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SMETS2 Smart Meter installation

SMETS2 Smart Meter installation
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Updated on 28/08/20: See below for a great guide on a SMETS2 smart meter installation.

See this SMETS2 smart meter guide for all the info on Honeywell, Aclara and Flonidan SMETS2 smart meters. 

Click here to check availability and book in your smart meter appointment!

Having a new Smart Meter installed is something which most customers only experience once. This topic shows what the process involves and highlights particular issues with the newer SMETS2 meters which OVO started installing widely in March 2019.

You must be present for a Smart Meter installation. The Engineer needs access to the house, even if both gas and electricity meters are in external enclosures. There is an initial survey of the state of gas appliances and your electric consumer unit. Photographs are taken and any gas boiler is turned off.

The electricity meter is usually changed first. The Installer is permitted to snip the seal on the main fuse and can reseal it without needing to call your Distributed Network Operator (DNO).

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Here my SMETS2 meter is indicated with a red arrow. This one is made by a US Company called Aclara. It has two buttons marked A & B rather than the keypad of the earlier SMETS1 meters, which were manufactured by Secure.

Above the meter itself there is a communications module (blue arrow) which allows data transfer via the mobile phone network. There are several versions. As I'm in a rural area of Devon with relatively poor signals, this Toshiba unit is a Mesh Network device. It connects to an external aerial via the wire marked with a green arrow.

 

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The aerial is the tall rectangular box which is literally stuck onto the outside of the door.

Your gas meter may be in a wall mounted enclosure, or buried in a "semi-concealed" box as is mine.

The Installer first removes the old meter including the round regulator (orange arrow), and then screws a steel mounting frame in place, shown here with a green arrow.

 

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The meter may seem a relatively large device, but it's actually two items. The actual SMETS2 Smart Meter is indicated with the red arrow, and slots into the larger outer body.

My new gas meter is manufactured by Uniflo. Because there is no electricity available, it contains an inbuilt Lithium battery which should last around 10 years. A Gas Smart Meter spends most of its time in sleep-mode to conserve power, waking up every few seconds to send a signal to the SMETS2 electricity meter.

OVO have designed and fabricated right-angled steel pipes marked here with purple arrows. These minimise the height required and allow the enclosure lid to properly close.

During the commissioning process, the installer connects a manometer to the test point identified with the blue arrow. The gas pressure pushes the fluid up one side of the u-shaped tube. If it remains steady over a two-minute timed period, then there are no leaks.

The Installation Engineer will now take another set of photographs which get inserted into relevant places in the electronic "form" on his mobile phone. There is a minimum set of 23 pictures which must accompany any installation.

As the exact installation process may evolve over time, please note that these SMETS2 meters were installed on 11th March 2019.


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Hi @Blanik - Your comments and observations are welcome here whether you’re an OVO customer or not.

Whilst the Data Communications Company (DCC) was still being formed, it was left to the numerous Energy Suppliers to find their own way to build data networks capable of running SMETS1 meters. That they did so in such a way as to make systems incompatible with each other was a clear demonstration of why we need Ofgem as a central regulator for the energy sector!

As you’re with Octopus, I’d be interested to know whether you have availed yourself of their Agile Tariff, which offers genuine variable-pricing TOU (Time Of Use) billing.

If the DCC came into existence earlier, my ex BG SMETS1 could have been enrolled, I could then have used them with Octopus, and the meters would never have needed to be swapped. The problem was the long delay between SMETS1 and the DCC, or the slack specifications for SMETS1 that allowed them to be incompatible between different manufacturers.

Regarding Agile, the evening peak rate is too expensive for my usage, I am cheaper on GO with 4 hours charging on a cheap rate overnight. 

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These comments are illuminating and useful, @Blanik . Thanks for taking the trouble to give us these insights.

I think if DCC had “gone live” any earlier it wouldn’t have been as robust as was necessary. In particular the IT personnel needed sufficient time for GCHQ to advise on the encryption systems and verify that the UK Domestic Energy services couldn’t be infiltrated by any 3rd party with hostile intent.

Barring the odd outage, I’d say that DCC has been a success… especially if you compare with many other Government-run projects which have IT systems at their heart!

 

Your observations on the Agile Tariff are essentially correct. The two aims of this tariff are:

a; make it viable for customers to incorporate some forms of energy storage which can be drawn on during peak-usage times

b; make better use of locally available generation

I don’t know whereabouts you are in the country, so I can’t see what proportion of renewable energy resources are available within your local Distribution Grid. But if you’d care to fill out your Forum Profile, I might be able to give a more detailed response.

In the not too distant future, all Energy Suppliers will need to offer some TOU Tariffs. So I’m sure the Moderators and other OVO staff will appreciate hearing your views on what Octopus currently provide.

We live in interesting times...

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

Updated 07/08/2020 - Removed unnecessary high resolution images to help with page loading issue.

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 3.60 pence 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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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.

I have to say that the quality and helpfulness of @Transparent ’s replies are superb.  If Ovo isn’t paying you for your contributions here, then I’d be very disappointed.  If they are, then it’s money extremely well spent.  I couldn’t imagine a more helpful and informed set of responses.  Thank you so much, @Transparent.

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:hugging: Thanks @impala … and I’m impressed that you were awake reading the Forum at 1am !

I receive no incentives from OVO, financial or otherwise. I think there’s a real value in a site like this having independent contributors. Unlike the team of six Moderators, I have no contract of employment and I don’t have to stick to an official company policy on anything.

I know I could get a better energy contract elsewhere, but I like the direction in which OVO are heading. The technologies that they’re building on top of their Kaluza Platform have great potential to help us lower our carbon footprint and combat Climate Change.

Contrarywise, I think they’re being less adventurous than they could be. Although the new Billing System is ideally-suited for genuine Time Of Use tariffs, they don’t offer one.

And the OVO implementation of Smart Meter technology is currently behind that of some rival Energy Suppliers. For example, the Usage statistics we see online don’t incorporate any aspect of the Energy Mix we enjoy, despite the company wanting to push its green credentials.

Most customer comments about Smart Meters are still largely complaints and problems. We need to move beyond that and see positive stories from end-users with innovative energy-savings strategies built above the underlying Smart Meter foundation.

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