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My V2 smart meters are from Scottish Power and I've asked them why they have not got my latest usage they have replied they have lost contact with them.

Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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We have smart meters for gas and electricity.  I can't see why folk have a problem with them.  We don't need to have the meters read or send in the readings.  It cost nothing to have them fitted and w

No one coming round to read the meters and no more estimated bills plus, if you are of a mind to, you can monitor your energy consumption pretty much as it happens. It can be quite an education. Yes, 

Reluctance to have Smart Meters installed, beyond just resistance to change, generally comes down to one of a small number of topics.   Security of the meters is a very common one.  This is

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We have smart meters for gas and electricity.  I can't see why folk have a problem with them.  We don't need to have the meters read or send in the readings.  It cost nothing to have them fitted and we were assured that if we switched suppliers the meters would still work.  Our energy bills have not increased.  I don't spend time watching it.  I find the conversations about folk avoiding having them fitted very puzzling.  The only downside is that the meter reader is out of a job.

     John.

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Never ask a man if he comes from Yorkshire. If he does, he'll tell you. If he doesn't, why humiliate him?

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Leedslad have you missed my post 12 mins before yours?

If I want an accurate bill this month I will now have to read and submit myself.

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Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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2 minutes ago, David 38 said:

Leedslad have you missed my post 12 mins before yours?

If I want an accurate bill this month I will now have to read and submit myself.

   This must be a problem with your supplier.   The human element is at fault, not the meters.   :)

    John.

Never ask a man if he comes from Yorkshire. If he does, he'll tell you. If he doesn't, why humiliate him?

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Would have thought it will be done automatically by computer.

No idea how they get to me though.  Is it normal fault?

Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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How’s this for a Ludicrous situation!

 

We have smart meters BUT my supplier only actions the readings from them every three months. I have tried to get them to accept a monthly reading so I can pay each month for what I have used. “No problem sir BUT in order to do that you will have to agree to be moved off your (excellent) current fixed term discounted tariff onto standard variable”  :unsure: 

 

I simply cannot see, or understand, the rationale for that, can you??? 

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Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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Nope me neither !..... It seems the powers that be.....Just don't get it do they ?...

 

 

It's their way?.......... Or the highway ?

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22 hours ago, David 38 said:

Would have thought it will be done automatically by computer.

No idea how they get to me though.  Is it normal fault?

How do they get the info out of smart meters and who does it?

Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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I have a smart water meter under my sink. The van just drives past and takes a reading. I assume it has a battery as it is not connected to the mains. 

I assume smart elec/gas meters work the same way? When hades freezes over, I'll install one. 

Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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7 minutes ago, David 38 said:

How do they get the info out of smart meters and who does it?

I guess either the meters have a sim card or they do data over the power cables back to the sub station. Just like those power line Ethernet senders you can get. I also guess who ever looks after the substation will manage the data receivers and put the data into a big database that the energy companies all have access to. 

9 minutes ago, WispMan said:

I have a smart water meter under my sink. The van just drives past and takes a reading. I assume it has a battery as it is not connected to the mains. 

I assume smart elec/gas meters work the same way? When hades freezes over, I'll install one. 

This meter can generate power from the turbine that gets spun by the water for detecting water flow rates. 

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3 hours ago, David 38 said:

How do they get the info out of smart meters and who does it?

Ooo, something I can comment on with authority!  I worked on the Smart Metering program for four years or so when the networks were being built so I know of what I speak.

 

First of it depends if you have a SMETS1 or a SMETS2 meter.  SMETS1 was the original, industry led, standard and used off the shelf GSM (Mobile) technology to transmit the data, either directly back to the energy company or a subcontractor of your energy company.  SMETS1 meters are not portable between suppliers that use different back ends, so if you had a British Gas meter and moved to, say, Eon then your smart meter would become dumb again.  SMETS1 is also what people are usually talking about when they run stories about how insecure and vulnerable smart meters are.

 

SMETS2 is what people normally think of then they hear 'Smart Metering' and is the large government run program that you'll all have heard about.  SMETS2 is much more secure by design, much more capable than SMETS1 and was designed from the outset to enable portability between providers without having to change the hardware installed at a customers premises.  To that end the direct one to one link between meters and providers was broken and a new chain of companies inserted.

