Installing up to 29 smart meters a minute across the country, allows millions of homes and small businesses to monitor their energy consumption.

Issue

Energy suppliers were each using their own technology to connect and operate smart meters. With no central network, consumers often found that when they switched provider, their meters lost smart functionality.

Our approach

Smart DCC (Data Communications Company), wholly owned by Capita, was established to implement and operate the smart meter data communications infrastructure. Since it’s set up, we’ve built and implemented a brand new secure data network that connects smart meters to the systems of the energy suppliers and network operators. This market-leading technology creates a unified smart meter network for Britain, avoiding complexity and duplicated costs for energy suppliers who may pass these benefits on to consumers in the form of lower or fixed tariffs.

DCC delivers six key services:

  • Core communication and connectivity – enabling the secure transmission of messages, responses and alerts between smart devices and DCC customers via our secure systems and wide area network.
  • Communications hubs – developing, supplying and managing the communications hubs for energy suppliers to install within homes. The communications hub connects smart meters and other devices in the home via a Home Area Network (HAN), which in turn connects to the DCC smart meter wide area network.
  • Testing – helping our customers to test the ability of their systems and devices to integrate and communicate with relevant components of the DCC systems, interfaces and security systems via our state-of-the-art testing labs.
  • Service management – providing the tools, platforms and a single point of support to help customers use DCC systems.
  • New service implementation – supporting the Government, industry and consumers through the development of new services and functionality.
  • Security – operating to standards endorsed by the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The DCC has built an operational centre covering the whole energy market and its suppliers to provide 24/7 proactive security management.

The impact

Smart meters offer huge benefits for millions of energy customers by allowing them to better understand their energy consumption and associated costs. Once connected, customers can easily switch suppliers: this fosters a vibrant, competitive energy market for consumers.

The intelligent data harvested will continue to support the transition to a more responsive energy system, increasing Britain’s energy resilience and supporting the Government in meeting its ambitious climate change obligations.

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“DCC is a secure critical national infrastructure exemplar” Ciaran Martin, CEO at National Cyber Security Centre.

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