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  • FIRST POST
    • beeringo
    • By beeringo 4th Oct 16, 9:41 PM
    • 42Posts
    • 38Thanks
    beeringo
    Smart Meters - Ask me anything!
    • #1
    • 4th Oct 16, 9:41 PM
    Smart Meters - Ask me anything! 4th Oct 16 at 9:41 PM
    Hi all,

    Just thought i would help here with any burning questions you guys might have about the UK Smart Meter rollout. I've seen a lot of spurious information and speculation out there on the interweb along with (thankfully!) a lot of informed savvy people!

    I've worked at the cutting edge of the industry for 5 years, for a Smart Meter manufacturer as well as a well known Electric/Gas transmission network operator, and have lived and breathed smart meters throughout, from a very technical backgound. For the past few months i spend a lot of my time in London with the DCC (the government's central organisation for the Smart rollout) sitting on various forums. It's a passion of mine both professional and personal!

    Feel free to ask anything - i might just be able to help
Page 8
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 1st Feb 17, 6:18 PM
    • 26,732 Posts
    • 12,926 Thanks
    Cardew
    Quote In Spain, depending on the maximum demand value, the penalty can involve a significant bill increase. If the maximum demand value exceeds 10% of the contracted power, the user will pay a 20% increase on the maximum demand term. However, if the maximum demand exceeds 20% of the contracted power, the user will pay 50% increase on the maximum demand term Unquote

    The maximum demand value is the average from the instaneous power (in kW or kVA) during a defined time interval, usually every 15 minutes.

    And we think that the U.K. Energy market is difficult to understand.

    Source: circular.com
    Originally posted by Hengus
    This is similar to France where the owner contracts with the electricity company for a ceiling consumption, say, 8kVa, 12kVa 14kVa etc(might be kW - not sure).

    A pal lives in central France and rents out two Gites. Heating is with two wood burners. He found to his cost that a foreign family couldn't be bothered with the wood burners and had brought their own electric heaters!
    • marsden_rock
    • By marsden_rock 2nd Feb 17, 9:18 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    marsden_rock
    Smart Meters and Legacy Tariffs
    I am with nPower using water and storage heaters supplied on their Super Tariff through a three phase supply utilising two mpans. This is a double whammy as other providers refuse to take on the billing requirements which involve manual intervention and decline any other tariff due to the type of metering. There are currently no suitable smart meters for this installation and I have been unable to get nPower to define what type of meter they would instal to facilitate a tariff change.
    Two questions, therefore, in your view:
    Will there ever be a suitable smart meter for this configuration?
    Will OFGEM authorise providers to simply impose alternative metering and tariffs to achieve targets for the roll out of smart meters?
    • darren72
    • By darren72 2nd Feb 17, 10:09 AM
    • 993 Posts
    • 200 Thanks
    darren72
    My friend is with EON and has a smart meter installed. She is transferring over to Scottishpower.

    Does anyone know whether the smart meter installed will continue to operate ?

    Thanks
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 2nd Feb 17, 10:30 AM
    • 3,171 Posts
    • 1,675 Thanks
    lstar337
    I am with nPower using water and storage heaters supplied on their Super Tariff through a three phase supply utilising two mpans. This is a double whammy as other providers refuse to take on the billing requirements which involve manual intervention and decline any other tariff due to the type of metering. There are currently no suitable smart meters for this installation and I have been unable to get nPower to define what type of meter they would instal to facilitate a tariff change.
    Two questions, therefore, in your view:
    Will there ever be a suitable smart meter for this configuration?
    Will OFGEM authorise providers to simply impose alternative metering and tariffs to achieve targets for the roll out of smart meters?
    Originally posted by marsden_rock
    Can't you just ask for 1 supply to be disconnected and for a new meter to be fitted to the other?

    Getting rid of that metering system is going to benefit you in the future.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 2nd Feb 17, 11:33 AM
    • 4,006 Posts
    • 2,251 Thanks
    Hengus
    My friend is with EON and has a smart meter installed. She is transferring over to Scottishpower.

    Does anyone know whether the smart meter installed will continue to operate ?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by darren72
    I suggest a call to the Smart Meter team at Scottish Power. They may ask for smart meter details.

    In most cases, foundation stage (SMETS1) meters only communicate with the supplier that provided the meter. The meter will still work as a meter but your friend will have to read the meter if accurate billing is required. Following an Ofgem change last year, meters now have to be read by the supplier at least once every year.

    The Government has asked suppliers to come up with proposals to upgrade foundation stage meters to what is known as SMETS2 compliance by 2020. Once the upgrade has been carried out, the meter will communicate with a central hub which is not supplier dependent.
    • SS_178
    • By SS_178 20th Apr 17, 10:46 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    SS_178
    Security threat
    Can you please explain whats happening here?
    Also if a PC / Smartphone can be connected to HAN, does that leaves a scope for a potential security breach?
    • SS_178
    • By SS_178 20th Apr 17, 10:50 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    SS_178
    Is DCC live?
    Hi,

    I am utterly confused with whether the DCC is fully live or not? DCC's website claims they're live nationally, if so why none of the suppliers are able to rollout SMETS2 so far? What's happening? Can you please clarify?
    Many thanks,
    SS
    • SS_178
    • By SS_178 20th Apr 17, 10:52 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    SS_178
    Clsoing down of GPRS.
    UK’s GPRS networks are scheduled to be turned off by 2026 and as per The Royal Academy of Engineering report the GPRS will be replaced by 3G/4G/5G from 2023 itself, as Hutchinson’s taking over of O2 may trigger this earlier.

