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



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Userlevel 6

Hey @TWSaab, sorry about the radio silence, there is no further update currently, as soon as there is we’ll update here! 

See this.

 

The upgrade process is clearly flawed. DCC and Ebico have failed in their duty to correctly implement the switch. 

 

My meter time registers were reversed. I am potentially being billed for £500 extra. 

 

It could cost me anything from £300 to £1650 of lost solar export payments over the remaining 15 years of FITs. 

 

 

Userlevel 6

Hi @Apial - I’m not sure what you mean about the time registers being reversed? Do you mean the night was clocking during the day and vice versa? If so, it shouldn’t be too difficult to recalculate the bills based on the correct day and night unit rates. Please give us a ring (0330 303 5063), or send us a message on Facebook with your account number, full name and DoB and we can look into this for you.

Yes that’s right. But OVO only handle my Solar panel FITs payments. The supply  problem is between Eon and Ebico. 

 

Ive emailed the FITs team and I’m waiting for their reply. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Thanks for the clarifications @Apial

Nancy is still correct in asserting that these issues can be readily resolved. However many Energy Suppliers are involved, there is still only one central database which holds your meter data. For electricity, that database is ECOES

 

For the sake of others who come across this Topic at a later date, may I just explain the way in which the strategy has evolved for handling differing tariffs at the same site:-

We used to require two separate meters, where one registered the standard electricity usage. The other one was attached to a time-clock and fed devices like storage-radiators on an Economy-7 tariff.

That progressed to a situation where a single digital meter could record both standard and E-7 uses. Those still required manual reading however.

The current Smart Meters (both SMETS1 and SMETS2) have software control for 4 or 5 different tariffs which can be recorded separately. In addition they have an Export Tariff register for electricity sent back to the National Grid.

Currently we don’t use much of the multi-tariff capability of Smart Meters, but that’s about to change.

Another Supplier, Octopus, already offer a variable tariff at different times of the day. Soon this will become possible through all UK-based Suppliers.

The regional Distributed Network Operators have put together a DUoS tariff (Distributed Use of System) which has three bands of charges labelled Red, Amber and Green. This will enable customers to choose when to use electricity with all three pricing structures held within the Smart Meter.

 

 

Userlevel 1

I see there is now an Ovo document saying SMETS-1 meters will be upgraded by ‘Summer 2021’ as an OTA upgrade.  My meters are in an awkward location for reading so I do not want them to go dumb, this is the main reason I changed to smart metering.   

Two queries:

  1. How will I know when my meter has been upgraded?  Will I be advised?
  2. If I change supplier to another which can read SMETS-1 meters before it is upgraded  will it still have to be upgraded by Summer 2021, and who will be responsible for the upgrade?
Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi @TWSaab - yes, that time-scale is correct.

I haven’t heard of any site where the SMETS1 meters have gone dumb as a result of the software upgrades.

There are actually two stages to this:

  • The manufacture sends the code upgrade for your meter(s) and Communications Hub.
  • The upgraded meter is migrated across to the National Smart Meter Network.

If your SMETS1 meter is currently operational, then it’s unlikely that you will detect any difference when these two stages are completed.

Your current Energy Supplier is always responsible for the meter code and upgrades. If it were not so, then a Supplier would have a hold over you, even if you were in dispute. That’s not permitted under Ofgem regulations. You are always free to switch.

Userlevel 1

Thanks for that.

Sorry, I meant that I did not want them to go dumb if I changed supplier as they are in an awkward location to read.

From what you say if I change supplier the new supplier will be responsible for the update, which should still be completed by Summer 2021.

Userlevel 1

Hi again,

I have noticed that the ‘Estimated Usage’ has reset and is now reading very low £ on the IHD.  Does this mean that I have now been migrated onto SMETS2 (or SMETS1+) and the meter should be acceptable to all suppliers?

Userlevel 7

Welcome back, @TWSaab!

 

Interesting to hear that the ‘Estimated Usage’ figure has reset. There’s a number of reasons why this might have happened, you might have started a new plan or had a unit rate change if you’re on a variable plan. It could also be due to your meter going through the remote upgrade. 

 

This remote change won’t be noticeable on your online account and won’t make a difference whilst you are still with OVO. If you’re planning a switch and want to confirm that your meters have updated before you do, it’s worth reaching out to our Support Team, or sending us a PM on here (including your full name, OVO account number and  full address) and we can take a look. :grinning:

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

The one thing to be aware of is that it’s impossible for an S1 meter to ever be upgraded to a true S2 (which OVO’s Smart Meter Friend helpfully reminded me about recently). That’s because it’s ultimately still S1 hardware and the firmware updates mainly just do some magic tricks that allow the meter to be managed via DCC, but is still S1 firmware.

That’s why I like to call these meters SMETS1+, or S1+ for short. Because erm… What else can we call them? But yes, they can run like an S2 to an extent - especially the ability to switch supplier and keep using the same meters with smart features remaining enabled.

If they’re no longer pure S1 and they’re not proper S2, then it kinda make sense to consider them S1+. I got the idea for the name from railway level crossings, but it’s never been made an official term in the spec. Not yet at least anyway…

The only way to get pure and true S2 is to swap out the hardware for full S2 across everything. There can be edge cases where this becomes necessary - such as if every possible attempt to get an S1 to do the firmware upgrade and then get it working with DCC as S1+ completely fails - but these are the exception rather than the norm. It’s less disruptive to try to the remote firmware updates and remotely migrate the existing meters to DCC than it is to physically replace all of them.

Since these things don’t last forever anyway, the number of S1 meters in service will eventually begin to drop off over time as they get replaced for any reason - such as faulty meters or re-certification stuff. In actual fact, some of the earliest S1 meters are probably approaching somewhere around halfway through their service life as well...

Userlevel 1

I do appreciate that.   However, is there any difference I will see in operation?

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

No worries.

For the most part, you won’t see many differences in how an S1+ meter operates compared to an S1 meter. The biggest difference will be the fact that an S1+ is connected to the supplier via DCC and can therefore be operated with any supplier, even those that didn’t use the same meter brand (or the same networks) in the S1 days. All S1 meters will eventually be S1+ but there’s very little that you can see happening yourself as it’s all in the background.

Until then, regular S1 meters will only work with suppliers that have the same meter brand and use the same network as the supplier who originally installed the meter. Other than that, there’s not really much that will change. Your meters will still record your usage and submit it to your supplier in pretty much exactly the same way as before (albeit via a slightly different route) and your IHD will continue to work in exactly the same way it does now.

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