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In order to achieve maximum return on the often quoted pound7-10 billion investment in smart metering, it is essential that the requirements of the whole energy system, and the main actors within it, are fully considered and optimised for both the medium and long term. The market and operational models that will underpin a national electricity and gas smart meter deployment need to be designed so that they are fit for purpose, flexible and future proofed. They need to take into account current and proposed government legislation, commercial and regulatory drivers on retailers, network operators and primary producers and the drive by Customers for improved service and enhanced product offerings. Given the wide and diverse nature of the outputs required by each of the actors from the deployment of a national smart metering system it is essential that a shared vision is developed for our energy future that will clearly articulate our aims, and guide our design decisions in the next 2-3 years and our deployment decisions in the subsequent 10 years. This could be achieved by the establishment of a Smart Metering Strategic Design Council to not only formulate a shared vision but develop a roadmap and subsequently act as a guiding coalition for an open and transparent central delivery programme. The central delivery programme will then become the mechanism to fully define the overall objectives, design the detail of the market and operational models, detail functional requirements, refine the business case, ensure stakeholder engagement and coordination etc. This will be essential to ensure the optimum solution is identified and maximum return on investment is delivered. The overall objectives should be to achieve: a.) A well functioning and joined up energy supply chain that customers have confidence in b.) A well informed, engaged and empowered population c.) A basis for the support of coherent government and regulatory energy policy. The strategic direction we take, co- lectively, in the next 2-3 years will shape our industry for at least the next 10-15 years - the choice is ours!