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SMETS2 Smart Meter installation

SMETS2 Smart Meter installation

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I see on the DCC website they're reporting that as of today (21/05/19) the 1 millionth SMETS2 meter has been added to the network:
One millionth smart meter connects to Britain’s secure network

Still no news I can find about when the Arqiva DCC network will be ready for more SMETS2 in the north and Scotland.
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Thanks @Transparent for an excellent explanation. Was this your first SMART meter installation or did you have a SMETS1 first?
Hi
I had a new SMETS2 smart meter installed about 4 weeks ago. In the first week the electric was saying that I had used something stupid like £150 but the gas was fine. Since then the electric part isn’t showing any readings at all and the app is only showing the first reading (0000) and asking for a meter reading, which I have done. Any ideas to why it’s not working?
Thanks
Andy
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Hey @andyt2007

I've just popped your question here, this is a great topic shared by @Transparent

You can find everything you'll need to know and what you can expect for the first 6-8 weeks of you having your SMETS2 meters installed!

Thanks ☺
I two weeks ago had a smart meter installed. For the first week it showed that I had used a months worth of electricity in three days. The gas usage details seemed to be ok. From the second week onwards the electricity screen went blank and could not be activated. Can anyone who has had a similar experience advise me on the action I need to take to remedy the above. I have tried pressing the buttons on the electricity meter. Thank you David W.
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Hi @johnwin1

Welcome to the Forum.

Yes, we are aware of the issues and they are being discussed on several Topis here. You are best starting by reading the thread I wrote here in March when my own SMETS2 meters were installed.

There are two outstanding problems with my installation, both of which you will see reflected in comments from others. You may have both issues at your home too.

A. The Chameleon IHD units supplied by OVO are giving erroneous (high) figures for the cost of energy used. The actual usage figures in kWh will be correct once the commissioning process has completed. This takes about a month.

B. Sometimes one of the two meters on a site loses the ability to transfer data to the Communications Hub, which sits on top of the SMETS2 Electricity Meter.

I have an engineer's visit booked in on Monday 10th to investigate this second issue. I will keep the Forum updated on what we find out.

Please do not panic in the meantime. Your actual energy bills are calculated from figures sent to OVO directly from the Communications Hub. They are unaffected by the software bug on the IHD.

I suggest you email hello@ovoenergy.com and inform Customer Services that you have the IHD problem. It isn't yet clear what %age of those installed are showing the erroneous costings. So you need to get your name added to the list of those who will require a new IHD once the software issue is remedied.

I will be meeting the Customer Services Manager later this month, and you can be sure that this issue will come up in conversation!

I'm just going to tag a couple of Moderators here:
@Eva_OVO or @Ed_OVO can you please move this Topic started by johnwin1 and attach it to my SMETS2 Installation Topic? Thanks.
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Hey @Transparent and @johnwin1 - posts moved! Hope this helps 🙂
I seem to be in a similar "boat" to johnwin1, in that I had my 2 smart meters fitted yesterday and yet today despite only pulling around 80w (electricity) my IHD is telling me on its home screen that I've used nearly £5:00 today alone.
In delving a bit deeper through the menu on my IHD I did actually find the correct costs under "Account details" (I think it is), which was a bit weird given the bold shiny WRONG figure on the front screen
In addition, a bit of maths showed me that the electricity costs on the front screen are 10x (that is ten times) what they actually (hopefully) are, and the gas costs are amazingly a tenth of what they actually are or should be.
Transparent, I am hoping this settles down as you have suggested and rights itself.

(BTW, fantastic amount of detail, thank you )
Once again many thanks @Transparent , I will send an e-mail asap as you suggested, and also check out the other post you mentioned ☺
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Hi @1159skunk and thanks for joining the Forum with a magnificent portfolio of extra hi-resolution photos!

Firstly, if your SMETS2 Smart Meters have recently been installed, then they’ll still be going through the offsite commissioning process. The setting of your tariff is the final part of the process. It has nothing to do with the installation engineer.

