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Why did my previous supplier list my Aclara SGM1311 smart meter as SMETS1, when it's SMETS2 and should be on the DCC communicating with all suppliers?

  • 6 November 2020
  • 10 replies
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Hi,

I’ve just recently switched to OVO from SSE and I’m having a bit of trouble with my smart meter not communicating correctly. It seems to be leaving OVO’s support team stumped as well (full credit for trying though!), so I’m wondering if anyone knows anything.

The meter I have (installed by SSE) is an Aclara SGM1311 Smart Energy Meter with an Aclara SGC1311 Communications Hub. The serial numbers on both components starts 18M suggesting it’s a SMETS2 and everything about the meter seems to confirm this.

However, SSE seems to have registered it as a SMETS1 for some reason on the national database and it’s causing issues with getting it to connect to OVO via DCC.

I’ve only recently moved over, so I’m not sure if it’s just a case of the meter not having had chance to reconnect yet. But any thoughts would be especially helpful.

 

Thanks!

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Best answer by Transparent 6 November 2020, 21:10

Hi @Blastoise186 and the Forum is definitely the right place to discuss this!

Firstly, let’s confirm that the Aclara SGM1311 was indeed SMETS1 meter. We can tell this by looking at the table on the relevant Smart Me website page. This also confirms that this meter model is to be upgraded to SMETS2 software, and then migrated onto the National Smart Meter Network:

snapshot from Smart Me, Nov 2020

So whether your meters were running SMETS1 firmware when initially installed is academic, because by now Aclara will have downloaded the SMETS2 code into them.

I can understand SSE having registered your meter with ECOES as being SMETS1 because there was no other box which they could tick. The SGM1311 was only approved for SMETS1. The equivalent Aclara SMETS2 electricity meter is model SGM1411B.

If OVO’s Customer Support staff are having difficulty in establishing communication with your site, then email them and ask for the query to be allocated to the S2 Team. Provide a link to this discussion topic in that email and tell them they owe me :beer:

Contact details are available here.

 

Finally, could you revisit your Profile page please. I appreciate the accuracy with which you’ve answered the question about where you live, but in this case it might be relevant to know whether your Communications Hub is connected to Arqiva or Telefonica. :blush:

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @Blastoise186 and the Forum is definitely the right place to discuss this!

Firstly, let’s confirm that the Aclara SGM1311 was indeed SMETS1 meter. We can tell this by looking at the table on the relevant Smart Me website page. This also confirms that this meter model is to be upgraded to SMETS2 software, and then migrated onto the National Smart Meter Network:

snapshot from Smart Me, Nov 2020

So whether your meters were running SMETS1 firmware when initially installed is academic, because by now Aclara will have downloaded the SMETS2 code into them.

I can understand SSE having registered your meter with ECOES as being SMETS1 because there was no other box which they could tick. The SGM1311 was only approved for SMETS1. The equivalent Aclara SMETS2 electricity meter is model SGM1411B.

If OVO’s Customer Support staff are having difficulty in establishing communication with your site, then email them and ask for the query to be allocated to the S2 Team. Provide a link to this discussion topic in that email and tell them they owe me :beer:

Contact details are available here.

 

Finally, could you revisit your Profile page please. I appreciate the accuracy with which you’ve answered the question about where you live, but in this case it might be relevant to know whether your Communications Hub is connected to Arqiva or Telefonica. :blush:

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Hi @Transparent ,

Thanks for the info, this helps a ton. I prefer not to reveal my exact location, but I’ll update it in a couple of minutes. I noticed the SGM1400 series was mentioned on the Aclara website as being SMETS2 but no mention of the SGM1300 series, but now that finally makes sense.

Hopefully the team can get things fixed up with this info, since they’ve been great so far. I’ll ask them to send you a beer too if you want :P

But yeah, with all the bugs I’ve managed to find recently, I hope this doesn’t go missing. All I can say right now is the security team are absolutely amazing...

Userlevel 7
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Right, well that’s all sent in. You’re a legend!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any beer to offer, but can I pay you with a free cookie instead?

I guess that also explains why the serial number on mine is 18M then. It was installed around March 2018, so maybe it was rapidly given a firmware upgrade right after install?

