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Smart meters SMETs1 or SMETs2?



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Getting an ovo smart meter fitted at the e d of the month but i'm concerned that when i start to look for better deals when my contact with ovo expires i will be limited due to my smart meter's compatibility with other energy providers. If this is the case then who pays for a new meter (as itwould only be 12 months old) thanks
I have read on the forum that a new type of smart meter S2 was being issued in 2017 that is readable by other suppliers (all?). I am interested in having a smart meter installed but need to know if this is going to make it difficult to change supplier should I want to.
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I have read on the forum that a new type of smart meter S2 was being issued in 2017 that is readable by other suppliers (all?). I am interested in having a smart meter installed but need to know if this is going to make it difficult to change supplier should I want to.
I’ve moved your topic onto here @102057461 as I think you’ll find this topic has the answer to you questions. :)

Lucy
We have Mk.1 installed but I hear that they are out of date !
Pity OVO don't pop their head above the parapet on this one!
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Getting an ovo smart meter fitted at the e d of the month but i'm concerned that when i start to look for better deals when my contact with ovo expires i will be limited due to my smart meter's compatibility with other energy providers. If this is the case then who pays for a new meter (as itwould only be 12 months old) thanks
Hey Tonythebolt,

I’ve merged your topic onto this thread as I think it might help as there is a wealth of information on this here.

Lucy
Userlevel 5
Merged your comments onto here @al symo and @Bunny!
Is there any update on "mid 2018" for the roll out date for fitting SMETS2 meters? I don't want a smart meter fitted until you do.
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For the benefit of @102057461, @dikahn and others, may I bring some clarity about the differences between these types of Smart Meter?

We currently have two different "species" in use: Advanced Domestic Meter (ADM) and Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification (SMETS). It's not so much the physical hardware which differs, but the data communication protocols. That's why you can face incompatibility when switching suppliers.

Both of these current species are being used in a fairly primitive manner. They permit automatic remote readings to occur and we can have an energy monitor within the home. They can actually do much more. For example a meter can be switched from Pay As You Go (PAYG Prepayment meter) to a credit meter by your Utility Supplier. So in theory an elderly invalid in a snowbound house could be permitted to still receive electricity over a weekend whilst someone sorted out how to get a new prepayment card to them.

For obvious reasons, the data communications to/fro Smart Meters are encrypted and heavily protected. We don't want a hacker issuing a "DUIS Disable Supply" command across the whole UK!

The companies behind the Smart Meter technology have learned a lot from the initial roll-out, and have refined their thinking into a single updated protocol, which we know as SMETS2. But until it's certain that it is robust, secure and safe, it won't be installed. That's why @Lucy_OVO is correctly telling us that OVO is still testing.

We need a refined protocol because the energy market is changing. In future users might be offered the capability to decide how and when to use electricity according to a tariff structure which gives different pricing based on the "industry standard" half-hour (HH) slot.

Imagine you have a home with a 4Kw solar PV array (grid connected) and an electrical vehicle which permits bi-directional charge/discharge flow. Normally you'd want to allow your smart meter technology to charge your car overnight whilst it's cheaper. So you buy a tariff from your Utility Supplier which permits you to give that instruction.

However, on a sunny day you can have three more flexible options

a. Prioritise charging my car, then sell remaining energy to the grid

b. I don't need my car today, so prioritise selling my solar-energy to the grid

c. I don't need my car today, so take its stored charge and sell that back to the grid at a premium

This is not only beneficial to the end-user, but it also allows the electricity industry to better balance electricity generation by making best use of power made available to them locally.

So before SMETS2 meters can be installed, it's important that the industry is satisfied that the new protocols allow us the future flexibility that we're likely to need. And that's why we're being asked to wait until at least April.

I hope that helps.
Thanks for the update... I came here to look for that info, so the post was really helpful.

I did have a SM install planned last year but I canceled. Going to hold out for SMETS2
First post for me but I'm interested in this one.

I'm having a new kitchen installed in a few weeks and decided to have a SMART meter installed in readiness - which was done in December 2017. The main reason being to 'future proof' my metering as the meter will basically be 'boxed in' with reduced access.

I am a little disappointed to see that this planning was to no avail as my SMETS1 meter will need to be replaced for the SMETS2 at a later date - if the engineer can access it ...

Is there any way I can get a SMETS2 meter earlier than mid 2018 ? Ideally before March 2nd ...

Martin
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Firstly, @K1ano, there is a code of practice for installation of Smart Meters called SMICOP. This states that the meter supplier can require you to move your meter to an alternative location if access to it is restricted. So "boxing in" a Smart meter after it's been installed could produce difficulties later if it requires on-site access, for example to change the battery.

Remember too that a Smart Meter uses radio signals for data transfer to/fro the Data Communications Company (DCC). If you box in a meter which has been recently installed, you might find that it suffers from poor/erratic signal strength. In such circumstances it is designed to default to a system akin to you getting "estimated readings". That effectively means you've just lost all the benefits of having a Smart Meter in the first place.

However, on a more positive note, please remember that SMETS is a software/data protocol. It's not the manufacturer of your meter.

There should be no reason your SMETS1 shouldn't have a firmware upgrade and become SMETS2 compliant.

I had originally expected that this would involve the attendance of an engineer, but I now understand most suppliers are expecting to use a software-upgrade system without a site visit. This will need thorough testing before use. There are many risks in allowing Smart Meters to be remotely upgraded. It's not just that poor communication signals or interference could leave a customer with an inoperable meter, but also the security risks of creating such a program in the first place.

