Smart meters SMETs1 or SMETs2?

Show first post

193 replies

Heard today on Moneybox that the experts still haven't agreed any standard for the nationwide smart meter network - does that mean that when they do Ovo's smart meter's will have to be ripped out and replaced because they do not comply? Could be a big waste of time and money and not that smart...

Check out this OVO Answers link for more detail on this, @Leyburnhealeyman

Userlevel 7
Badge +3
@Leyburnhealeyman, I strongly disagree with the quote you re-posted from @mrratcatcher:
Heard today on Moneybox that the experts still haven't agreed any standard for the nationwide smart meter network...

The standards for Smart Meters are extremely well defined and agreed.

If you visit Ofgem's site you can see Presentation Papers from Science/Engineering Advisors to the UK Government in 2011, for features which we will be seeing implemented during the next 12 months in 2018/19.

During that interval there were industry consultations, followed by Standards being defined and then enshrined in law. All this is publicly available. It's one of the sources I check when I want to respond to technical points raised on this Forum.

If you want a quick insight into this have a look at the list of SMETS1 Meter commands.

Without these Standards having been agreed, OVO wouldn't have been able to develop the three Smart Devices they announced just last month:

1. EV Smart-Charger

2. Nissan V2G Charger

3. and the Home Storage Battery

No one's suggesting replacing existing Smart Meter hardware.

You wouldn't expect everyone to throw away their PC's every time Micro$oft issues a Windows upgrade!
What's the latest? If I order am I guaranteed to get a SMETS2 meter? If so, what's the spec of the meter - Make and Model? Need to get some confidence that it will work in a country area with poor 2.5G signal strengths.
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi @ianb. You're not guaranteed a SMETS2 yet... because there aren't sufficient engineers trained to install them. Even then, it is likely that the roll-out will happen region by region, so it depends where you live (which you don't say in your Forum Profile).

I'm not aware that the release of SMETS2 protocols will bring about any change to the ability of Smart Meters to connect to DCC via the mobile phone network. Nor do I think this differs much from one meter manufacturer to another.

The one thing I would like to see is the possibility of adding an external aerial to a Smart Meter. But I've not yet heard any manufacturers offer this.

In my area there are a number of commercial buildings in the town centres where the electricity meter is at basement level. Many are unsuitable for Smart Meters of course.

In trips I've made to countries of the Developing world, I've seen some amazing directional WiFi antennae created using old coffee tins. These Cantennae can link between villages along river valleys. Perhaps we should be importing solutions from these innovators who seem capable of devising communications links without the benefit of expensive university degrees!
Thanks for the status. I'm in Oxfordshire. To the best of my knowledge, all meters that use GPRS back-haul have to ability to add an external aerial. Just that the installation procedures look to simplify install and ignore it. Recent SMETS1 install that I witnessed - they didn't check GPRS signal strength prior to install. Install procedure was to install and back-out if it would not commission.
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
The Smart Meter installation process in this country really is just about scraping by, isn't it?!

To some extent I can understand it because only 10% of the installed base of meters has yet been made "smart", and there's just 30-months to the deadline of Dec 2020.

Moreover, any trained installer can basically take his skill-set and move to another company. So there's little motivation for an Energy Supplier to train engineers beyond the absolute basics.
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
I have an update on the roll-out of SMETS2 meters:

Ofgem had given a date of 5th October 2018 after which any SMETS1 meters being installed would no longer count towards the targets set by them for each Energy Company.

However, there has been a 6-month delay in making SMETS2 available whilst GCHQ (quite correctly) assessed the ability of the software to resist cyber attacks. Only then could meter manufacturers release the meters, which has a knock-on effect on the (re-)training of installation engineers.

Since no one is to blame for these delays, it is clearly unfair that Energy Companies be penalised for continuing to keep their Engineering Teams employed by installing SMETS1 meters after 5th Oct.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has therefore issued a Consultation Paper suggesting that this date be put back to 5th December, whilst still retaining the overall expectation of all homes having Smart Meters by the end of 2020. This is the second extension to the SMETS1 deadline this year. It was previously set at 13th July.

There are also proposals to vary the target date in respect of homes being upgraded from non-smart pre-payment meters to March 2019.

The downside to this is that there will be many more SMETS1 meters installed, which will need upgrading at some point.

There are particular features within the SMETS2 protocols which would bring benefits to those living in debt or in energy poverty if those commands were implemented within tariff-schemes. Since such customers are more likely to currently have pre-payment meters, it can be argued that the delayed implementation will adversely affect the poorest people the most.

OVO has generally treated pre-payment customers favourably. I would hope that OVO will not continue to install SMETS1 meters for them any longer than for any other customer.
Ive now had SMETS2 smart meters installed. Is there any idea of when there will be an update to the website to analyse usage in the way the SMETS1 could?
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Erm... I don't understand that @Frizzbomb. The protocols for communicating readings from SMETS2 meters shouldn't be any different to those from SMETS1.

