Version 1: Release Note 28 November 2014


Structure of the GB Companion Specification (GBCS) and its relationship to other documents - informative



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Structure of the GB Companion Specification (GBCS) and its relationship to other documents - informative


The whole of this Section 2.2 is informative. A number of documents specify what Devices should do and how they should do it, including:

  • the Device Specifications (SMETS (including the IHDTS, HCALCSTS and PPMIDTS), and CHTS). These documents:

        • lay out minimum physical requirements and minimum functional capabilities for Devices;

        • specify that all Devices must use the ZSE protocol specifications; and

        • specify that Electricity Smart Metering Equipment (ESME) must additionally use DLMS COSEM protocol specifications.

  • International Standards documents, including those which lay out what is required to use ZSE and DLMS COSEM protocols. However, the standards are flexible and could be used in many different ways to implement technically the minimum functional requirements of SMETS and CHTS;

  • the end to end protocol that is defined in the GBCS deviates from the standard ZigBee SEP1.2 and DLMS COSEM protocols in some instances. Suppliers and the DCC are required to deploy Devices that are certified against those aspects of the GBCS that are fully compliant with the ZigBee and DLMS COSEM protocols. Certification is not required against those aspects of the GBCS where the ZigBee and DLMS COSEM protocols are actively dis-applied or modified.

For additional information on the level of the area that would not require certification please see Section 25 for ZigBee SEP1.2, and Section 26 for DLMS COSEM.

GB Smart Metering requires technical interoperability, and so requires a single, consistent, technical implementation of the capabilities laid out in SMETS and CHTS across all Devices, in so far as the network communications with Devices are concerned, be those communications over the Smart Metering Home Area Network (SMHAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN). The Devices in scope of this GBCS are:



  • Electricity Smart Metering Equipment (ESME), including Polyphase, Twin Element, Auxiliary Load Control Switch (ALCS) and Boost Function variants thereof;

  • Gas Smart Metering Equipment (GSME);

  • Communications Hub (Communications Hub Function - CHF) and Communications Hub (Gas Proxy Function - GPF);

  • Prepayment Interface Device (PPMID) and HAN Connected Auxiliary Load Control Switch (HCALCS); and

  • Type 2 Devices, including In Home Displays (IHDs).

The purpose of this GBCS, and related documents, is to specify the single, consistent technical implementation in sufficient detail to achieve operational interoperability of Devices.

The Smart Metering technical and security architecture is based on a suite of agreed, open standards, reflecting the UK Government strategy to facilitate the development of third party innovative solutions for consumer devices. These include standards relating to DLMS COSEM, ZSE, ASN.1, NSA Suite B cryptography and X.509 related IETF RFCs. The GBCS does not duplicate what is laid out in such standards but rather provides references to them.



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