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Delivering SMETS 2, SMETS 1 and Zigbee expertise to UK Energy Suppliers

nPower is a wholly owned subsidiary of Innogy SE and is one of the UK Big Six UK Energy Suppliers, supplying energy to some 5 million
residential customers.

nPower is mandated to support the UK Smart Meter programme and as such, will utilise the DCC Smart Meter services for their existing estate of SMETS 1 meters and future SMETS 2 meter estate. They sought a testing partner to access deep knowledge and understanding of both SMETS 2 and SMETS 1 smart meter technology as well as Zigbee for their Smart Meter programme.

The Challenge

nPower have deployed and operate a large population of their own SMETS 1 specification meters and communications hubs using their own infrastructure and have also procured communication services from external suppliers. 

However, under the UK Smart Meter Programme, Energy Suppliers are mandated to use the DCC Data and Communications services that will utilise SMETS 2, GBCS and Zigbee specifications. They therefore sought expert training and testing resource to support their existing teams on the nPower Smart Meter programme.

The Solution

CACI immediately deployed expert test lead and Zigbee experts into the nPower Smart test programme. We assessed the current knowledge of the existing team and reviewed requirement specifications and testing plans. CACI developed training material for nPower resources and executed knowledge transfer sessions to build nPower's knowledge.
We delivered direct expert testing capability across these technologies and have supported the nPower programme with a flexible Ramp-Up/Ramp-Down model to allow testing peaks to be accommodated at short notice using CACI's resources.

The Results

This Smart Meter Testing service has been instrumental in supporting nPower’s Smart programme, to allow them to meet the government’s deadlines. CACI have built detailed knowledge of SMETS 2 and Zigbee technologies within nPower, and continue to support nPower with subject matter experts into the 2nd year of our partnership.

Further information

To find out how we can help with your Smart Meter Testing programme, contact us on +44 (0)20 7602 6000

"CACI were able to bring deep knowledge on device testing into the nPower team across both SMETS 1 and SMETS 2 technologies and have been a great asset on the nPower Smart Meter Programme. In helping scale our test operations, CACI quickly deployed test leads, device testers and test analysts with the right mix of skills in SMETS 2 and SMETS 1 device testing. Their experience of smart meter testing coupled with their knowledge of the full protocol stack including Zigbee, GBCS, GBZ (DLMS), GBT, DLMS/COSEM enabled them to make a big impact on the test programme from the start.
They have played a key role in test strategy development, test execution and test analysis as well as training and the upskilling of other nPower team members. Their skills in capturing, decoding, interpreting and analysing device (ESME, GSME and PPMID/IHD) logs, Comms Hub (CHF and GPF) logs and Head End System packet traces in addition to their understanding and use of GFI (GIT for Industry) for testing of remote (SRV) and local (HAN only) commands, has been critical to the success of the testing programme."


Matt Allen
Head of Smart Meter Test Programme

Delivering SMETS 2, SMETS 1 and Zigbee expertise to UK Energy Suppliers