London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- September 3, 2012 - National Grid Metering has accepted the invitation from Ofgem to become Britain’s national meter manager, together with the new obligations this role includes.

In a new consultation focusing on its role and the forthcoming pricing consultation, National Grid Metering said it believes that in the transition to smart metering, it has a vital role to play in the management of traditional gas metering services. The company wants to help guide the orderly transition to a world where homes and businesses will have smart gas meters, whilst maintaining appropriate services for traditional meters yet to be replaced.

National Grid Metering is a subsidiary of National Grid and National Grid Gas (NGG), providing metering services to around 15 million of NGG’s traditional gas meters within Britains’ regulated gas market.

National Grid was invited to accept the role of national metering manager by the regulator Ofgem, in its decision document on transmission and gas distribution price controls published July 25. National Grid was also asked, prior to the introduction of the new obligations and arrangements, to undertake a pricing consultation to review the associated regulated metering tariffs, in place since 2002.

In the consultation document National Grid Metering states that the national meter manager role centers on a national obligation for domestic meter services to be provided on request (meter provider of last resort or MPOLR). However, the company needs to understand what taking on this commitment might look like and how many meter installation requests it might generate before the obligation falls away. It is also necessary to consider the types of meters being requested – prepayment meters are generally more expensive to install and maintain than credit meters so the ratio in the overall meter population will be important.

In addition to the specific role and obligations of the national meter manager, other proposed issues for the pricing consultation include:

  • Traditional meter displacement rates to achieve the smart rollout timetable
  • Regulatory asset value (RAV) allocation methodologies for domestic and I&C businesses
  • Meter provision and metering services prices
  • The period to which the pricing determination should apply
  • Provision of supporting services.

The pricing consultation is proposed to run from mid-September to the end of October. The final proposals would then be delivered to Ofgem by mid-December for final plans by the end of the year.