Ofgem applies smart meter privacy to remote meters

In the UK, energy regulator OfgemOfgem applies smart meter privacy framework to remote meters announced this week its decision to extend its smart meter framework to remote meters in a move to extend privacy requirements that apply to smart meters to a wider class of meters protecting customer data.

Remote meters are defined by Ofgem as “any meter that isn’t a smart meter, but which is able to send consumption data to the supplier, either on its own or with an ancillary device”.

Regulatory framework

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had introduced a regulatory framework for data access and privacy for smart meters.

This includes supplier license requirements, as well as obligations in the Smart Energy Code to support the Data Protection Act 1998 – necessary to ensure that consumers have control of consumption data and their meters.

Under the DECC’s Smart Metering Implementation Programme for Data Access and Privacy, it outlines data privacy requirements for energy providers extracting customer consumption information.

It states that energy suppliers are obligated to get consent to obtain and use data at greater detail than daily reads, or use any detail of consumption data for marketing purposes.

In addition, energy providers are required to notify consumers of the data it takes, and cannot do so, if the customer stipulates otherwise.

Suppliers are also required to get consent for access to consumption data in greater details than monthly reads for micro-businesses.

Public Consultation

In December 2014, Ofgem put out its consultation for extending the existing smart meter framework for data access and privacy to Smart-Type Meters and Advanced Meters.

It stated that some suppliers had moved early and have already installed, or are installing, ‘Smart-Type Meters’ (to domestic premises) and ‘Advanced Meters’ (to non-domestic premises). They have similarities with smart meters, but they do not meet the same detailed technical specification, says Ofgem.

The regulator noted: “There are some licence obligations that apply to suppliers in respect of smart meters but do not apply to suppliers in respect of Smart-Type Meters and Advanced Meters.

“Ofgem’s proposals to introduce new licence obligations to ensure that domestic and micro business consumers are more fully in control of the energy consumption data on their Smart-Type Meters and Advanced Meters.”