. Both the SMDA Scheme Operator and the SMDA Co Board will be cooperating with BEIS’ Independent Reviewers over the coming months.

Recent and Forthcoming Meetings

  • The SMDA Board met on 7th May
  • The SMDA Management Panel met on 7th May, with a follow up call held on 30th May
  • The SMDA SO presented at:
    • the EUA meeting on 21st May;
    • the ENA DIG meeting on 22nd May; and
    • the DCC SM WAN meeting on 23rd May
  • The SMDA Management Panel will next meet on 19th June
  • The SMDA Board will next meet on 1st July
  • The Test House continues to meet with EMM manufacturers and welcomes ongoing engagement

Please contact smdaso@gemserv.com if you have any questions on the information in this update, otherwise we will issue the next update at the end of June.

Best Wishes

Louise Singleton, Head of SMDA Scheme

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