As the Public Accounts Committee publishes its report on the Update on Preparations for Smart Metering, engineers are warning of the need for cyber security measures to be an integral part of the programme.
Responding to the report, Dr Simon Harrison from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), said: “The Public Accounts Committee report does not mention the issue of cyber security. The IET has consistently argued that end to end consideration of cyber security has to be a key feature of the smart metering system, which will become a part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. It is crucial that all possible steps are taken to ensure the smart meter system will stand up to the continuing cyber security threat.
“Smart meters and the smart grid are part of a critical national infrastructure, which should be planned, designed and managed as a system. The most important role for smart meters is to enable the smart grid, which is needed to support increased renewable energy, electric vehicles, domestic heat pumps and to avoid having to dig up a lot of streets to install new electricity infrastructure.
“The smart metering programme is challenging in its own right, but it is the first stage of the building of the smart grid that will be essential for cost effective and secure low carbon electricity in the future. When considering the costs of the smart metering system, it is essential that the features designed to enable a future smart grid are taken into account.
“Our concerns centre around examples of systems engineering, a subject that is currently under-valued in Government. The IET believes that a professional systems architect function needs to be established and will be essential if the UK is to achieve the transition to low carbon electricity securely and affordably.”
Notes to editors:
- Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
- The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
- The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
- We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
- For more information, visit www.theiet.org
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