Government guidance for smart meter installation in new homes
Published in November 2020 by the UK Government 'Smart meter installation in domestic new build premises' supports the roll out of smart metering for the new build housing sector.
Aimed at developers and architects, the guidance is especially useful for meter installations in new build apartment blocks, where meters located at the dwelling are less common – particularly as many modern blocks utilise communal meter rooms.
The document provides guidance on ‘Wide Area’ and ‘Home Area’ networking together with the need to provide in-home displays (IHD); the space requirements for communal meter rooms; and explains the impact of networking smart meters between apartments and meter rooms and where these become problematic to inform residents about the capability of smart metering or the future capacity to install smart metering.
There is additional direction to some existing guidance – such as: 'Size requirements and positioning guidance for gas smart meters’ and ‘Accessibility Requirements.'
The application of the guidance can be used to demonstrate compliance with building regulations to BCBs, particularly Part L – Conservation of fuel and power (fixed building services), and Part M4 – Access to and use of buildings (electrical control and devices).
Submitted 1 month 1 week ago
We have converted a town house garage to be included in the living accommodation of my daughters house, the new room made from the old garage has the main house electrical feed cable, a smart meter and a consumer unit on the wall now, do these all need to be fire rated or is it just the consumer unit please. and not the smart meter
Thank you for your help
Submitted 1 month ago
Thank you for your recent question about fire protecting the electrical services in a converted integral garage of a Town House.
If the consumer unit is being/has been replaced, then this should comply with Part P of the Building Regulations. It is also notifiable work and the local authority building control team should be notified – either through a Competent Person Scheme installers self-certification under Part P, or by informing the council direct by submitting either a Building Notice or Full Plans application.
Since 1 January 2016, replacement domestic (household) consumer units must, according to BS 7671:2008 (as amended)/IET Wiring Regulations 18th Edition either have their enclosure manufactured from non-combustible material; or be enclosed in a cabinet or enclosure constructed of non-combustible material and complying with the IET Regs requirements for access, maintenance, operation, testing and repair.
Similar guidance applies to the moving of a consumer unit and that the benefits from a protected consumer unit as opposed to retaining a plastic unit outweigh the nominal costs associated with the upgrade.
Insofar as to whether the cabling should be protected against fire the IET Regs say this – ‘Equipment in surroundings susceptible to risk of fire or explosion shall be so constructed or protected, and such other special precautions shall be taken, as to prevent danger.’ It is a matter for the designer/installer to determine if there is a risk of fire attributable to the location of the installation. The meaning of ‘Equipment’ includes ‘wiring systems’ and ‘measuring instruments’, which might include meters.
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