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Circle Case study

nPower – Supporting the smart meter programme

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

nPower is now owned by E.ON, supplying energy to some 5 million residential customers.

nPower was 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…

Working closely with Centrica’s key internal stakeholders, CACI deployed a flexible resourcing model, (scaled up or down as projects required), minimising commercial risk whilst satisfying customer expectations. Centrica has also benefitted from a consistent delivery methodology, regular financial and service reviews that have helped to improve cost control, reduced management overhead and a consolidated supplier list.

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 supported nPower with subject matter experts throughout our partnership.

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