Alt HAN Overview

The rollout of smart meters by Energy Suppliers will play an important part in Great Britain’s transition to a low-carbon economy, as well as helping to meet some of the long-term challenges faced in ensuring an affordable, secure and sustainable energy supply. Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters. They will offer a range of intelligent functions and provide consumers with more accurate information, ending the era of estimated billing. Consumers will have near real-time information on their energy consumption to help them control and manage their energy use, save money and reduce emissions.

Energy Suppliers are obligated to take all reasonable steps to install smart meters in GB domestic and smaller non-domestic premises by the end of 2020. In most cases, a standard smart metering installation will include gas and electricity smart meters, an In-Home Display (IHD) and a Communications Hub (CH). Within the customer’s premises, these Devices will communicate with each other via a HAN, as defined by the Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS 2) where the standard HAN will operate in the harmonised frequency bands around 2.4GHz and 868MHz[1].  It is estimated that the Standard HAN technology is suitable to provide the communications links between smart metering equipment in approximately 95% of GB premises[2].  However, the remaining 5% of GB premises (the HAN Coverage ‘gap’) will require additional equipment to extend the range of the HAN in order to connect all of the smart metering devices. For the HAN, the connectivity range can be affected by various factors, such as, building materials, positioning of the equipment, building type etc – improving the connectivity is what Alt HAN is trying to fix, by essentially extending the signal range between the Smart meter and devices in the home.

[1] This, and other references to 2.4GHz and 868MHz in this document, refers to the harmonised frequency bands of 2400 – 2483.5MHz, 863 – 876MHz and 915 – 921MHz.
[2]Conclusions on the consultation on the delivery plan for DCC Release 2.0 (Data Communications Company 16 October 2017).