Have a read through this topic on Smart Meter Installation where you’ll find most of your questions already answered.

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Many thanks @Darran_OVO

So for the sake of @AdrianG and others reading this, the Communications Hub sits above the Aclara SMETS2 electricity meter. It can be updated remotely, and therefore will be fixed without any intervention from us customers. That's a great relief.

It's quite possible that the other "bug" we've been discussing here on this Topic is also one within the Communications Hub (manufactured by Toshiba). That's the problem where SMETS2 Gas Meters seem to pass the on-site commissioning process, but subsequently fail to send readings to DCC.

I've discussed this further with OVO's SMETS2 Team on Monday, and I'm going to be doing some more technical checks on my own installation, which has failed for the second time around. I will then pass the details of those checks back to the SMETS2 Team via @Darran_OVO or Customer Services.

Please note... I'm doing checks or tests on the gas meter Zigbee communications.
I am not devising a DIY workaround which others could implement, so please don't ask me for details!

It's very important that all SMETS2 meter installations are done to the prescribed strategy from DCC without individual variations. The meters will become the foundation on which a raft of other energy-control mechanisms will be built in the next few years. So any fixes created by OVO alone are an absolute no-no!

So got the smart meters installed, and thought I'd been busgetingnwell, ihd been telling me I was using average 9p in gas per day so clearly wasn't including standing charge. Used to tell me electric usage but that's disappeared from the display totally and can't be accessed. Any way bill day today and Gas bill much higher than what the display has been telling me everyday, what a complete waste of time, and OVO despite claiming to save money has been the most expensive company I've ever been with, faulty equipment just final straw will be leaving at end of contract

 

When the electric was displayed prices matched, looking at photos now can see ovo engineer didn't have a clue and has set wrong tariff completely for gas instead of 3.60pence kwh he's put 0.36p and same for standing charge instead of 28.7p day has put 2.87p. Absolute complete incompetence and totally unacceptable. Smart meter that don't display electric any more and a not so smart company

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@Transparent interesting point you make about individual variations given SMETS2 is supposed to be a universal standard for all suppliers. Are we looking at an issue with OVOs implementation of the standard? Normally I would just let this pan out to conclusion without much more thought, but being on the 2 year fix that ends in September, I’m rather hoping that this issue doesn’t mean I have problems trying leave Ovo for another supplier if come renewal time they’re as uncompetitive as they appear to be at the moment 😬

So got the smart meters installed, and thought I'd been busgetingnwell, ihd been telling me I was using average 9p in gas per day so clearly wasn't including standing charge. Used to tell me electric usage but that's disappeared from the display totally and can't be accessed. Any way bill day today and Gas bill much higher than what the display has been telling me everyday, what a complete waste of time, and OVO despite claiming to save money has been the most expensive company I've ever been with, faulty equipment just final straw will be leaving at end of contract

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Not trying to be negative, but it does seem quite amazing that such fundamental issues have only come to light quite a while after roll out of SMETS2 began, raised by customers who were relentlessly encouraged to have the install, but have still not been proactively informed. Are there specific reasons things gone this way?
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Erm @Mja SMETS2 is indeed meant to be standard. That's why OVO can't just implement their own workaround if they find a problem. They have to notify the Data Communications Company and agree a common fix for everyone. That's why these issues take time to resolve.

What is currently puzzling me is why the issue of Erroneous IHD readings is only evident on Communications Hubs installed by OVO. I've just re-checked DCC's large archive of documents, and the regulations state that all Comms Hubs have to be ordered directly from DCC themselves.

I can understand that Tariff-data gets uploaded to Comms Hubs for each customer from their own Energy Supplier. But I wouldn't expect the software itself to differ.
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Thank you, @Somerpark and @Transparent input like this on the forum is invaluable for other users, please keep it coming ☺
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The upgrades to which I think @jewelie is referring above, are those which are required to fix bugs within the SMETS2 meters

and/or their Communications Hubs


You assumed correctly, by the way.

