Smart is the New Black: Uncovering the Smart Meter Implementation Success

September 19, 2019

From smart cities to smart buildings, being 'smart' is in vogue! Discover how smart meters will prevent power outages and change energy demands, as well as how Critical Software has contributed to their rollout across the UK.

Smart meter

Cities, houses, phones, TVs, meters… being smart is the new black! In fact, smart is one of the trendiest words in engineering today, as our day-to-day objects tend are designed to be safer, more automated and better adapted to our needs.

Smart meters in an increasingly smart world

The future is here: systems controlled by smartphone apps are now a reality. This development will not only allow people to monitor their energy consumption in real time, it will also change energy tariffs in a more dynamic way, without the need for property visits from energy operators. When it comes to electric vehicles, this wider tariff flexibility will let people save money by scheduling their vehicle charges during off-peak periods.

Power outages will become less and less common and last for shorter periods of time due to the monitoring activities offered by smart devices, which makes it possible for energy operators to predict, detect and restore services much faster.

This technology has and will come to make our lives easier in many respects but if you think that the only advantages are for the energy operator, think again!

How critical are smart meters?

There’s a huge chance for software to be developed for several parts of the smart grid pipeline, given the efforts to ensure that more than 70% of the European population will have a smart meter in their homes by 2020. Solutions for service providers, safety systems or software for the integration of different systems are just some of the examples that demand zero-risk of failure. Custom software that must be developed according to the best quality standards and procedures sounds like a mission for Critical, right?

The SMIP success

Active since late 2013, the Smart Meter Implementation Programme (SMIP) consists of the installation of modern devices and all relevant infrastructure in the UK. Critical Software is working on this programme, responsible for ensuring that all meters can communicate, playing a vital role in the project’s verification and validation processes.

We play a critical role by ensuring the system operation’s integrity. Not only are we minimising the chance of cyber attacks compromising the system, we are also significantly reducing the number and length of power outages. Moreover, since we’re talking about investing in prevention, the cost associated with time and resources allocated to contingency plans is also mitigated.

This project is a success and new projects are now being commissioned. We continue to believe that it’s important to apply our company’s culture and mindset in different technological fields, now and in the years to come.

If you would like to know more about Critical's work on the energy sector click here.

by João Esperança de Brito