The first ever polyphase SMETS2 smart meter has been installed in the UK, with the technology allowing properties connected to a three-phase electricity supply to have the option of a smart meter.
The new technology was installed for a Good Energy customer in Gloucestershire, with the smart meter designed by US-based smart infrastructure solutions provider Aclara.
Many properties with three-phase power – which are typically industrial and commercial or high-usage residential sites - have been unable to have a smart meter installed, however the development of the polyphase SMETS2 meter means “hundreds of thousands” of customers will now be able to have one installed.
Robert Cheesewright, director of communications at Smart Energy GB, said: “The introduction of polyphase SMETS2 smart meters means that many more people will be able to benefit from an end to estimated bills and can take part in the much-needed upgrade to our energy system.”
Aclara and the Smart Data Communication Company (DCC) have worked closely with SMS over the past year to bring the smart meter to the UK, performing a rigorous testing and verification process at its test lab in Lancashire.
“This long-awaited solution is a real landmark for the smart energy revolution and the UK’s wider low-carbon transition, providing access to a previously untapped smart meter market, as well as giving larger non-domestic energy consumers a choice between smart and advanced meter technologies,” said Tim Mortlock, chief operating officer of SMS plc.
The development of polyphase SMETS2 smart meters is also being conducted by Drax, having partnered with the DCC, manufacturer EDMI and software firm Utiligroup earlier this year.
It is to start field testing its meters in the autumn, with the technology being tested at a newly-created polyphase smart meter testing lab in the DCC’s Manchester facility.
The smart meter rollout is currently behind targets, however. A progress report released by Ofgem last month found that half of suppliers have failed to reach smart meter installation milestones and were over 10% outside of the tolerance allowed.
The government has, however, extended the obligation for suppliers to take All Reasonable Steps (ARS) to install smart meters by six months as a result of COVID-19. Suppliers will now have until July 2021 to meet the installation milestones required for the ARS stage of the smart meter rollout.