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How will SMETS1 meters be updated when SMETS2 is rolled out?


In your discussion on smets 1 vs 2:

https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/smets-1-and-2-new-smart-meter-generation.html

you indicate that smets 1 meters will be made dcc compliant by end 2019 but you do not make it clear if this will be a hardware fix done by an engineer at the house or a remotely activated software download. (I mean in respect of the meters you are currently installing).
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Best answer by Nancy_OVO 22 August 2018, 16:10

Hey @taffy - we've had an update about this recently! If you've got a SMETS1 meter, when SMETS2 is rolled out, you won't need a meter change or engineer visit. They are going to be linked up to the DCC remotely.

Hope this helps!

Updated on 12/07/2019 - We are currently installing SMETS2 meters in some areas.
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@taffy

Hi Taffy, good morning :)

I found a very interesting article on this, be warned its a bit in depth!

I hope it helps, or better still, hope someone has a simpler answer for you.

Let me know if I can be of any more help.

Have a lovely day :)

Bumblebee 🙂

https://www.baringa.com/our-thinking/baringa-blogs/november-2016/smart-transition-from-smets-1-to-smets-2/
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Er, @taffy, I can't see where in your link it says that "smets 1 meters will be made dcc compliant by end 2019"

Has the text on this page/video changed since you posted here at the beginning of the month?

I don't think any Energy Supplier or Smart Meter Manufacturer has yet declared how or when their existing base of SMETS1 meters will be upgraded to SMETS2 protocols.

In theory this could be undertaken either remotely or by having an engineer attend on-site. However there are technical and security issues to be resolved in either scenario.

It is important that a meter is not left disabled by interruptions during the upgrade, leaving it in a partially-installed state.

It is also vital to ensure that the upgrade process itself doesn't leave our domestic energy supplies open to attack by malign foreign agents. Writing a piece of code to permit remote alteration of existing meter software is not to be done lightly!

We should expect there to be a delay whilst various approaches are tested and their security checked by the likes of GCHQ. And for obvious reasons, we will probably be left in the dark during this period. It really is something we don't want to have widely announced all over the internet!
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Hey @taffy - we've had an update about this recently! If you've got a SMETS1 meter, when SMETS2 is rolled out, you won't need a meter change or engineer visit. They are going to be linked up to the DCC remotely.

Hope this helps!

Updated on 12/07/2019 - We are currently installing SMETS2 meters in some areas.
Hey @taffy - we've had an update about this recently! If you've got a SMETS1 meter, when SMETS2 is rolled out, you won't need a meter change or engineer visit. They are going to be linked up to the DCC remotely.

Hope this helps!


Hi Nancy,

Thanks for this. Just so I'm clear (still getting to grips with the terminology): does this mean that any Smart Meters installed now will be able to switch supplier just as soon as SMETS-2 is rolled out? Or will there be a delay to upgrading the software? I'm not looking to switch from Ovo but having that ability is the one thing that keeps me from accepting a smart meter install right now.

Cheers.
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does this mean that any Smart Meters installed now will be able to switch supplier just as soon as SMETS-2 is rolled out? Or will there be a delay to upgrading the software? I'm not looking to switch from Ovo but having that ability is the one thing that keeps me from accepting a smart meter install right now.

Hi @afcone,

We'll be starting to insall small batches of SMETS 2 meters soon, but upgrading SMETS1 meters onto the DCC won't be immediate. Rest assured if you have a SMETS1 meter, it'll be able to communicate universally very soon.

That's not to say that you can't switch providers in the meantime. Our SMETS1 meters are currently compatible with the following suppiers:

Utilita Energy Limited
OVO Energy
Co-operative Energy Ltd
First Utility Ltd
Electricity Plus Supply Ltd t/a The Utility Warehouse
Economy Energy
Toto Energy Limited
E (Gas & Electricity)
Spark Energy Supply Limited
Eversmart Energy Ltd
EON Energy
Robin Hood Energy Limited
Ecotricity

You can also switch to any other company not listed above, but your meter will function as a traditional one where you provide readings manually.

Hope this helps!
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Just before you consider anything about switching Energy Suppliers, @afcone, can I just point out that the inter-compatibility between those suppliers is only a small part of what the SMETS2 protocols deliver.

