Drax has revealed it is working on what it is lauding as a ‘ground-breaking’ polyphase SMETS2 smart meter.

It has partnered the Data Communications Company (DCC), manufacturer EDMI and software firm Utiligroup for the development.

The polyphase meters will allow larger businesses to track their energy usage, with the technology needed to install SMETS2 meters in those larger businesses not previously available.

However, the polyphase meters will use the same software as the single-phase smart meters already installed in homes and business across the UK. This technology could, Drax said, allow its energy supply businesses Haven Power and Opus Energy to offer smart meters to their larger business customers.

The meters are to be field tested with selected Drax business customers, which could be utilities and large NHS Trusts it suggested, in the autumn.

As part of the project, a polyphase smart meter testing lab has been created within the DCC’s Manchester facility.

Paul Sheffield, managing director of Drax’s customers business, said the technology is going to be “a game changer for thousands of our larger customers”.

“This technology will enable them to enjoy greater flexibility and control over their electricity use, making them more sustainable, which will be good for both the environment and their bottom line.”

Installations of smart meters have begun again following a pause due to the COVID-19 lockdown, however installations of domestic meters dropped 15% in Q1 2020.

Dan Lambert, chief operating officer for the DCC, said: “It’s been impressive how well the whole sector has collaborated throughout lockdown on this complex work. With our customers, we’re making Britain more connected so we can all lead smarter, greener lives.”

Drax said its work on the new meters alongside the DCC and EDMI has continued despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with all partners working remotely to develop and test the technology.

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