 

Meters are produced by independent meter manufacturers, as they always were, and have to conform to the part of the specification relating to what is known as the Home Area Network, or HAN.  These meters Talk to a communications hub which is the responsibility of the Communications Service Provider (CSP), of which there are two.  Draw an imaginary line across the country from Liverpool roughly to Grimsby.  If you live below that line, known as the South and Central regions, then your CSP is Telefonica and your Comms Hubs use standard 2G Mobile connectivity (GSM).  If you live above that line then you are in the North region and your CSP is Arqiva and your Comms Hubs use a proprietary long range radio technology supplied by a US company that specialises in smart metering.

 

The CSPs are essentially bit pipes that deliver the data to something called the Data Service Provider, or DSP.  The DSP's job is to gather all of the meter data from the CSPs into a single place and then make it securely available to authorised users.  At the most basic this is the energy providers who then go on to bill you, but it can also include companies like switching sites that want to know your usage patterns to get you the best deal.  Thus moving provider becomes a case of the DSP de-authorising your current provider from accessing your data and authorising your new provider, based on your original instruction to switch.  The data channel between the CSP and the DSP is entirely unaffected so no changes to the equipment at the customers premisses is required.  The DSP is operated by CGI.

 

Finally overseeing the whole shebang and providing governance and actually holding the delivery contracts with the CSPs and DSP is the Data and Communications Company, known as the DCC.  Capita hold the DCC contract currently.

 

And the whole lot is regulated by Ofgem.

 

There you go.  Clear as mud :D

3 hours ago, WispMan said:

I have a smart water meter under my sink. The van just drives past and takes a reading. I assume it has a battery as it is not connected to the mains. 

I assume smart elec/gas meters work the same way? 

You'd assume wrong.

 

What you are talking about (vans or trucks picking up readings as they pass) is known as Automated Meter Reading, or AMR and in the UK it is used pretty much exclusively in the water sector.  Instead of dedicated water meter vans many areas affix the readers to waste disposal trucks.

 

SMETS1 and SMETS2 are examples of Advanced Metering Infrastructure(AMI), which is also being used by some water utilities as an upgrade from AMR but is quite different in architecture.

 

An AMR meter, such as your water meter, 'chirps' its most recent reading on a regular basis (intervals around the 30s mark) and anyone with the correct equipment can receive it.  The data is often encrypted but utility companies are generally not experts in good cryptography standards and so the keys are often left on default settings, something easily predictable or they leak (if you'll excuse the inadvertent pun).  As a consequence anyone with a little bit of know-how and the determination to do it can probably listen in and decipher your water meter messages, although why they would want to do that and what benefit they would derive from it are different questions.

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On 22/09/2020 at 11:22, Leedslad said:

We have smart meters for gas and electricity.  I can't see why folk have a problem with them.  We don't need to have the meters read or send in the readings.  It cost nothing to have them fitted and we were assured that if we switched suppliers the meters would still work.  Our energy bills have not increased.  I don't spend time watching it.  I find the conversations about folk avoiding having them fitted very puzzling.  The only downside is that the meter reader is out of a job.

     John.

Reluctance to have Smart Meters installed, beyond just resistance to change, generally comes down to one of a small number of topics.

 

Security of the meters is a very common one.  This is mostly related to SMETS1 meters which are, frankly, horrible in this regard.  The majority of the stories you see in the media relating to how insecure smart metering is refers to SMETS1 or technology of a similar generation.  SMETS2 was designed from the ground up to be much more secure across the entire stack from meter to supplier.  The whole thing is classified as Critical National Infrastructure and has had intense scrutiny from the likes of GCHQ to ensure it is appropriately secure.  I'm not claiming it is perfect but it is much better than SMETS1 and if anyone does crack it, it is going to be nation state type actor and not your typical spotty script kiddie, which is about as good as you can ask for.

 

The next most common is the feeling that people are somehow 'spying' on you.  This has some basis in fact - with dumb meters you send your readings once a month / quarter and beyond knowing how many units you've consumed not much more information can be inferred.  Smart meters by default read every 30 minutes and can be configured with much shorter intervals.  That is enough to build up a quite detailed picture of a households comings and goings and when they tend to run high load appliances.  This is one of the reasons the DCC was established, to keep all of this reasonably sensitive data in one place (instead of distributed across a myriad of energy companies) and do so securely.  There are lots of companies would love to get their hands on that data and use it to profile customers and while the DCC enables that it at least does so in a controlled manner and, ideally, not without the customers consent.

 

Resistance to the whole green / climate change message that was used to sell smart meters to the public is another common reason.