Imagine the havoc which would ensue if such a piece of software could be implemented by a malevolent 3rd party! I have no doubt that the meter industry will be consulting GCHQ on this one. There's no way they will approve a remote upgrade system if it were to leave the UK's energy supplies open to cyber-attack.
Thanks Transparent,

Good points ... The boxing in will essentially be a kitchen unit built around the meter where at the moment there is already a small cabinet in which it sits. The engineer that came again today said he needed shoulder width to access but that that he would work in a smaller space but some wouldn’t. My network provider want to charge the earth to move my supply due to the nature of how it comes into the house internally through the concrete floor; so I decided against that option and took the calculated risk to upgrade my old analogue meter to a smart one whilst access was unrestricted. I also had my antiquated fused neutral isolator changed as that would have been a show stopper ! Time will tell I hope ...

I had read previously that the meters could be remotely upgraded but a couple of suppliers when called seem to still insist it’s a meter replacement - doesn’t makes sense to me either so hopefully a firmware update I’m future will suffice. I guess currently switching between suppliers will still be subject to smart meters becoming dumb meters though ...

Martin
Ugh another manual meter read... hoping we get the next gen meters soon. I'll be right up there trying to get one installed then....
For the benefit of @102057461, @dikahn and others, may I bring some clarity about the differences between these types of Smart Meter?

We currently have two different "species" in use: Advanced Domestic Meter (ADM) and Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification (SMETS). It's not so much the physical hardware which differs, but the data communication protocols. That's why you can face incompatibility when switching suppliers.....

..... And that's why we're being asked to wait until at least April.

Really helpful and interesting post. Thanks.
Is OVO currently installing SMETS1 or SMETS2 Smartmeters?
Is OVO currently installing SMETS1 or SMETS2 Smartmeters ?
Hey @ziervogel

I'm moved your query over to an existing topic on our SMETS2 meter roll out.

Cheers,
Emily
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The discussions about SMETS2 in this Forum mainly seem to relate to the ability of this new standard to permit interchangeability of supplier. This is understandable, but SMETS2 is about so much more.

To whet your appetite, the SMETS2 protocols introduce the concept of Auxiliary Load Control Switches (ALCS) of which each Smart Meter must facilitate at least five. These digitally-controlled switches will exist within the Home Area Network (HAN) which is the same as we already use for In-Home Displays, telling us details of our energy consumption.

The ALCS facility allows control over attached devices, such as storage radiators or a charger for an Electric Vehicle (EV).

This isn't required merely to permit a lower tariff in the way that Economy-7 now operates, but also to provide a method to stop us all blowing our 100A incomer fuses!

Imagine what happens when you turn on a 10.5kW Power Shower at 11pm (45Amps) and your nice new EV simultaneously commences the overnight boost-charge you've set it up for!

With ALCS-connected devices, priority can be given to the relatively short time for which the shower will be used, and then revert to charging the car battery.

Or, to be even smarter, if your car already has 50% charge remaining which came from your PV solar panel for free, why not use that to run the Power Shower and avoid loading the grid completely? Although this technology is termed Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), this example shows it can also be usefully employed without actually "selling" the stored charge back to the National Grid.

Since most of the SMETS2 protocols are to permit the future use of facilities which we do not yet have in our homes, there must be extensive in-house tests before OVO and the other Domestic Energy Suppliers are confident that they can commence fitting these amazing meters. Otherwise the early-adopters of SMETS2 meters will be moaning that they need upgrades because one or more features don't operate properly.

Hope that helps.
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@ziervogel here's the topic you want - check out Transparent's comment for more info!

Tim
Lots of info here about the benefits of smart meters. Could someone explain whats being done to alleviate the obvious security concerns? I understand GCHQ stopped the SMETS2 meters being rolled out from Dec 16 due to glaring holes in the security of the devices? I also understand that GCHQ are still (rightfully) not happy about the security that has been implemented since then.

I struggle to understand any benefit that could come from a so called Smart meter that isn't instantly overshadowed by the glaring security hole I will then have in my home.
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Yes, @pauljac, I'm pretty sure GCHQ are on the case.
However, much of what the national press has highlighted in the last week lacks a basic understanding of how SMETS works, which obviously leaves me in doubt as to the accuracy of their stories!

It's important to realise that there is no direct link between your Smart Meter and your Energy Supplier. All data communications are handled by DCC who operate under a strict Ofgem licence. DCC is a separately-run organisation comprising telecoms specialists Arqiva and Telefónica, BT (infrastructure), Critical (software) and Capita (management).

Only DCC can talk to/fro your Smart Meter, and they use encryption known only to them. DCC pass meter readings to your Energy Supplier and can send instructions back to your SMETS meter on their behalf.

A rogue Energy Supplier would be quickly prevented because their instructions wouldn't pass DCC's sanity-checks. we can be fairly certain that DCC's software would reject mass-distributed commands like "DUIS: Disable supply" or "DUIS: Disable Privacy PIN" although these have been permissable instructions on SMETS1 meters for over 2 years.

The forthcoming roll-out of SMETS2 technology provides an ideal opportunity to sharpen up the protocols. Any delays invoked by GCHQ requesting further modifications are very much in our favour.
Hello all.
Is OVO still fitting 1st generation smart meters or have they moved on to 2nd generation now? If not, does OVO have a launch date for the 2nd generation of smart meter?
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Hey @arudge,

I've moved your topic onto this thread where you'll find the info you need.

Nancy
Of course if you live in a rural area with no cellular mobile coverage the things won't work at all.

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