    This could mean that all communication hubs will need to be replaced before the end of 2025, meaning 30 million reinstallation visits between 2020 and 2026 at a total additional cost of over £2 billion.

    Is this true?
    • SS_178
    • By SS_178 20th Apr 17, 10:54 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    SS_178
    Is Zigbee outdated?
    They say, ZigBee is not compatible with PCs and smart phones. Therefore, to get data to a PC or smartphone a consumer will have to buy a Consumer Access Device; and arguably the Zigbee standard has been made obsolete by the more recent Thread standards. The Future Power System Architecture project funded by DECC includes the conclusion “There is a discrepancy between the SMETS 2 functionality and the expected functionality required from a smart meter.”

    What's your take on the radio protocols please?
    • SS_178
    • By SS_178 20th Apr 17, 11:11 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    SS_178
    EU Mandate
    It's not binding even if the UK stays in EU.

    DIRECTIVE 2009/72/EC says -

    "Where roll-out of smart meters is assessed positively, at least 80 % of consumers shall be equipped with intelligent metering systems by 2020".

    Germany have gone against national roll out as it doesn't stacks up for them, but Italy, UK etc assessed that benefits are positive hence went for it.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 20th Apr 17, 11:53 AM
    • 4,006 Posts
    • 2,251 Thanks
    Hengus
    Hi,

    I am utterly confused with whether the DCC is fully live or not? DCC's website claims they're live nationally, if so why none of the suppliers are able to rollout SMETS2 so far? What's happening? Can you please clarify?
    Many thanks,
    SS
    Originally posted by SS_178
    DCC is live. However, suppliers are permitted to count SMETS 1 meters against their SMETS2 roll out target until the Autumn of this year. If you were a supplier, with a warehouse full of SMETS 1 meters what would you do?

    There are no plans to upgrade these meters to the SMETS2 standard. Govt has directed that the DCC and suppliers are to find a way of 'orphaning' these meters on to the DCC infrastructure by 2020.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 20th Apr 17, 12:01 PM
    • 4,006 Posts
    • 2,251 Thanks
    Hengus
    Can you please explain whats happening here?
    Also if a PC / Smartphone can be connected to HAN, does that leaves a scope for a potential security breach?
    Originally posted by SS_178
    GCHQ has reviewed the threat and recommended improvements to the built in security of the smart meter system. However, there is no such thing as 100% security. A bigger worry has emerged recently. If smart meters are taken offline by an attack on the remote disconnection technology, then there is no simple way of updating the meter firmware. Connectivity is designed to send short bursts of data to the DCC ( to keep costs down) not to support large downloads of firmware.

    Quote: Upgrading would be easy if the meters had a high speed wireless connection, but they don’t. In order to minimise the ongoing communications cost, i.e. their annual mobile contract cost, smart metering systems are designed with hardware and a communications infrastructure which only supports very low data rates. Meters typically send just a few hundred bytes of data to the server each day and rarely need any data to be sent back. To make this efficient, networks are optimised for data being sent from meters, not to them. They are not designed to send firmware update files to millions of meters at the same time. SMETS2 makes the situation worse, as its complexity means these update files may be several Megabytes in size. The spec allows for meters to be gradually updated as an ongoing maintenance activity, but if an update needs to be applied to millions of meters, it could take days or even months. Unquote

    Source: Nick Hunn

    http://www.nickhunn.com/smart-meter-update/
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 20th Apr 17, 12:41 PM
    • 3,171 Posts
    • 1,675 Thanks
    lstar337
    I got a call from EDF yesterday (they have been hassling the OH for a couple of weeks) about a smart meter upgrade.

    Call went like this:

    EDF: We are in the area doing smart meter upgrades and would like to know whether you would like a morning or afternoon appointment? (note the wording gives no option to say no)

    Me: I wouldn't like either thanks as I'm not interested in a smart meter upgrade right now.

    EDF: Oh (real surprise in voice), is there a particular reason you don't want a smart meter?

    Me: Yes. I know you are trying to offload a lot of first generation meters, and I'm not interested in a first generation meter that is already out of date.

    EDF: Ah, well no need to worry about that as we are rolling them out now and will upgrade them via a software update at a later date.

    Me: As far as I'm aware that isn't possible as the hardware isn't supported.

    EDF: Well I don't know where you are getting your information from, but it isn't what we are being told here.

    Me: OK, so are the meters you are installing fully SMETS2 compliant?

    EDF: Um, No they are SMETS1 meters as SMETS2 meters will not be available until later in the year.

    Me: Well I'm not interested in changing my meter until you can offer me a SMETS2 compliant meter. Otherwise I will be stuck with a SMETS1 meter that will be completely useless if I switch supplier.