 

Amusingly the vast majority of people miss the most obvious reason - SMETS2 meters can be remotely commanded to disconnect supply.  It is very tightly controlled - not quite launching a ICMB levels but also not that far removed, so if it happens it is because someone actively chose to do it not by accident.  This was explicitly intended to be used not only for disconnection in the case of non-payment of bills but also for  load management purposes.  You see the UK is heading (well, technically is in) a generation crunch.  Demand is rising faster than we are building new capacity and as the old coal and nuclear plants are decommissioned in the rest of this decade a significant gap opens up between the two.  Part of that we meet by increased imports from continental Europe but part of it will also have to be managed by what is euphemistically called 'load shedding' - basically turning demand off at source.

 

This starts with big commercial consumers like factories and industrial plant being shut off first but could in the future include consumer supply being cut as a last resort.  And SMETS2 meters allow that to be done on a much more granular basis than ever before.

 

Also the HAN is designed to be able to interface with smart appliances in the future and to control when they can run.  So it is possible, but unlikely, that at some point in the mid 2030's you might go to put your washing on and the electricity meter will say 'no' and refuse to let it start because there isn't enough spare capacity.

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7 minutes ago, Xyleth said:

Reluctance to have Smart Meters installed, beyond just resistance to change, generally comes down to one of a small number of topics.

 

 

 

Amusingly the vast majority of people miss the most obvious reason - SMETS2 meters can be remotely commanded to disconnect supply.  It is very tightly controlled - not quite launching a ICMB levels but also not that far removed, so if it happens it is because someone actively chose to do it not by accident.  This was explicitly intended to be used not only for disconnection in the case of non-payment of bills but also for  load management purposes.  You see the UK is heading (well, technically is in) a generation crunch.  Demand is rising faster than we are building new capacity and as the old coal and nuclear plants are decommissioned in the rest of this decade a significant gap opens up between the two.  Part of that we meet by increased imports from continental Europe but part of it will also have to be managed by what is euphemistically called 'load shedding' - basically turning demand off at source.

 

This starts with big commercial consumers like factories and industrial plant being shut off first but could in the future include consumer supply being cut as a last resort.  And SMETS2 meters allow that to be done on a much more granular basis than ever before.

 

Also the HAN is designed to be able to interface with smart appliances in the future and to control when they can run.  So it is possible, but unlikely, that at some point in the mid 2030's you might go to put your washing on and the electricity meter will say 'no' and refuse to let it start because there isn't enough spare capacity.

 

Thank you ! And this is the point of my OP,  citing the article in the newspaper last weekend.

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4 hours ago, WispMan said:

I have a smart water meter under my sink. The van just drives past and takes a reading. I assume it has a battery as it is not connected to the mains. 

I assume smart elec/gas meters work the same way? When hades freezes over, I'll install one. 

 

It might be sooner than that, as the older meters reach the end of their service life, they will be replaces with smart meters, like it or not. 🤷‍♂️

On 22/09/2020 at 11:22, Leedslad said:

We have smart meters for gas and electricity.  I can't see why folk have a problem with them.  We don't need to have the meters read or send in the readings.  It cost nothing to have them fitted and we were assured that if we switched suppliers the meters would still work.  Our energy bills have not increased.  I don't spend time watching it.  I find the conversations about folk avoiding having them fitted very puzzling.  The only downside is that the meter reader is out of a job.

     John.

 

The meters will still work true, as a meter, but may not necessarily act as a smart meter with other suppliers, reverting to dumb mode and you having to send in monthly readings as in days of yore !

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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Thank Xyleth they are V2 and I'm just above your Liverpool/Grimsby line.

If it is the DSP fault I assume Scottish Power might well be short of other peoples readings too.

If the problem from me to DSP might only be me or could be others I guess.

Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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How can I tell which type of smart meter I have V1 or V2? 

 

This is my ‘leccy  one 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36A9E17F-70EA-4659-9EC2-C86637DD1AE9.jpeg

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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As it was made 2017 and no mention on of V2 and I think V2 only came out 2019, I think yours will be a V1.

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Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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Many thanks for your explanation Xyleth,  I still don't feel in any way 'doomed' or that I'm being spied upon or controlled in any way.  Nothing has occurred which would make me feel that anything sinister is afoot so I will continue to enjoy the convenience of the smart meter setup.   :)

 

    John.

Never ask a man if he comes from Yorkshire. If he does, he'll tell you. If he doesn't, why humiliate him?

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SMETS2 meters didn't start rolling out in any volume until last year (2019 for those looking back on this from the future) so that is almost certainly  a SMETS1 meter.

