Understanding UMS charge codes

October 2017

What is a UMS Charge code?

A Charge code is a 13 digit number assigned to apparatus that UMS customers add to their inventories.

Charge codes are used within the UMSO systems to calculate volumes of electricity consumed.

In simple terms, the power on our highways and roads, unlike our homes, is unmetered. 

A UMS charge code is the information electricity suppliers require to get your equipment connected, to understand how much power is consumed and to make your billing arrangements.

Think of it like a barcode; providing detail on power consumption, dimming levels and, for 41 codes, the specific manufacturer of the equipment.

Who issues Charge codes?

An organisation called Elexon are responsible for issuing codes and the administration of the manufacturers application process. They work in close association with UMSUG (Un Metered Supplies User Group); a panel of experts that advise Elexon on changes or updates needed.

It is for this reason that these codes are quite often referred to as UMSUG Codes.

Out with the old and in the with new

'Old' 41 Charge codes

The old 41 Charge code system required an individual code per product. Historically this worked well for lamped products. Each lamp and control combination was given a specific charge code, completed by the lamp and gear manufacturers.

LED products had a charge code unique to the specific configuration of the product. Therefore measurements were needed for every number of LEDs at each available drive current and dimming level. This resulted in;

  • Thousands of individual codes
  • Thousands of product tests and measurements required
  • Significant time and cost for all

A bit of a nightmare for manufacturers, but most importantly confusion for customers.

So what’s changing? Existing 41 codes will remain valid but no new ones will be published for LEDs.

'New' 42 Charge codes

Elexon have recently introduced a new system: new generic codes that start with the number ‘42’.

The new codes, specific for LED products, offer a simplified system covering wattages from 1W to 500W. Manufacturers will now be issued a code from the common 500 options available.

Example codes

Example code is for a 105W power at 100% output.

Breaking it down:

42 = New code designation / LED product

0105 = example power consumption

0000 = Generic coding always 0000

100 = no dimming, 100% output

 

And the Lower limit code for the same product is:

42 0022 0000 100

42 = New code designation / LED product

0022 = example power consumption

0000 = Generic coding always 0000

100 = 100% output

Dimming

Dimming of Generic LED Charge Codes (42 Charge Codes) is accommodated by linking the Charge Code with alpha-numeric Variable Power Switch Regimes that are published on the Elexon website.

Please note: Dimming of equipment that is controlled by a Central Management System (CMS) does not need a Variable Power Switch Regime as the dimming is reported in the CMS event log provided to the Meter Administrator

Constant Light Output (CLO)

Where CLO is employed, then the code will identify the mid-life value of energy consumption for the product.

For example, if the mid-life value for an LED street light is 52 watts, then the manufacturer should declare the Generic LED Charge Code to the customer as 42 0052 0000 100.

Please note: CLO controlled by a Central Management System (CMS) does not need a Variable Power Switch Regime as the dimming is reported in the CMS event log

DW Windsor Charge codes

The UMS Charge codes specifically for DW Windsor luminaires can be found on the main Elexon website here

This can be slightly cumbersome, so to save you time we have created a (short version) guide which can be found here.