Choosing the right metering technology is paramount as the United Kingdom transitions towards sustainable district heating. While wired M-Bus has been an industry mainstay, it may fail to meet upcoming regulatory requirements from Ofgem. Our innovative solutions to these problems enable the shift to compliance, data collection, analysis and optimisation. 

Limitations of Wired M-bus

The traditional wired M-bus approach involves physically connecting heat metres via a shared cable (bus) back to the central data logger. Wired M-Bus, as defined by the EN 13757 standard, does not inherently include encryption. This absence of encryption makes the data transmitted over wired M-Bus networks susceptible to interception and unauthorised access. The standard primarily focuses on the physical and data link layers, with minimal emphasis on security features such as encryption. This results in several drawbacks.

Non-compliance with regulations

We believe that wired M-bus deployments will struggle to meet these regulation standards due to the lack of security and encryption as documented here and here. With the data-driven landscape, ensuring data privacy and security standards is important, especially in the context of GDPR. As utility metre data is considered personal information under GDPR, it is legally required to implement appropriate data protection measures. This is where we think traditional wired M-Bus systems fall short.

Vulnerability to Data Breaches

The M-Bus documentation reveals that wired M-Bus operates using a master-slave communication model where data is transmitted upon request. Without encryption, any data transmitted is in plain text, which malicious actors can intercept. This vulnerability carries significant risks in situations where sensitive personal data must be transmitted with integrity, such as metering for billing or where sitewide wired M-Bus is used as the infrastructure for prepay systems.  Beschreibung des M-bus)

Our Solutions

In contrast, we offer comprehensive metering solutions that are centred around our innovative Guru Hub devices and Pinpoint software. This approach addresses the shortcomings of site-wide wired M-Bus while providing a host of benefits. Our solutions are backed by our ISO 27001 certification for information security ensuring compliance with industry-leading standards.

Compliance with Ofgem regulations

Our solutions are designed to support compliance with the upcoming regulations from Ofgem and codes of practice for district heating networks. By using advanced encryption and supporting diverse data types, we can meet the upcoming requirements for monitoring, data handling, accurate metering and transparent billing practices. Our advanced encryption protocols allow us to safeguard customer data that is transmitted over our secure network.

Flexible and Scalable Data Collection

Guru Hub devices support a wide range of connectivity options allowing for the integration of diverse meter types and data sources. This flexibility enables scalable deployments and supports complex monitoring and optimisation applications.

Powerful Data Analysis and Optimisation

Pinpoint provides a comprehensive platform for data analysis, visualisation, and reporting. Its powerful analytics engine enables organisations to identify inefficiencies, optimise processes, and drive sustainable practices across their operations.

As new and existing heat networks transition to the new regulatory regime, our cutting-edge metering and data management solutions position us as pioneers, offering regulatory compliance and robust data security. 

Heat networks are key to decarbonising heat, which is about a third of UK emissions. But to do that, they’ve got to adopt the kind of strict standards we find in other regulated utilities like gas and electricity, strict standards including information security. The way most of our industry has been handling meter data (for example sending unencrypted data across wired M-Bus networks) just isn’t good enough and we urgently need to move to better standards of security. – Casey Cole, CEO, Guru Systems