 

The original Smart Metering plan called for full rollout of the SMETS2 meters by 2020. The SMETS2 system kept getting delayed and delayed but the government wouldn't change the target, and there were pretty hefty financial penalties on the providers if they didn't hit it.  Eventually the govt compromised and said they would allow SMETS1 meters to be counted towards the target, hence the explosion in those types being deployed.

 

There is now, I believe, a plan to bring the SMETS1 meters into the DCC ecosystem and give them at least the portability features of the SMETS2 meters even if not the full feature support.  That was thought up well after I'd left the program though so I have no particular insight into how that is going.

 

As for Smart meters being a benefit only for the suppliers I'd have to disagree.  The benefits are certainly weighted in their favour but there are pluses as a consumer.  For example I'm with Octopus with their SMETS1 meters and the only reason I got them (having otherwise held out for SMETS2) was that it enabled me to move to their Agile Octopus tariff.  That means that in each half hourly billing period my price for electricity tracks the wholesale price of energy (plus Octopus' margin obviously) throughout the day.  Occasionally the price even goes negative, meaning I get 'paid' for the energy I consume - although that typically happens in the middle of the night.  What it really means is that coupled with my solar panel and battery install my average per kWh rate for electricity is around the 6.6p mark instead of the 16p range most fixed tariffs are on.

For example here is yesterday.  Total of 4.9kWh consumed from the grid (mainly overnight) at an average price of 9.4p / kWh for a total of £0.44.

 

And yes, I am a gigantic nerd when it comes to my power consumption :D

Screenshot 2020-09-23 at 16.35.38.png

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I shall have to have a close look at that Agile Octopus, I have solar panels bu no battery storage.

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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5 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

I shall have to have a close look at that Agile Octopus, I have solar panels bu no battery storage.

Agile is only worth it if you have some way of avoiding the 16:00 to 19:00 peak where the price leaps into the 25 - 30p range (they do cap it at 35p).  That can either be a battery or the discipline not to use any high load appliances during that period.

 

Personally I find the battery much more convenient because I don't have to explain to Mrs. X why she can't use household appliances in the evening!  But it is a relatively expensive and complex way to buy that convenience.

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There’s always a catch isn’t there? 

 

I have looked at battery storage but ruled it out due to cost (Best I can find is around £2.5K) and the extended pay-back time due to my low energy use anyway.

 

Having said that we are both retired and we tend to use the high consumption  appliances (dishwasher and washing machine)  late morning when the solar panels are producing their maximum. Sadly we have a gas cooker with an electric oven though, but is a bit long in the tooth so  maybe worth replacing it with an all gas jobbie! 

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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On 22/09/2020 at 11:10, David 38 said:

My V2 smart meters are from Scottish Power and I've asked them why they have not got my latest usage they have replied they have lost contact with them.

Hi David, did your meters stop communicating around the middle of August ?

 

I'm with Shell since last Oct and had to have S/M's fitted to get the best price, no problem, till I was billed for £800 for the first  months supply, but that's another story.

 

Middle of Sept I got the following email from Shell:

 

"Unfortunately, we’ve noticed that your electricity and gas smart meters have stopped communicating with us. As a result, we’re unable to provide you with all of the benefits a smart meter provides. This includes accurate bills and the ability to monitor your energy usage within your online account.

We’ve been trying to fix this problem but regretfully, we’ve been unable to do so. This is likely due to unreliable signal where your meters are located. We’ll need to send you an email each month asking you to submit your electricity and gas readings, so that you can continue to benefit from accurate bills.

We understand that this is disappointing. However, as smart meter technology advances, we’ll let you know if there are any alternative solutions that may be suitable for your property."

 

I informed them that nothing has changed in the house or area since they fitted them, so the problem must be at their end and requested an engineer visit to confirm their supposition that the problem is with my property, you can guess the reply, however I've been asking around friends, family and Google and it appears that you and I are not alone and that those who had the same problem, from different suppliers, said that theirs also appeared to stop sending readings around the middle of Aug.

 

My guess is that a software update has been done to the hubs rendering them dumb !

 

The meters are OK, the IHD is communicating and reading OK.

 

My last email, 2 weeks ago, no reply yet, asked for the date the communication was lost, for my complaint to be escalated and to tell the truth, not give me bovine droppings or send me pro-forma  replies, but knowing Shell's C/S agents well, I'll possibly get a reply sometime in Nov when I've been long gone from the abysmal company.

 

 

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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Yes August, no email telling me like you did, in fact I think the first SP new was when I messaged them.

I'm in West Yorkshire.

Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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Now you know why some of us won't have trash like that installed in our houses. 

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Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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