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The story of Ampy and Landis+Gyr: The strangest smart meter brand in the UK

  • 5 April 2021
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The story of Ampy and Landis+Gyr: The strangest smart meter brand in the UK
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Landis+Gyr: a short story

 

Just as a heads up, this post is intended to be humorous, while also explaining some of the actual quirks with Landis+Gyr which cause us some fun and a lot of head scratching.

If you’re looking for details about SMETS1 vs SMETS2 L+G E470 meters though, we’ve got you covered. You’ll probably be looking for this thread instead. 

 

 

Let me introduce you to Ampy

 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few months, it’s definitely that not all smart meters are equal. While OVO has often used Secure for the older SMETS1 smart meters and my personal preference is definitely Aclara, there’s quite a few more out there. One of the most common ones being Landis+Gyr. Sure, they all do the same job of clocking up your usage, sending the readings in and resulting in you getting a bill every month (hopefully not a £42,000 one!), but they all do it in different ways. And some of them are a bit less… Confusing… Than others… :thinking:

Many years ago, there used to be a meter manufacturer called Ampy (or Ampy Metering Limited and previously Ampy Automation-Digilog Limited to give them their proper names), which was pretty common back in the days before smart meters existed. The company had been going for decades and then… Poof! Ampy vanished in 2009, never to be seen again… Or did they?

One of their more common meter models was the Ampy 5235A Single Rate Watt Hour Meter. We’ve seen quite a few of these on the forums, especially from members who’ve got solar panels since they worked pretty well as both Import Meters and Export Meters (albeit with some quirks like the frequent false rEd (reverse energy detected) warning!).

So what exactly happened to Ampy? Did they go bust and disappear? Nope! Ampy effectively rebranded into Landis+Gyr in 2009 and has carried on since. As for the Ampy 5235A and the related Ampy 5235B? Well… Those models got renamed as well, to the rather confusing Landis+Gyr E100 Series (mostly under the L+G E110). If there’s one way to confuse people, it’s definitely recycling old/existing names and numbers when you release a new and unrelated product.

But recycling an entire product is even more so… :open_mouth:

 

The Import/Export Puzzle

 

In recent months, one thing that we’ve seen here is a few cases where members asked for help with identifying which meter was the regular import meter, which one was the export meter and which one (if any) was the generation meter. Not too hard with smart meters, since a smart meter can do both import and export. And in cases where it doesn’t track exports, there’s usually a completely different meter that does.

The fun we have though… Is that quite a few of these cases just so happen to be using the Ampy 5235A for both! We’ve even had a handful of members that had one Ampy 5235A tracking export and one Landis+Gyr E110 tracking import. :sweat:

The biggest headache? They both look identical and you can’t really tell them apart.

 

And the Prize for the most puzzling meter goes to...

 

Perhaps the thing that really catches us out a lot though… Is definitely @Tim_OVO ‘s favourite smart meter in the whole wide world… The Landis+Gyr E470! These things are amazing you know. 

They’re great because the same model can apparently be ordered in both SMETS1 and SMETS2 variants, which is ideal if you’re the kind of supplier that likes to keep customers on their toes and make it harder to figure out which one they’ve got. Even better, if you throw in one of those special Trilliant comms hubs, it even looks like one of those signal boosters is attached, so all of a sudden, an S1 E470 looks even more like a very convincing S2 E470. Perfecto!

Maybe even more meter manufacturers should do this as well. After all, it’s a great idea to keep your product range small and not have to keep thinking up new names/numbers all the time. It’s an ingenious solution to a problem that should never have existed after all! :rofl:

Just to make life even more confusing, L+G does the same with gas meters as well. And with a total of SIX different L+G electricity and gas meters that are a mixture of S1 and S2, but all sharing the same model numbers… It’s a really fun puzzle to try and solve…

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Model names

 

While it is true that most car manufacturers also have “model years” and that the Ford Mondeo has gone through a bajillion different revisions over the years, at least it’s fairly easy to tell them apart! As for why L+G keep recycling things however, that’s something we may never know. While recycling is of course good for the environment… There’s a few things which are probably best not recycled when you think about it. :rofl:

Some places re-use names but add hints such as V2, r2 or Series 2 on the end, which helps you to know it’s the same model, but a newer version of it. Strangely… L+G don’t seem to do that either… :smile:

But the most effective way to always confuse everyone is not only re-using product and model names/numbers without making it clear, but to also make the newer version look and feel so similar to the previous one, that it’s almost impossible to tell them apart! If it wasn’t for the fact S1 L+G E470 meters have the black band around the display and the Trilliant SEAP-2001-V comms hub (which isn’t present on the S2 E470), it really would be impossible.

So if you do work for Landis+Gyr and happen to see this… We’d love to know the inner workings behind your ingenious naming schemes! And perhaps some tips on how to tell your products apart? Don’t worry, we don’t bite!

And if you do happen to have one of these smart meters and don’t know which one it is… These forums are open to all. So feel free to say hi and show us what you’ve got. We’ll figure it out for you. :sunglasses:


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