32 years’ experience in interoperability

Pilot Systems has been in the metering and communications business since its formation in 1989. Its founder and CEO, Nigel Orchard, developed the first prepayment meter used by British Gas and London Electricity whilst he was working at Landis + Gyr. He also formed the concept of “generic” protocols in 1986 used predominantly by UK meter vendors for 2-way data communications and these continue to enable interoperability and innovative solutions today.

Providing thought leadership and consultancy around the world for nearly thirty years:

1989 Pilot Systems offices
At No 10 Barley Mow, our offices in Chiswick, West London for nearly 30 years.
Meeting notes from 1989

The how, the who and the development of smart meters from 1989 right up to the present day.

1992 South Africa
Presenting the benefits of The FLAG Protocol and CHIRPS at the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) in Durban
1993 Ukraine

Presenting in English with simultaneous translation into Russian at Kiev University in Ukraine in 1993

1996 Coventry
Presenting at a debate on US and EU standards in Coventry in 1996 - IEC DLMS, ANSI End Tables or the generic FLAG Protocol?
1999 Berlin

Nigel Orchard at a conference with the European Automatic Meter Reading Association (Euro AMRA) in Berlin in 1999

1999 China

Implementing Chinese meter protocols at Siemens Zuhai in mainland China in 1999

2001 IEC Israel

Giving CHIRPS user training to the IEC Israel at the IEE in Savoy Place, London, in 2001.

2008 Jersey

At the generation control centre for Jersey Electricity, where The FLAG Protocol and CHIRPS have been used for the metering of half the island's energy for over 10 years.

2018 United Arab Emirates

At the Energy and Water Supplier in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in June 2018

2018 United Arab Emirates

At the Regulator for Energy and Smart Cities in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in June 2018

Our technology

Pilot Systems has written and own protocol formatting and packaging kernels, allowing generic messages to be transmitted over most currently available communications mediums. We license and support Head End and Hand Held Device software based on these principles to provide full support for all metering functions, including industrial, multi-utility, smart meters, technical assurance, multiple dwelling, communications hubs, in home displays and consumer access devices. We also implement other vendor’s proprietary protocols under license to facilitate multi-vendor meter support.

Our customers

Pilot Systems has a wide range of established customers who have been running software we have licensed to them (commencing dates in brackets); these include Jersey Electricity (2006) remote advanced meter reading and hand held device capture, Semb Utilities (formally ICI) (2009) remote export meter reading, Elexon (2007) half-hourly meter technical assurance, Siemens (formally EME) (1994) meter operations, EDF Energy (formally Western Power Distribution, WPD) (1994) meter operations, WPD (1994) meter operations, Elster Metering (formally GEC / ABB) (1991) communications kernel, Itron (formally Schlumberger / Actaris) (1994) communications kernel and Landis + Gyr (2010) communications kernel. We have demonstrated the ability to work with a wide range of competing vendors, using common standards and interface “glue” where necessary. Our goal has been to bring out the best from the various market offerings with a high level of stability over extended periods.

Government working groups

Pilot Systems have been serving on UK Government working groups for smart meters since 2010. The Department of Energy and Climate Change Smart Meter Implementation Program (DECC SMIP) is large and complex, and we are as familiar as most in the supply industry about its challenges and wide ranging implications.