SMETS1 Smart Meter Upgrade – DCC Migration Explained

Man’s relentless (and seemingly insatiable) need to always ‘go one better’ is the force behind some of the world’s greatest inventions – from the internet and air travel to fridge freezers (think of that the next time you sip a cold beer this summer).

But, with every evolution also comes an end. A natural shedding of what was there before. After all, when was the last time you saw someone with a CD Walkman, a chequebook or a Nokia 3310?

Point made.

In the world of energy, a similar transformation is currently taking place – one that will enable all first generation (SMETS1) smart meters to be read by any energy supplier (not just the one that installed it).

The potential for smart meters and all their benefits is something we find extremely exciting at Igloo. So the prospect of communicating with our own customers’ who joined us with a SMETS1 meter is music to our ears.

About 11 million UK households currently have a first-generation smart meter, also known as a SMETS1 (short for Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications). These meters send data to a supplier electronically, using a SIM card similar to a mobile phone, saving customers the hassle of manually submitting meter readings.

But there’s a snag…

Typically, the meters only communicate with the original supplier who installed them. So when switching to a new provider, customers discover the “smart” element of their meter no longer works, and they have to revert back to submitting manual meter readings.

This won’t be the case for much longer though, thanks to a little something called the DCC.

What is the DCC?

DCC stands for Data Communications Company, a new smart meter communications infrastructure that will link energy suppliers to smart meters via a secure wireless network. This will allow any approved energy supplier to access homes currently fitted with a first generation SMETS1 meter. Solving the connectivity issue that customers who installed a first generation meter are experiencing.

How does the DCC work?

In order for the change to take effect all current SMETS1 smart meters will need to be migrated to the new secure DCC network.

The migration will involve nothing more than a remote firmware update being sent directly to the meter. Meaning you won’t have to do a thing, and no engineer visit will be required.

Once the migration is complete, the meter will regain all of its smart functionality and begin sending meter readings automatically to your energy supplier once again. Which, if you’re reading this blog, is likely to be us.

It also means that when we introduce SMETS2 smart meters, anyone with an existing SMETS1 meter won’t need to upgrade. The DCC will continue to connect with both generations, no matter if you decide to switch energy supplier at any point in the future.

If you’re an Igloo customer, the good news doesn’t stop there…

Out of every energy supplier in the UK, Igloo has the honour of being one of the first suppliers to migrate its customers to the new DCC network – something that as pioneers in the field of emerging energy technology we’re incredibly excited to be a part of.

If you have a first generation smart meter and you haven’t heard from us already, rest assured we’ll be in touch soon.

For those of you not currently with a smart meter, we’ll be offering you the chance to install a SMETS2 meter very soon. These meters are the latest generation of smart meter and are already DCC network enabled.

We’re just ironing out the final few details before our SMETS2 rollout takes effect. So, stay tuned for an update on this in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime…

If you’re not yet an Igloo customer but you like the sound of saving on your energy bills, then feel free to use our postcode checker here for a quote.

On the other hand, if you want to find about more about us and the great things we’ve been up to since launching – like how we recently dropped our electricity prices two months in a row – have a read of some of our other blogs.

And if you decide to switch your supply to Igloo, the process is entirely pain free. We’ll even notify your old energy supplier on your behalf, so the changeover is quick and easy – just one of the many perks you’ll discover when you switch to us.