BTW On a tangent I seem to recall that you checked your gas meter's remaining estimated battery life and it was looking to be running very short? That got me interested and I checked ours, installed in April, and it's saying it's got 15 years worth of days to go yet. Phew.
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An update for others on what @jewelie and I were discussing about the battery-life in the Uniflo SMETS2 Gas Meters:

Here's screenshot of what my meter showed yesterday:


So I'm seeing a very marginal increase in battery life being reported in the past 4 weeks since my reading of 2679 days on 24th June.

From my understanding of battery chemistry and contact resistances, I would put that down to little more than sampling errors. It's still some way short of the 3650+ days which equates to the expected lifetime of 10-years.

I know that OVO have downloaded firmware changes to my Comms Hub at least twice during the last month, but I doubt that these have contributed to battery usage.

As far as I understand it, my Gas Meter communications to the Comms Hub have "stuck" at some point in the commissioning process, shortly after the Installer left site on 10th June, so I don't think the Comms Hub can pass through upgrades to the Gas Meter anyway.

I'm not too concerned about this situation. It seems likely that I'll need a further site visit to install yet another SMETS2 Gas Meter (my 3rd!) and that will come with a new battery of course.

What has been interesting to learn is that industry-techies outside OVO are avidly reading this Topic! Someone emailed me last week and commented that he'd been concerned to read of a report about low battery readings on gas meters, yet he was unaware that I was the "Transparent" who'd been reporting it here!
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...

I know that OVO
have downloaded firmware changes to my Comms Hub

at least twice during the last month, but I doubt that these have contributed to battery usage.


Hi Transparent

Sorry to risk patronising you, but did you take into account the sort of power required writing the firmware to storage? I would have thought that's exactly the kind of thing that would eat batteries for dinner. Apologies if I'm talking out of my bum, my knowledge in this area is very very old!

Julie
X
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No worries @jewelie. You just keep making the comments. On this Forum, we're not going to be worried if they turn out to be irrelevant! 😘



Yes, I was trying to take into account the battery drain for downloading fresh firmware into the gas meter


... which is why I stated that I don't believe this is technically possible at the moment.

In any case, it doesn't actually happen like this.

Within the Comms Hub

there is a "Gas Mirror". This is a virtual device which mimics the presence of the real SMETS2 gas meter


. Any firmware intended to be sent to the gas meter is first stored in the Mirror. There is then a second phase where the code is transferred to the real gas meter


in such a way as to minimise battery use.

If all goes to plan, OVO

then receive an acknowledgement to notify them that the transfer has completed.


Thank you. Very interesting and informative! It sounds like the Comms Hubs are responsible for a lot more than I initially assumed (which is a good thing, I guess, if they're so easily updated.)
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I don’t think there is any practical upper limit to geekiness - Elon Musk being living proof.

Once again, good answers @Transparent , I didn’t expect absolutes - as you say there is too much Wild West about all the options, policy and initiatives for certainty right now.

...but once again you’ve provided additional factors and information for consideration that we didn’t know before or hadn’t connected.

Can you explain some more about ALCS function in SMETS2?

also our inverter installation was specifically fitted for battery at later date - prior to starting this learning journey we planned for a Tesla battery. Why would it become redundant / be replaced by the Sonnen battery? I’m guessing this something to do with single phase only output?
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Ok so that’s info I was looking for! Thanks @Transparent. As you say ALCS seems like a reasonable policy waiting for the market system to deliver the component parts.

I'm going to focus some research time on battery technology and see if we can make an informed gamble to get the right hardware ahead of the tariff and tech arriving.

I will report back to the forum if I find anything good and also let everyone know how our SMETS2 installation goes in August.

we dumped 16kWh onto the grid today from just 7 panels (and we are post FITs). For many reasons we don’t want to keep doing that!
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This topic has everything you need to know about smart meter instillation, @T Newton. We don't need to know about your solar panels as the meters are designed to work with them! 🙂
Many thanks for prompt and helpful reply
Terry

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