Smart Meter

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The significance between normal old-fashioned meters and the new smart meters revolves round a fundamental shift in communication protocol. Old-fashioned meters communicated albeit crudely/manually in one direction only. Smart meters have the potential to be bidirectional in that they can send information/instruction to you as an individual consumer as well as receive it. I'm pretty sure that the energy companies are well aware of this although that aspect never seems to figure much in the idyllic adverts promoting their use. Suffice it to say that recent events would indicate that energy companies do not figure high on the list of benevolent organisations-- just sayin! ;)
 
Back in the old days of big coal and nuclear stations then it made sense to have cheaper night tariffs because you basically wanted to send the baseload power somewhere.

These days it's more complicated. With a substantial increase in EVs it may well be possible that domestic night tariffs become more expensive than day tariffs.

Or we could see a system of declared tariffs based on weather forecasts.

Or we could have a complex situation where we have houses with solar cells and domestic high capacity batteries and/or EVs that are used as domestic battery storage to smooth the pricing. It might get to the point where the property market gets upset by a situation where new builds are significantly better than older housing stick. It possibly becomes logical to offer 'house scrappage' schemes where owners are encouraged to scrap their existing house to replace it with something more energy efficient with in built energy management.

The EV charging points in our street (operated by Shell Ubitricity) have a lower night tarrif that starts at midnight. When connecting the car and setting up the charging in the evening, you can specify whether the charging should start immediately, or at midnight so that you benefit from the lower cost per kWh.

However, what is interesting is that the night tarrif replaced the previous tariff where charging was more expensive between 4pm and 7pm.

So it does seem that electricity provider do have typical busier times.
 
That's just bollocks, plenty of gas smart meters are installed and working where there are no electric smart meters installed. Gas networks and electric networks are totally independent of each other and they do not send details of meter readings to each other.
I answered a specific question, and my answer was correct.

There are SMETS2 gas meters that talk to the DCC independently (actually, via a separately powered comms hub), but most properties have an electricity meter too and therefore take advantage of that to transmit both gas and electricity metering information to the DCC, with the electricity meter acting as a hub for the gas meter.

My wife worked as a solution designer for one of the companies that supplies the rating & billing software used by the supply companies so I do have some inside knowledge of how it works.

Here's a good explanation of how the system hangs together:
 
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If you're asking what happens when the gas and electricity are supplied by different suppliers, then the answer is that I don't know. I am guessing that either the electricity supplier transfers the relevant usage data to the gas supplier, or perhaps in these circumstances the gas reading remains manual even if the meter is a smart meter (as is currently the case for us, not having a smart electricity meter). Or, perhaps there are several types of smart meters on the market - I don't know.
I previously had BG for gas and E-ON for electricity and both smart meters worked fine. In fact I’m sure the smart gas meter was fitted first and worked fine. 🤔
 
If you're asking what happens when the gas and electricity are supplied by different suppliers, then the answer is that I don't know. I am guessing that either the electricity supplier transfers the relevant usage data to the gas supplier, or perhaps in these circumstances the gas reading remains manual even if the meter is a smart meter (as is currently the case for us, not having a smart electricity meter). Or, perhaps there are several types of smart meters on the market - I don't know.
Smart Meters don't transmit the usage data directly to your supplier(s), instead they transmit it to a Data Communications Company (DCC) that is independent of the suppliers.

The DCC then splits out and passes the data collected to the relevant gas and electricity supply companies for rating and billing.

That also means you can change suppliers without having to change the meters. All that happens in that instance is that the DCC forwards your usage data to the new supplier instead of the old one from a defined date.
 
Also, the gas and electricity meters are in different locations, and it has been explained to us that due to the distance this may or may not work.
Ours are around 13 meters apart and pass through two 18 inch external walls and 3 stud walls. The installer said he thought that the two meters probably wouldn’t communicate but would try, and sure enough it worked. If I remember right he said that he could fit two versions, standard range and long range.
 
If this became the norm then I’m sure the electric board/suppliers would find a way to ‘force’ all households to upgrade.

The whole rollout is a massive c*** up.

The attempt to sell it based on energy savings is sort of valid but really is a one shot deal. Most consumers are unlikely to watch the meters all the time. Instead some will learn a bit about their consumption after initial installation and adapt.

Worse the orginal smart meters being rolled out were not to some common standard.

Instead the whole thing should have been mandated based on tariff management getting people to accept that tariffs might be variable across the day, the week, and the seasons - possibly even adding in tariffs that were 'live' where households might be informed hours in advancve that they would maybe get a rebate by not using as much energy (say in response to weather problems or plant outages).