Are you looking at your My OVO page?
What are you seeing that is different?

How do you think this is related to the SMETS2 meter?
OVO's programmers are currently working on the algorithms which display usage and provide estimated readings/predictions. Is it possible that what you are seeing is actually related to that work rather than the meter?
Hi Transparent
Thanks for your reply, this is what im referring to...

SMETS1 meters have been given the thumbs up by millions of Brits – and work with all our smart online energy-saving tools, which help you save energy (and money).

SMETS2 on the other hand, is a new kind of meter that won’t work with our easy, account management system My OVO. Or with our popular energy-saving tools. But they will be compatible with all energy suppliers when SMETS2 launch at the end of 2018 (providing the release date isn’t pushed back again).
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Ok @Frizzbomb, I understand that there are about 11-million SMETS1 meters already installed in the UK...

... and that SMETS2 is basically similar hardware, but the new software provides an extended range of commands to permit operation under the forthcoming Demand Side Response strategy.

So what you're telling us is that something has changed such that you've lost access to Usage Histograms on your My OVO page. Correct?

Did you previously have a SMETS1 meter?

Have reported the Usage Graph display to OVO as a bug?

I don't think there's anything special happening at the end of 2018 which changes the functionality. The Specification for SMETS2 is that all Energy Suppliers will communicate to/fro the meters using the same set of protocols. So there is interoperability right now.
Hi Transparent

I haven't had any smart meter prior to getting these. I also haven't got access to graphs as of yet so I dont think ive been set up yet?

I'm just wondering when ill have access and what that will be - it doesn't sound as if it'll be much!
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
I'm confused @Frizzbomb. Your Forum Profile says you've been a member since Feb18.

Have you also been an OVO Customer since that date, or have you only just become one?

If you've been a Customer for several months, surely you've already been viewing Usage Histograms on your My OVO page?

Have you lost access to those graphs since you've had Smart Meters installed?
I have been with Ovo for that long @Transparent but I have only ever been able to see graphs of my usage vs others etc. I've never had a breakdown of appliance use, which i understand you can do with SMETS1 but not SMETS2.

At the moment I have no electricity graphs at all while they are updated, and the gas smart meter has yet to be successfully connected!
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Ah... now I think I "get it", @Frizzbomb.

I'm going to assume that the installation of Smart Meters at your home is very recent. That being so, the delay in you being able to see Usage Graphs is unrelated to the Meters running SMETS2 protocols. You are simply experiencing the usual delay as DCC run up links to your Meters and test them.

And if your gas meter has yet to be connected, then it's possible that DCC will wait until that is done. It depends what Notification they have been sent by the Installation Engineer.

This is out of OVO's sphere of influence. They can't display usage statistics until they're receiving the data!
Thank you @Tra26123 I will be a bit more patient and wait! 😃
Is OVO now installing the SMETS2?

Userlevel 6
Badge +4
Is OVO now installing the SMETS2?

Hey @nick9one1,

I've moved your post over here where you can keep up to date with all the latest SMETS2 news!


Can you let me know or add me to the right forum for additional information on the rollout of the new smart meters please.
Userlevel 6
Badge +4
Hey @Sue Witchell - you can keep up to date with SMETS2 news on this thread!
So, is Ovo now exclusively installing SMETS2 meters or not? If not, when?
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
I doubt that OVO is yet able to install only SMETS2 meters, @Fluffykins.

Firstly, meter installation engineers require additional training for SMETS2. There was already a national shortage of installers for SMETS1 technology.

Secondly, I believe that OVO are using a different Smart Meter brand for SMETS2. No doubt they will limit the release of SMETS2 hardware until they are sure that there aren't unforeseen problems.
Reading further and, according to Which?, the date by which it will become mandatory to install SMETS2 devices is as follows:

"In January the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) pushed the 13 July end date back to 5 October 2018. It will now increase this by a further two months to 5 December 2018."
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
That's correct @Fluffykins.

See my post above.

However, it is already foreseeable that the Government-set target of all homes having Smart Meters by the end of 2020 is unattainable. I believe that a further extension of the timetable for SMETS2 is highly likely.

The extended command-set in SMETS2 hasn't yet been trialed with ordinary consumers using half-hour flexible tariffs and secondary devices such as Smart washing machines and EV Chargers. It's important not to rush these things or else we could be leaving our UK domestic energy supplies open to cyber-attack.

It's not Daleks we need to be wary of, but Tumble-driers with malicious intents!
Hey @Sue Witchell - you can keep up to date with SMETS2 news on this thread!
Hi Nancy

I will follow this thread you mentioned we could keep updated about SMETS2 here could you advise yet when or if OVO intend replacing the SMETS1 you installed in my home and if so when this might happen please