There are new features which could allow Customers to cap the amount of energy they buy within certain price-bands or time-slots. There are four separate elements to this:

* Time Of Use Tariffs: An extension to the existing Economy-7 concept

* Block tariffs: Maintaining a count of how much of the consumption during a time band was consumed at different block rates

* Load limiting: Capability to switch supply off when an ‘instantaneous use’ threshold is crossed.

* Max demand registers: Capability to record the maximum demand in any 30 min (HH) period and during a configurable ‘peak’ period

The days when we visit a comparison website and commit to a contract of 12-months (or more) are coming to an end. Instead we will choose Energy Suppliers who can offer variable-tariff deals which allow us to configure/instruct the SMETS2 meter to suit our lifestyle.

The overall title for this concept is called Demand Side Response and Ofgem has been busy enshrining it within the regulations over the past four years.
Thanks to all the people who have replied - I have been away and have only just read them.

Re the 2019 date for SMETS2 updates, I took it from this:

https://www.ovoenergy.com/smart-meters and specifically:

"At OVO, we think SMETS1 are the best choice right now. Although SMETS2 will work with all suppliers from the get-go, lots of people don’t realise that SMETS1 will have that functionality too – as of the end of 2019. So if you’re not planning on switching suppliers within the next 12 months, SMETS1 is the obvious choice"

so I may have over-interpreted the words.

In passing, as an former electronics design engineer, I experienced quite a lot of disastrous technical decisions made by technically incompetent managers but the SMETS fiasco exceeds them all. I only hope some academic person records and analyses this as a classic example of how the interface between politics and technology is nearly always dysfunctional. In this case I suspect the fact that the cost is being borne by customers and doesn't impinge on the Treasury may be relevant.
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Thanks for clarifying the quotation, @taffy. It was the "DCC compliant" bit which threw me. But I understand now I can see it in context.

And it's good to hear from @Nancy_OVO that the upgrade from SMETS1 will be undertaken remotely. The timescale of the end of 2019 sounds about right for that too.

I tend to agree with you that the original roll out of Smart Meters wasn't actually particularly smart. The Government seems to have trusted the Energy Suppliers to agree compatibility, based on a common set of commands. But they, of course, took the opportunity to lock customers into themselves by implementing the commands in different ways!

By contrast the SMETS2 protocols are far more of an open standard. Any design engineer can develop an Auxiliary Load Control Switch, and have it run from a SMETS2 meter. So if you fancy returning to your profession and designing a low-voltage storage unit to run all your house lights on electricity bought at the lowest price-point, then you're free to do so 🙂
Do we know what the difference between a SMETS1 & 2 will be after the SMETS1 has been updated?
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If the upgraded meter is going to be certified SMETS2, @GT3911, then there shouldn't be any difference!

There are minimum requirements for SMETS2 to labeled as such. These include having the capability to record the maximum demand in any 30 minute (HH) period and during a configurable ‘peak’ period. SMETS2 systems must also have a minimum of five channels of Auxiliary Load Control Switches (ALCS), but can offer more.

I suppose it's possible that there are some early SMETS1 meters which haven't enough memory or processing power to run the SMETS2 software, but this will be company-confidential. I don't know of any manufacturer who has divulged the hardware spec of their embedded computer!
I am currently with TOTO energy and they have installed a Secure smart meter for gas and electricity. If I move to OVO will this smart meter still work?
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Hey @metl - I've moved your post over here. Check out my comment above listing all the suppliers OVO (Secure branded) meters are compatible with.

Hope this helps!
For what it's worth, encouraged by Nancy's assertion of an OTA uodate, I signed up for a new meter at 4pm one day and it was done and dusted by 12 pm the next.

All's well so far and it is now clear how much my Owl monitor (which only measures the current taken at the meter) over-estimates the power by anything from 50% to 120%. due to the power factor not being accounted for.
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Hi @taffy. You make an interesting comment, comparing your Owl meter with usage readings supplied from your new Smart Meter.

However, can I just point out that a recently-installed meter still requires communications testing, followed by remote software configuration and then the tariff information to be uploaded. This can take a week or two.

Once this is done, you may no longer see the same level of discrepancy with your Owl monitor.

Even if you had a house full of fluorescent lights with old ballasts, and poor-quality switched-mode power supplies, I'd be surprised if power-factor discrepancies could account for mis-reporting as much as you suggest.