But no - they are sold as household energy saving devices. Doh!
 
This from Shell Energy:-

Gas meters​

These are powered by a battery that’s built into the meter. Due to safety reasons you won’t be able to access it. The battery is designed to last more than 10 years before needing a replacement but when that time comes, the gas meter will alert our systems. We'll then contact you to arrange an appointment to replace the battery.
I understood that was true of all Gas Smart Meters that are used in a stand alone function. if the gas meter is used together with a Smart Electric Meter the battery in the gas meter is disabled/removed and it communicates it’s readings via the electric smart meter which is obviously self-powered.
 
This from Shell Energy:-

Gas meters​

These are powered by a battery that’s built into the meter. Due to safety reasons you won’t be able to access it. The battery is designed to last more than 10 years before needing a replacement but when that time comes, the gas meter will alert our systems. We'll then contact you to arrange an appointment to replace the battery.
I understood that was true of all Gas Smart Meters that are used in a stand alone function. if the gas meter is used together with a Smart Electric Meter the battery in the gas meter is disabled/removed and it communicates it’s readings via the electric smart meter which is obviously self-powered.

Our smart gas meter certainly has a battery (because it has a backlit LCD display), but it's of the type that can only communicate with a smart electricity meter (which we don't have) but not transmit data directly to the energy provider, and that's why we still need to provide manual readings.

And, even though it does not transmit any data, I don't see how it would operate without a battery, given that the display is LCD - you simply wouldn't be able to read it if it had no battery....
 
if the gas meter is used together with a Smart Electric Meter the battery in the gas meter is disabled/removed and it communicates it’s readings via the electric smart meter which is obviously self-powered.
The battery in the smart gas meter powers the display and also the low-power wireless communications to the communications hub, so remains connected/enabled in all scenarios. The communications hub may be integrated with a Smart electricity meter, or may be a separate unit that has a mains power supply. It is the communications hub that sends the data to the DCC over the 2G/3G cellular network; were the gas meter to do that its internal battery would be exhausted in a few days rather than a few years.
 
I would imagine that the heavy electrical consumers are washing machines, tumble driers, vacuum cleaners, kitchen ovens, and also electrical heaters for those who have them. The kettle and the toaster will probably only be used briefly. With regards gas, it's probably the bolier that's the heavy consumer, less so the hob when frying eggs (and some kitchens will have induction hobs). Also, what's stopping the supplier from upping the tariff between certain hours as things stand? I don't think the meter is an issue.

It's true that any appliance with a heater in it is a big consumer of electricity albeit of relatively sort duration. The consumers to really worry about are the appliances that consume 24/7. For example my fridge freezer at 4KWh per week consumes twice as many KWh than the washing machine does to do two washes. All the 24/7 items are the ones to look into and switch off if possible. A trivial example is the electric garage door opener. Do I need this powered up when I'm in the house - no and because it's a 30 year old crude radio transmitter it's more secure if I power it down which is no hardship as the isolator is to hand when I walk into the garage. One thing I've done for years is power down the broad band router when I go to bed. That's only 10 watts saved but it all adds up. Now I know the perceived wisdom is that this is inadvisable as it it will be interpreted as line fault and slow your connection but in fact everyone that advises against this is wrong.

The DLM (Dynamic Line Management) device in the exchange or in the street cabinet has an algorithm that is fact specifically designed not to interpret a once per day power down as a line fault. There are some good reasons why you might want to keep a router powered up but internet myth that everyone must at all times is mostly nonsense. For those sufficiently interested in the technicalities behind this assertion:

::. Kitz - DLM .::
 
@st13phil True, thank you. The main point is a gas Smart meter can be used and will communicate without a Smart electric meter.
 
@st13phil True, thank you. The main point is a gas Smart meter can be used and will communicate without a Smart electric meter.

You may well be right, however I was talking only of my own personal experience, and our provider does not offer smart gas meters that can transmit data to them independently - as said, the ones they are installing can only transmit data via a smart electricity meter (which we don't have). I am guessing that their smart gas meters have only short range RF transmitters (Bluetooth?) incorporated into them, but not GSM modems.
 