Either way, hopefully it works soon. Meanwhile, I’ll be heading back to squashing a few more bugs. Muhahahahaha

Userlevel 7
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Well I did have a Real Ale last night, following our dialogue…. after which the details of meter model numbers wasn’t much clearer! :thinking:

Thanks for the cookie. I’d just cleared out a whole load from my browser, so it’s now sitting there prominently.

I’d be surprised if your meter got any SMETS2 firmware installed until autumn 2019, when it was first required. So I can’t account for the 18M serial number. But SSE did install a wide array of different meters, especially in challenging locations. This can’t have been profitable, but they have acquired a great deal of experience in handling tricky Smart Meter upgrades.

Now that they’re owned by OVO, I’m hopeful that some of that knowledge can be brought into the S2-Engineering Team at Bristol.

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Hopefully! Sounds like it’s an easy fix too if my Aclara has already been upgraded to SMETS2. I definitely like the fact that the SGM1300 Series has a massive display on it compared to most of others and the fact that it auto-scrolls through all the displays without me touching it. So much easier to read a meter that has a 24pt font on an LCD display than the LED ones!

I’ll let you know what happens once the team gets back to me. I’ll definitely make a note of your advice too, since that will help a lot of my friends.

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I have some really, seriously good news to share. And this probably also applies to anyone else with an Aclara SGM1300 Series meter like mine.

Just this evening, I’ve had an email confirming that my smart meter is about to become smart again due to the national upgrade. It also provides me with the details on how to decide the frequency of my meter readings.

I can’t share the email here due to personal info. But if you’re reading this and have an Aclara SMETS1 meter, please keep an eye on your email inbox!

The most important thing to know is that if you don’t specify a preference, OVO will set you up with Daily readings by default. But you can use the details in the email to choose Half-Hourly, Daily or Monthly based on your preference.

And if there is a problem, OVO will let you know and try to fix it.

Thanks for helping out @Transparent !

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The other thing I would definitely recommend to anyone else as well who has a SMETS1 Smart Meter, recently switched supplier - to OVO or otherwise - and thinks that it’s already capable of being adopted into their new supplier as a SMETS2 meter, is get in touch with your supplier and ask for the case to be escalated.

I contacted OVO by email about this a few days ago. While I’ve not had a direct reply per se, I’d definitely say that a system generated confirmation is good for me. Without doubt, it almost certainly confirms someone noticed my request and had it looked into.

Well worth the wait!

Userlevel 7
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@Blastoise186wrote:

get in touch with your supplier and ask for the case to be escalated.

or alternatively… better not get in touch with your Energy Supplier. The issue isn’t the meter upgrade, but rather its migration onto the National Smart Meter Network.

This is a massive task, occupying lots of engineer time. Having another ten million customers contacting them and asking for their site to be escalated will seriously delay the process. :scream:

The migration is scheduled to take a year, and maybe longer in the case of EDMI meters in the Northern Territory, which would all require a site visit.

Each Energy Supplier has already submitted a schedule for the migration. In the case of OVO they elected to first migrate customers on the Priority Services Register. This reduced the risk of a system failure due to an aborted migration in the middle of winter.

 

Userlevel 7

I like your thinking though, @Blastoise186 

 

I don’t think a request to get the upgrade escalated with your supplier is going to help speed things up. As @Transparent mentions this is being handled on a schedule by the DCC. 

 

HOWEVER it’s definitely work knowing if your SMETS1 meter has been upgraded before switching supplier. You might be in for a nasty surprise otherwise…..

 

@Transparent did we ever publish that schedule I confirmed from our friend Ben? Getting or finding a resource online that outlines the schedule will avoid anyone having to make contact with their supplier. The nearest looking resource is on the DCC site here

 

The time next year, we won’t have this issue.… what on earth will we have to talk about :anguished::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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We have “published” here the revised timescale for Smart Meter upgrades:

with thanks to SmartMe.co.uk

The other matters which Ben mentioned are:

  • Most SMETS1 meters will have already been upgraded to SMETS2 software by the meter manufacturers.
  • The timescale for the Energy Suppliers to migrate those meters onto the National Smart Meter Network is 1 year; so that’s by August 2021 for most OVO customers who haven’t moved from another Supplier.
  • OVO has decided to prioritise the migration process for customers on the Priority Services Register. If there were to be a problem, then it will have occurred before the cold weather in winter.

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