Wait a month and then tell us if you are still seeing this amount of disparity between the electricity readings of the two systems.
I've been recording both the (old) meter and the Owl month by month for the last couple of years and there is a consistent 1.5:1 ratio which I can only explain by a power factor < 1.

The hot water and CH and hob are all gas, so the significant electrical loads (washing machine, oven and kettle) are only used intermittently, I think maybe the background load (100-200W) forms a larger proportion of the total consumption than in households with more people.
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That's interesting @taffy... and particularly useful because I'm presently having ongoing discussions with my DNO about imbalances and losses on the (domestic) electricity distribution network (below 33kV).

DNO's are now cost regulated using a formula called RIIO-ED1 agreed with Ofgem.

The main issues they need to tackle are "technical losses" around the sub-stations and their feeders. Around 4% of these are due to inductive loads, which are only separately billed for commercial customers, not householders.

These losses can easily be detected at the sub-stations by monitoring the core temperature rises in the transformers. See my separate Topic on this Forum about OpenLV which describes Trials in 7 UK locations to make this info publicly available.

However, there are two other more-significant factors which are causing technical losses:
1. The increase in microgeneration (mainly PV solar) being fed into the Grid at the 240v level.
2. The increase in overnight charging of EV's which no longer allows underground feeds adequate time to cool down after the evening peak.

Together, these two factors are adding a further 5% losses. Under RIIO-ED1 the DNO's are obviously required to tackle this. The UK simply can't allow this level of energy waste across the country.

If the OpenLV Project is adopted across all 230,000 ground-based sub-stations, it could provide an additional input to a domestic tariff system alongside the SMETS data. This could be used to offer cheaper electricity to users whose practices cause least imbalance and losses to the Grid.
I have enjoyed the use of an OVO Smart meter for a couple of years now. It works perfectly and gives me up to the minute details of my energy use. It would be nice to display the information on my mobile and to know that if I change provider my Smart Meter will still work. Will Smart Meter 2 provide these facilities and will I be able to upgrade?
Will my existing smart meter be replaced with a new 2nd generation meter
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Welcome to the forum, @johnnib! 🙂

I've moved your query over here as this topic will answer your questions. It's been great to hear you're happy with your smart meters so far.

Did you know you could download our app to your phone? This will allow you to see your usage and manage your account on the go.
I have had messages come up repeatedly on my account asking me to click to arrange for a smart meter installation. When I click on the link it asks if I have storage heaters, when I say yes it asks me to call a number.

Last week I had a call from someone asking me If I would like a smart meter. During the conversation we were cut off, I called back but was cut off before I got to speak to someone. Will they be calling back anytime soon?
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Hi @johnnib. I have written more about Smart Meters being upgraded to SMETS2 software on another Topic here.

Yes, SMETS2 meters allow full interchangeability between Energy Suppliers, which is also covered in that other Topic.

At the moment OVO are only polling Smart Meters once each day. So your My OVO page and the OVO App will display yesterday's data, but not the current day.

At some stage this will need to change because the whole country is to be offered Time-Of-Use Tariffs (TOU). This is a variable half-hour rate which enables consumers to choose when they wish to use electricity. It is an alternative to the coarse arrangement of Economy-7, which provides cheaper electricity at night (mainly from Nuclear Stations).

Please ask if you'd like further clarification.
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Will my existing smart meter be replaced with a new 2nd generation meter


No it won't, @Skinny, read through this topic to see what will happen. If you've got any questions, post them here - we'll all be happy to help.
When I moved to my new house I had smart gas and electricity meters installed by BT. Why can't OVO use these existing meters, with a software update, rather than try to install new ones?

The last time I asked OVO to replace them, they wanted me to pay to have the gas pipework changed to install the OVO meter, I refused. Has anything changed?
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Hey @dcoles31 - I've moved your post over here. Check out @Nancy_OVO's comment above listing all the suppliers OVO (Secure branded) meters are compatible with.

There is also a lot of information regarding the software update.

Hope this helps!
Do I have to swap out my BG Electric and Gas SMETS1 smart meters for OVO smart meters after SMETS2 is in common use?

I have tried to do this once, but the OVO fitters were unable to swap to their meters as they needed me to get (and pay for) an electrician to move the earthing cable from the gas piping. Something they were apparently unable to do.

However once SMETS2 is in common use my BG meters should only need a SMETS1 to SMETS2 software upgrade. Will this be possible? It obviously means far less work for OVO?

Dave

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