smart metering funding

UK smart energy meters supplier Smart Metering Solutions (SMS) this week secured a GBP150 million (US$212.8m) loan.The loan, which was from a club of lenders including Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Santander, will be channeled towards improving SMS’ operations, according to local media.

Commenting on the development, Alan Foy, CEO of SMS, said: “Our lenders continue to show such great support for SMS and its strategy. The improvement to an already competitive facility will provide SMS with a significant additional source of finance.”

Some of the plans for the loan include increased deployment of smart meters.

SMS in UK smart metering

In mid-January, SMS won five separate deals with UK energy providers to supply smart meters to residential and small business consumers.

[quote] Under the contracts, SMS will provide smart gas and electricity meters to 386,000 metering points collectively owned by RHE, Green Energy, Flow Energy, Spark Energy and Our Power in Britain.

Foy said: “These new independent suppliers are part of the fastest-growing segment of the retail energy supply.”

The development comes as SMS is one of four businesses currently offering Meter Asset Manager (MAM) services, which energy suppliers will be required by regulation to appoint to carry out the installations.

MAM is a flexible software solution for managing customer portfolios.

Smart metering infrastructure

Efforts to meet with targets to deploy 53 million smart meters across the UK is also increasing pressure on utilities to develop automated metering related infrastructure and solutions.

Also in January 2015, M2M company NetCracker partnered with digital communications provider O2 to deploy its revenue management solution for AMI.

The partnership means O2 will use NetCrackers’ revenue management solution through a hosted managed services model to provide rating, billing and mediation capabilities for the UK’s smart metering programme across 53 million devices.

NetCracker said O2 will also implement the solution in a partner revenue-sharing ecosystem allowing its customers to purchase third-party services charged directly to their monthly phone bills.

Brendan O’Rourke, CIO at O2 in the UK, commented: “Taking on these massive and innovative programs with tight timelines is a major undertaking, which encouraged us to only leverage solutions that we knew could support us quickly and seamlessly.

"NetCracker’s solution will play a mission-critical role in helping us launch our partner-centric, IoT-driven business model and Charge-to-Mobile initiative.”