EDF, one of the largest suppliers of electricity and gas to domestic users and small businesses in the UK, led the way in smart
meter safety back in 2020 by adopting SMARTester. The use of the devices, by EDF engineers, has been so successful that 1000
SMARTesters have now been made available to their contractors.
SMARTester, a wireless pressure testing system that gives reassurance of precise readings, a searchable database and evidence traceability at your fingertips, was initially purchased for 350 EDF engineers before being rolled out to all contractors.
With each smart meter installation, EDF’s number one priority is safety for both the customer, the installing engineer, and the wider general public. The work must be to industry standards and comply with IGEM technical standards. SMARTester, and the accompanying app, leads the engineer through various designated pressure tests which are IGEM /UP /1B compliant. These tests are recorded, saved, and determine the installation as a pass or fail result. This instant evidence gives EDF and the installing engineer reassurance that the new meter has been fitted compliantly and safely. Traditionally, engineers would have used stand-alone gauges and paper evidence which were hard to monitor, subject to human error and did not offer the same guarantee of 100% accuracy and account traceability. SMARTester, however, allows EDF to observe each installation, whether carried out by their own engineers or contractors. The information from every test is fed up to the cloud in real time and a bank of definitive test evidence is available for EDF’s Gas Technical and Quality Assurance team to keep track of and highlight if there are any issues. If any problems are found these can be investigated and resolved quickly and efficiently. With SMARTester the data is stored for as long as needed allowing historical data to be accessed should it be required.
Geoff Mills, Smart Meter & EV Installations Director commented: “Safety and customer service is our number one priority at EDF
and following our early adoption of SMARTester for our own engineers we are delighted to have been able to roll this out to all our contractors. Equipping them with the latest technology to help ensure a safe gas smart meter installation not only protects them but also offers our customers the assurance that each one of our installations is carried out correctly, compliantly and safely.”
Wayne Bostock, Regional Operations Manager at City Energy Network commented: “SMARTester is a really useful bit of kit for all our engineers. It’s easy to use and gives them complete piece of mind that their work and pressure tests have been carried out correctly and accurately. It also offers clear traceability to our engineers, our company, and EDF.”
Definitive Test Evidence
SMARTester captures a vast level of information which Tom Heard, Quality Assurance at EDF, was particularly impressed with. The key piece of information it delivers is whether a test has passed or failed but other variables such as the time of the test results and the time between test results all help the Quality Assurance team gather a better understanding of each individual job. SMARTester also produces a graph of test results showing the delta pressure, the differential measurement in pressure readings from initial tightness to finial tightness testing. This is an essential piece of information to the Quality Assurance and Gas Technical teams as these pressure changes would indicate if any escape may have been created and it can be rectified straight away. Tom Heard commented: “SMARTester has been worth it’s wait in gold with our contractors. It not only offers them and their engineers protection as it proves a gas tight operation but it also allows us to keep an eye on the test results coming in. If we can identify any potential issues which need resolving straight away, we can deliver the very best in customer service”
SMARTester is configured so that no matter which type of meter is being tested it can respond with the right pressure parameters. This makes it simple for the engineer who just has to select from the menu the model of meter they are working on.
EDF is always looking for ways to reduce costs for the bill payer alongside safe working practices. By introducing a highly accurate pressure tester across all their engineers and contractors, this results in fewer incidents and therefore less investigations. In many cases, the engineer
in question is not able to continue to work until the investigation is resolved. Evidence gathered using the SMARTester can provide proof of a competent installation instantly, resolving incidents in a matter of minutes, not weeks.
Following the government’s pledge in 2017 and subsequent extension, Energy suppliers are required, by their licence, to take all reasonable steps to roll out smart meters to all their domestic and small business customers by the end of 2024. EDF has already installed over 1 million smart meters and each week are upgrading thousands more meters to smart. With 3 million residential and SME customers, EDF are on track to upgrade all of their customers to smart.
The Future of SMARTester
SMARTester is capable of measuring the pressure of any type of gas, making it the ideal solution for all types of future gases.