Smart Metering Guidance in Domestic New Builds – Exemplar Guidance

1 February 2023

1. The necessary provisions should be put in place, especially in Multiple Dwelling Units (MDUs),which are typically blocks of flats or sprawling buildings, for enabling installation of smart metering equipment and efficient wireless connectivity between meters and individual flats.

2. Successful following of the guidance can be demonstrated to the Building Control Body by the installation and successful connection of a Smart Meter and associated equipment at the property.

3. This document is split into two sections:

i. New Guidance - sets out guidance that is not currently included in any Existing Guidance eg that relating to siting of meters relative to each other and the consumer premises

ii. Existing Guidance – sets out a list of references for areas such as space around meters etc

New guidance

4. In MDUs meters should be located inside or in the immediate vicinity of properties themselves wherever possible, as opposed to in meter rooms, to avoid any potential communications issues between smart metering equipment.

5. When there are challenges to fitting meters in close proximity to the flats, that cannot be reasonably addressed, the developer should, at building handover, make the owner or their representative aware of the status of smart metering installation within the building and its premises. Where smart metering is not currently fitted it should also be explained that additional smart metering related equipment (e.g. Alternative HAN) may need to be installed throughout the building to allow all tenants to benefit from the technology.

6. If unavoidable, meter rooms and cupboards accommodating multiple meters should take smart meter equipment sizing into account (basically leaving sufficient space above and below the electricity meter).

7. It is advised against installing gas meters in semi-concealed meter boxes – these have the potential to fill with water, and cause communications and other meter operation issues.

8. When a gas and electric smart meter are installed on the same site, it is important that the meters are in a separate enclosure, with at least 1.0m distance between the two enclosures. Beyond this, the distance and obstacles between the gas and electricity meters should be minimised to the extent permitted.

9. Certain meter types will include ‘meter tails’, which interconnect, via the meter, to the local isolating device (eg: cut-out fuse) and consumer switchgear. Meter Operators will need clearance to allow additional items to be attached. We consider 60mm clearance should be sufficient for most items. This clearance is in addition to the mechanical protection of the tails between the meter and the switchgear.

10. Only equipment required to enable an electricity or gas supply to be provided to the premises should be installed in meter boxes/cupboards.

  1. For electricity meter boxes/cupboards, this includes the local isolating device (eg: main cut-out fuse), the electricity meter and communications hub, and may include a single or double pole isolation device (installed between the electricity meter and consumer unit).
  2. For gas meter boxes/cupboards, this includes the incoming gas supply’s Emergency Control Valve, gas meter and supporting brackets

11. Smart Meters (or the space to install smart meters) should be placed away from any metal objects, cladding, insulation, and pipework that surround the smart meter as this is likely to interfere with communication to and from the smart metering components, especially where there is significant distance between them.


Existing guidance

12. The following existing guidance documents may also be relevant (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Energy Networks Association (2015) Engineering Recommendation G87 Issue 2 – 2015
  • BS 6400-1:2016 Specification for installation, exchange, relocation, maintenance, and removal of gas meters, with a maximum capacity not exceeding 6 m3/h. Part 1: Low Pressure.

13. These documents should be referred to when installing Smart Meters in New Build, when considering spatial dimensions and the positioning of meter equipment.

Further information can be found on the following government website: Smart metering for domestic new builds: guidance for developers and architects 

Who should read this:

This guidance is for builders, architects and all those involved in the specification of metering locations in new build premises, especially multiple dwelling units.

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