SMDA Update – February – April 2020
We hope you are staying safe during this uncertain time.
One thing that we can confirm is that the SMDA scheme is still open and we remain committed to providing a high quality service to all our members.
Covid-19 Test House Update
The SMDA Test Lab is still able to conduct testing, with the majority of tests now being run remotely. While the Lab space is officially closed, emergency or urgent work can be conducted on site, which means that full testing can still continue with a slight impact on the expected delivery dates. Additionally, the Test House remains open to answer any enquiries relating to device testing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Management Panel and Board meetings are also continuing, albeit in a virtual capacity. This means that important decisions regarding the Scheme’s technical and strategic direction can still be made. For further information on this, and any other Scheme aspects, please contact the Scheme Operator at email@example.com.
Joint SEC/SMDA Funding Model Consultation – Responses Required!
In the BEIS’ independent review into interoperability on change released in October 2019, it was recommended that the SMDA funding model be reviewed to ensure the Scheme’s long term viability. Having reviewed various options, the Scheme submitted a proposal for a modification within the Smart Energy Code (SEC) in January, to enable elements of the Scheme to be funded through the SEC. The proposal was subsequently discussed at the SEC Panel meeting in March, where it was agreed that a joint consultation between SMDA and SEC would be circulated to gather feedback from SMDA members and SEC Parties on the possible funding options and proposed approach.
The consultation questions consist of two parts, the first being to understand the Scheme’s value within the industry and which funding model the industry prefers. The second part then focuses more on the SEC funding option, with questions regarding how that option could work. For example, it is proposed that the fixed costs of the SMDA Scheme would be funded through the SEC, while the variable costs would continue to be funded by manufacturers submitting devices into the Scheme for testing. As not all the Device Manufacturers are SEC Parties, this would ensure the cost of the Scheme continues to be split across all SMDA member groups, as it has been to date.
It is extremely important that we hear from all industry participants, including SMDA Members, about their views on this proposal. The consultation can be downloaded here, and members are requested to respond to the consultation by submitting their responses by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm Friday 22nd May 2020 with the subject line ‘DP111 SEC/SMDA Consultation response’.
Release 2 Upgrade is Complete!
Since our last update, work has been undertaken to upgrade the testing infrastructure, specifications and scripts to align with the changes introduced by Release 2. This is now complete and we are pleased to announce that Release 2 devices can now be tested by the Scheme against the updated baseline. To submit your device for testing please contact the Test House at email@example.com.
Upcoming Release Changes
Feedback from the SMDA Technical Sub-Committee on the implementation of the November 19 Release into the Scheme has been collected and will presented to the Management Panel on the 6th May 2020 for approval. Once agreed, work can begin on getting these changes implemented so that November 19 functionality can also be tested.
The Scheme is also reviewing future industry changes as set out in the Joint Industry Plan (JIP), including those changes detailed in the June 20 and November 20 Releases. This will allow us to understand the impact these changes will have on the Scheme infrastructure, and enable the Scheme to begin taking steps to including this functionality in our testing as well.
SMDA continues to progress with including Variant devices such as five terminal, polyphase and twin element devices into the Scheme’s testing and specifications. Based on feedback from the industry, testing five terminal devices will be the Scheme’s first priority, followed by polyphase and twin element. If you have any further information on the development of these devices within your own organisation that you would like to share with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scheme’s Communication Hubs Upgrade
Following discussions at the Management Panel, it has been agreed that the Toshiba Comms Hub currently being used in our Testing Baseline should be upgraded from the current 11.30 version, to the 12.29 version. The Scheme is also discussing which version of the Arqiva Comms Hub to upgrade to, with the aim of extending the Scheme’s testing to cover credit functionality in the Northern Region. A further upgrade would then be required to achieve Pre-payment testing in the North.
Communication Hubs Confidence Testing
Over the past few months, discussions have been held with the DCC regarding SMDA undertaking independent testing of Comms Hubs as part of the DCC’s own testing programme. It has now been agreed that a Proof of Concept will be completed on one Comms Hub, to review the effectiveness of the approach. If this is successful, there is the possibility of including SMDA testing for all new Comms Hub releases. This testing would occur at the end of the DCC SIT process, and at the start of the UIT process. The benefit of this is that SMDA will be able to run tests in one place, rather than multiple Suppliers running the same tests individually, thereby saving time and costs for Suppliers, and hopefully allowing any issues to be identified earlier in the process.
Meetings held in the last quarter
- The SMDA Management Panel Technical Sub-Committee meeting was held on the 19th February 2020 – Meeting minutes available here
- The SMDA Management Panel 17 was held on 25th February 2020 – Meeting minutes available here
- The SMDA Management Panel 18 Follow Up Teleconference was held on 10th March 2020 – Meeting minutes available here
- The SMDA Board Follow Up Teleconference was held on 24th February 2020
- The SMDA Board meeting was held on 16th March 2020
Meetings attended in the last quarter
- The Scheme Operator (SO) presented at the EUA Joint Metering Services and Metering Technology Members meeting on the 18th February 2020
- Members of the SMDA Board presented at the SEC Panel meeting on 13th March 2020
- The SO attended the SEC Panel meeting on 17th April 2020
- The SO presented at the Smart DCC Monthly Update meeting on 22nd April
- The SO presented at the SEC Small Supplier Engagement Session on 23rd April
- The next SMDA Management Panel 19 meeting will be held on the 6th May 2020
- The next SMDA Board meeting is scheduled for the 25th May 2020
Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions on the information provided in this update.
Louise Singleton, Head of SMDA Scheme