It's true that any appliance with a heater in it is a big consumer of electricity albeit of relatively sort duration. The consumers to really worry about are the appliances that consume 24/7. For example my fridge freezer at 4KWh per week consumes twice as many KWh than the washing machine does to do two washes. All the 24/7 items are the ones to look into and switch off if possible. A trivial example is the electric garage door opener. Do I need this powered up when I'm in the house - no and because it's a 30 year old crude radio transmitter it's more secure if I power it down which is no hardship as the isolator is to hand when I walk into the garage. One thing I've done for years is power down the broad band router when I go to bed. That's only 10 watts saved but it all adds up. Now I know the perceived wisdom is that this is inadvisable as it it will be interpreted as line fault and slow your connection but in fact everyone that advises against this is wrong.

The DLM (Dynamic Line Management) device in the exchange or in the street cabinet has an algorithm that is fact specifically designed not to interpret a once per day power down as a line fault. There are some good reasons why you might want to keep a router powered up but internet myth that everyone must at all times is mostly nonsense. For those sufficiently interested in the technicalities behind this assertion:

::. Kitz - DLM .::

Agreed, though my post was in response to off peak rates, and the point I was making was that many of the heaviest consumers are not necessarily used by everyone at the same time (unlike kettles and toasters etc). 24x7 consumers will obviously affect consumption, but it will be evenly spread during the day.

Business premises will also have a distinct office-hours useage pattern, for example.
 
Just as an aside ... we were away recently, with the central heating & hot water turned off for 3 full days. Gas hob and Rayburn obviously not being used for cooking, so no gas usage? The smart meter data shows otherwise ... 10 kWh consumed every day (four times our average electricity usage at this time of year):

1684086757751.png

The detailed data from the smart meter shows a steady consumption throughout the day, which I can only assume is down to the two pilot lights in the Rayburn (one for the boiler and one for the oven):

1684086872776.png

So at the current rate of approx 10p per kWh turning off the pilot lights before a 2 week holiday would save around £14 on gas.
 
Just as an aside ... we were away recently, with the central heating & hot water turned off for 3 full days. Gas hob and Rayburn obviously not being used for cooking, so no gas usage? The smart meter data shows otherwise ... 10 kWh consumed every day (four times our average electricity usage at this time of year):

That adds up to a lot of gas being used by the pilot lights over a full year.

I did something similar but not using a smart meter. I simply timed with a stop watch how long it took to use 1 cuft of gas on the meter and then converted that to KWh on a spreadsheet. What I found was a single pilot light was using 4 KWh per day or £150 of gas per year at current prices. By reducing the pilot flame size I've cut that to 1.2 KWh per day saving over £100 per year. You know when you've gone too far as the it trips out when the thermocouple is insufficiently heated.

Electricity consumption never gets to zero when you are away because of fridges and freezers. I record approx. 1.2 KWh per day when I'm away on holiday. But there are periods when the meter records zero consumption when the fridge and freezer are in between on cycles. I have a modern but none smart electricity meter that replaced the old spinning disc type. It has a red led that flashes every time 1 watt hour of electricity is used. One day I noticed the light was on steady, so I downloaded a spec sheet for the meter and the steady light means the meter was recording zero consumption. I thought that couldn't be possible as there are several things on 24/7 that use a few watts. From the spec sheet It turned out the meter doesn't record anything when consumption falls below 19.2W. It might be incapable of recorded such a low consumption or it might be deliberate policy as compensation for the fact that the meter consumes a few watts of power just to function even when there is no load.
 
I recently bought a property to fix up and rent out. It has a smart meter installed, and Eon was the suppler, who I stayed with for the duration of the project. I used an agency to find tenants and contacted Eon the day before the tenants moved in for a final bill.

In the meantime, the agency, who are not managing the let, instructed Ovo to take over the supply (for a commission), five days before the start of the tenancy agreement. I now have Ovo chasing me for five days standing charges and supply. I have spoken twice with Ovo about the situation, and I wish them luck, but this wouldn't have happened with regular meters, as it would have required a visit to the property with my knowledge.
 
I recently bought a property to fix up and rent out. It has a smart meter installed, and Eon was the suppler, who I stayed with for the duration of the project. I used an agency to find tenants and contacted Eon the day before the tenants moved in for a final bill.

In the meantime, the agency, who are not managing the let, instructed Ovo to take over the supply (for a commission), five days before the start of the tenancy agreement. I now have Ovo chasing me for five days standing charges and supply. I have spoken twice with Ovo about the situation, and I wish them luck, but this wouldn't have happened with regular meters, as it would have required a visit to the property with my knowledge.
I’m surprised that OVO would initiate the switch without your consent. If leaves the door open for people to switch other people’s electricity/gas supply, for example those with a grudge or dispute, or those people who go door to door asking you to switch.
 

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