Central Management Systems

What is a Central Management System?

Central Management Systems (CMS), also known as Remote Monitoring Systems or Telemangement, provide customers with the latest in dynamic street lighting control. There has been a steady growth in CMS usage over recent years so that by the autumn of 2019 over 40% of our customers operated one or more CMS systems. Some have nearly completed rolling-out across their whole inventory, whilst others are at the beginning of the journey. As the leading Meter Administrator the use of CMS involves us in more calculations each day and was one of the key drivers behind our investment in our bespoke Equivalent Meter, known as hHums. As of early 2022 we are processing ten million events per calendar day for our customers. Through the use of CMS lighting authorities can control the exact switch on/off times of individual street lights, vary the lamp power at any time, receive automatic notification of lamp failures, improve inventory management, etc.

What is measured CMS?

Measured CMS (mCMS) was introduced to the BSC early in 2018 to support the higher power and less predictable charging of EVs. This followed extensive discussion with the Office of Low Energy Vehicles (OLEV), Elexon, the Energy Regulator (Ofgem) and Regulatory Delivery part of the government department responsible for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). These discussions extended over about a year to determine if the unmetered arrangements could be used to support wider adoption of Electricity Vehicles (EVs). It was finally agreed that it was beneficial to extend the adoption of this technology through the unmetered arrangements. Power Data Associates has worked with ubitricity to pioneer this technology over the last few years which triggered the wider adoption. Measured CMS operates by using a 'measurement device' to measure the time and power of energy use and the data is then processed through the unmetered arrangements just like other CMS. In July 2018 the government published its future strategy toward zero emission vehicle use Road to zero quote "...we want all new street lighting columns to include charging points..." Whilst this is an unlikely outcome we are pleased to have been a key enabler to even make this vision possible.

Working together with CMS

There are three simple steps that need to be completed in order to start achieving the financial benefits of a CMS. These 3 key steps are:

  • Your unmetered energy must be traded dynamic half-hourly
  • The CMS must be an Elexon approved system
  • Appoint Power Data Associates as the CMS capable Meter Administrator

What does this mean for unmetered customers?

Power Data Associates was the first approved CMS capable Meter Administrator. So from January 2010, anyone who purchases and operates any approved CMS and also uses Power Data Associates as their Meter Administrator, can immediately get the financial benefits provided by CMS. As soon as any CMS gains Elexon approval and Power Data Associates are appointed as the Meter Administrator, you will benefit from the lower energy bills enabled by the CMS.

PDA as CMS Test Agent

Manufacturers and Suppliers of Central Management Systems (CMS) are required to attain Elexon approval of their systems prior to its application in the control and management of unmetered assets. The testing and approval process was amended in 2022 by the exclusion of Elexon witness testing and the addition of a new role – CMS Test Agent. The CMS Test Agent is a role conducted by PDA and we are very pleased that we were the CMS Test Agent to successfully complete the first approval via the new Elexon requirements.

Who are the Lighting CMS providers?

The following companies are all currently promoting a Central Management System.  Elexon approved CMS:

New products are appearing on the market all the time, so this list is continuing to expand.

Who are the Measured CMS providers?

The following companies are all currently promoting a Measured Central Management System.  Elexon approved mCMS:

New products are appearing on the market all the time, so this list is continuing to expand.

Overview of how CMS data is used to generate your bills

The diagram below explains how the CMS data is used to produce an energy bill. It shows the CMS and non-CMS inventories going from the CMS to Meter Administrator via the local Distribution Network Operator (or UMSO).

CMS Trading

Without the Meter Administrator in the process, the CMS energy and cost saving would not be recognised by the energy supplier.

CMS Guidance Notes

Power Data Associates has worked with Elexon and other industry parties to produce guidance notes for customers and manufacturers. These set out the requirements of what is required for customers to benefit from the enhanced CMS consumption information. To obtain a copy Contact us.