    EDF: Right, OK. Thank you for your time.

    Me: No worries. Feel free to call back when you have the SMETS2 meters, I'll be happy to accept an upgrade.

    A bit annoyed that they tried to BS me and then make out my information source was no good, when actually they were talking rubbish. Soon backed off when they realised I knew exactly what I was talking about though.

    The CS comments on software updating are made even more interesting by what Hengus has posted above!
    • SS_178
    • By SS_178 20th Apr 17, 1:36 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    SS_178
    DCC is live. However, suppliers are permitted to count SMETS 1 meters against their SMETS2 roll out target until the Autumn of this year. If you were a supplier, with a warehouse full of SMETS 1 meters what would you do?

    There are no plans to upgrade these meters to the SMETS2 standard. Govt has directed that the DCC and suppliers are to find a way of 'orphaning' these meters on to the DCC infrastructure by 2020.
    Originally posted by Hengus
    I understand that, thank you. But there are smaller suppliers who are not sitting on any 'pile' of SMETS1 and are willing to install SMETS2 yet are unable to do so due to some issues with DCC infrastructure. What's that?

    What do you mean by 'orphaning' here? Is it not the case that these old SMETS1 meters will be integrated into DCC network remotely where technically possible rather being completely abondoned?
    • Raxiel
    • By Raxiel 20th Apr 17, 1:41 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Raxiel
    I understand that, thank you. But there are smaller suppliers who are not sitting on any 'pile' of SMETS1 and are willing to install SMETS2 yet are unable to do so due to some issues with DCC infrastructure. What's that?

    What do you mean by 'orphaning' here? Is it not the case that these old SMETS1 meters will be integrated into DCC network remotely where technically possible rather being completely abondoned?
    Originally posted by SS_178
    I don't think 'Orphaning' is the correct term. The SMETS1 meters are orphaned when a consumer switches away from the meter's 'parent' supplier. The plan is for the DCC to adopt orphaned meters back into the smart network.
    • SS_178
    • By SS_178 20th Apr 17, 1:50 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    SS_178
    I don't think 'Orphaning' is the correct term. The SMETS1 meters are orphaned when a consumer switches away from the meter's 'parent' supplier. The plan is for the DCC to adopt orphaned meters back into the smart network.
    Originally posted by Raxiel
    Agree, that's my understanding as well.

    Cheers!
    • SS_178
    • By SS_178 20th Apr 17, 1:57 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    SS_178
    Is DCC live?
    Agree, that's my understanding as well.

    Cheers!
    Originally posted by SS_178

    Also - Dailymail report quotes EDF, "Even energy boss admits smart meters aren't that smart! EDF chief says £11bn plan to introduce them nationally will face 'many challenges".
    "...problems with the communication infrastructure mean modern models may not be isssued"


    So something is not up to date at DCC, what's that, if anyone knows?
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 20th Apr 17, 4:03 PM
    • 4,006 Posts
    • 2,251 Thanks
    Hengus
    I understand that, thank you. But there are smaller suppliers who are not sitting on any 'pile' of SMETS1 and are willing to install SMETS2 yet are unable to do so due to some issues with DCC infrastructure. What's that?

    What do you mean by 'orphaning' here? Is it not the case that these old SMETS1 meters will be integrated into DCC network remotely where technically possible rather being completely abondoned?
    Originally posted by SS_178
    'Orphaning' in the sense of adoption. The consultation out at the moment suggests that SMETS1 meters will have a communications unit change and a separate/dedicated Gateway into the DCC infrastructure. As far as I can tell from the consultation document, it is not intended to update the firmware to SMETS2 compliance.

    https://www.smartdcc.co.uk/media/317173/15443_factsheet_a_e_v4.pdf
    Last edited by Hengus; 20-04-2017 at 4:06 PM.
    • Jay patel
    • By Jay patel 20th Apr 17, 4:44 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Jay patel
    I have been advised by SSE that they are unable to install a gas smart meter as my current meter has an induction joint. They mentioned that there were suppliers out there that could install the smart meters. British gas gave me the same feedback when making enquiries with them. Do you know of any companies that have the ability to fit gas meters on setups with induction joints.
    • fewkeste
    • By fewkeste 22nd Apr 17, 5:15 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    fewkeste
    ...so essentially a good approach might be..
    I knew nothing about Smart meters until I found and read all 8 pages of this thread. I've found it very informative and I would like to thank all contributors for increasing my knowledge and particularly Istar337 for alerting people to the potential situation of suppliers attempting to 'dump' SMETS1 meters on unsuspecting consumers as a way of filling their installation quotas.

    If I've understood correctly, when/if those consumers with SMETS1 meters installed switch provider, their meters (for the foreseeable future) become dumb meters. Is that right?

    I'm in the process of moving to Powershop and may as result be provided with a Smart meter. The following stance is what I want comments on please.

    Is it a reasonable strategy/position to refuse to have a smart meter fitted unless it's a SMETS2 compliant model?

    Is this a wise strategy or a Luddite viewpoint?

    Comments and advice please.
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