To support the preparation of a programme of work for the Strategic Metering Review, MOSL issued a request for information (RFI)  to build a robust, cross-sector view of the current metering estate across the non-household market and implementation plans during this Asset Management Planning (AMP) period. The RFI was issued to Contract Managers and Deputy Contract Managers on 15 October, which focused on understanding trading party plans and programmes for metering and the implementation of new technology solutions.

We received responses from 28 trading parties: 14 wholesalers, 13 retailers and one New Appintment and Variation (NAV). Today we are publishing a summary of the responses from trading parties.

From the responses given, the most evident aspect is the significant variation in trading party asset base, five-year plans and operational approach. It is clear that the approach adopted by trading parties reflects individual company circumstances which includes one of more of; operational environment, current asset base, customer demographic and marketing approach. This diversity of approaches reinforces the opinion as to why operating in the non-household market is seen as difficult; why a ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work for such a diverse market; and why there is a need for appropriate standardisation and segregation.

In summary, the key concerns and challenges outlined are as follows: 


Retailer concerns:

  • High cost of effective meter reading
  • Challenges of finding and accessing meters
  • Time to get meters repaired or replaced
  • AMR prohibitively expensive for smaller meters
  • Time to get meters repaired or replaced
  • Water efficiency difficult to implement without granular data.

Retailers would like to see:

  • Centralised strategy and standardised approach to technology
  • Data in common formats and open systems
  • Coordinated roll-out of AMR and Smart meters
  • Enabler for better data capture - photos, vacant properties
  • Move away from 'one size fits all'
  • Ability for customers to read meters (and readings used for settlement).


Wholesaler concerns:

  • The driver for investment is a long-term objective (water resources) which sits outside the market
  • An old and mixed manufacturer asset base means that retrofit reading technology is unrealiable
  • Incentives focus investment on smaller meters
  • The principle of accountabilities for meter assets and who can put reads into the central system limits the introduction of technology.


Wholesaler challenges:

  • Clear understanding of the cost benefit ratio associated with new technologies
  • Large non-household meter exchange costs have increased in recent years due to tighter health and safety rules around isolation requirements and flexible joint risks
  • "Fit on top" technology can be expensive and have problems such as unwanted removal"
  • Better capture and central sharing of fixed asset data, lcoation notes, Skip code and meter reading entry into CMOS.

You can find a full summary of the responses here - all responses have been anonymised.

We will now begin to build outline implementation plans for the Strategic Metering Review, using the information recieved from the RFI, alongside various internal and external stakeholder discussions. These plans will be shared in March 2021, with a view to mobilising the work from April.

If you have any questions regarding this RFI, please contact Martin Hall.

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