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Smart meter installation – seamless or a potential nightmare?

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Transparent
(@transparent)
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I always like seeing pictures in discussions like this @robl

And no, the brass cap doesn't need earthing.
There's no continuity issue when the gas riser uses a plastic pipe.

Why are you getting through so many brown plastic boxes? 🤔 

Is it sealing off the old meter-outlet port which took gas into the house?

Save energy... recycle electrons!


   
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 robl
(@robl)
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That brown plastic box is our fibre to the home inlet box.  It just seemed a bit neater to stick it in the old gas box.

The gas used to go off to the right, around the house rather than into it, and into the garage adjacent to the house.  Anyway it’s all gone now!  I pulled out the old gas pipes and boiler myself after the meter was gone, got £30 on eBay for the boiler, all much neater now.


   
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Transparent
(@transparent)
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If the gas supply pipe ran around the outside of the house then there shouldn't have been that earth wire and clip which we can see in your photo.

The regulations stipulate that the earth connection must be within 600mm of the point of entry to the building.
In your case, that would've been where it entered the garage.

And I still don't understand why you're getting though so many brown boxes.
Are they being melted by the intensity of light in your fibre-optic line?  🤭 

Save energy... recycle electrons!


   
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(@derek-m)
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@robl

What is the IP rating of the brown plastic box?


   
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Toodles
(@toodles)
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@derek-m Perhaps that should read ‘What is the ISP rating of that box?’ Regards, Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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 Fabz
(@fabz)
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Hi all, back in July and in preparation for the installation of an ASHP, we asked EDF to switch us over from an Economy 9 tariff to a standard one. This entailed installing a smart meter - firstly on an E7 tariff, then to transition to a standard tariff. It's been a long and very frustrating wait - missed appointments, registering the smart meter with the national grid, and more... Now that that's all done, there's yet another delay - apparently for the meter to be switched to a standard tariff. It's probably my frustration surfacing but is it technically credible for this switchover from E7 to take more than a week and counting? Our ASHP is due to be installed in just over a week's time and it would be nice to get this out of way by then. Thanks.


   
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Transparent
(@transparent)
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@fabz - you are seeing the effect of two different issues, which look like they're one and the same from the consumer's viewpoint.

1: The migration to having a Smart Meter is not instantaneous.

After the installation engineer leaves site, there is a sequence of commissioning which gets performed by the Data Communications Company (DCC).
They check the two or three radio-frequency communication channels which may be present on the Communications Hub, which sits on top of the Electricity Meter (ESME).

The manufacturers of the Comms Hub and the ESME may also have released firmware upgrades for those devices since they were delivered to your Supplier, EDF.

The Comms Hub has a secure Key to prevent unauthorised access. This gets registered with the relevant databases.

The ESME gets added to ECOES, the national database of all electricity meters.
They cross check the readings which the Installer reported were showing on the old meter which he/she removed.
ECOES notifies your Supplier, allowing them to adjust any discrepancies for billing purposes.

There are in-built time-lags in this process to enable each party to flag anomalies which might indicate

  • previous/historical billing errors
  • theft of electricity
  • incorrect MPAN, perhaps not assigned to the correct address/postcode
  • building ownership (a known problem where a property has been rented from a private landlord)
  • identity fraud, whereby an individual might be using a utilities bill to open a bank account

 

2: The meter is then assigned to your chosen Supplier (EDF).

They should download your agreed tariff into the meter, which is how the In-home Device (IHD) allows you to set weekly budgets.

They can also add enhanced functionality on top of the manufacturer's basic firmware code.

EDF should create a bill which covers the cross-over between the old and new meters, and the old/new tariffs.

There is another pause. Under the Financial Services Act, you have a mandatory 14-day cooling-off period during which you can object to the bill, challenge the accuracy of the tariff by comparing with what you were offered, and settle any other disputes via the Ofgem-regulated Complaints Procedure.

 

Without knowing the exact timescales which apply to your meter replacement, it isn't going to be possible for us Forum Members to provide a definitive answer as to where you are in this sequence, nor what 'delay' has caused you to think that there's something untoward with how EDF are handling this.

We should, however, be pleased that these underlying procedures are robust and secure.
I have twice encountered situations whereby utility bills for my address were being directed to third-parties unknown to me.
Those potential frauds and ID-thefts were prevented because the UK system protects us.

For obvious reasons I have not provided details above of how the fraud works, nor how the meter security mechanisms operate!

Save energy... recycle electrons!


   
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 Fabz
(@fabz)
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  1. @transparent - Thank you so much for the explanation. I had no idea that the transfer process was so complicated. I'm at the point in the sequence where the meter has been assigned to my supplier and has been updated to single rate on the system. We're now waiting for 'communication to reach the meter' - which is the delay I was questioning. After that's done, adjustments to charges will be made to compensate for the enforced Economy 7 period. Your reply has put my mind at ease and I'll wait more patiently for the process to end. Thanks.


   
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(@ianmk13)
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@Transparent If I might resurrect this interesting thread....

Early last month Octopus were unable to bill me for gas.  When I queried, they asked me to supply a meter reading but since I am on their Tracker tariff I politely declined. I didn't understand why Octopus had an issue as I was still able to download my half-hourly consumption data from other sources (e.g. n3rgy). Octopus initiated a 'gas meter reset' and a few days later I received an up-to-date bill.  However, this included a period of a few days for which I was unable to download my consumption details, even from the Octopus customer portal.

The system now seems to have stabilised (hopefully) and I can now access my consumption data (from several sources).  I am interested in how the data is collected, though.  Is it collected from the DCC or does the DCC issue a token to permit connection to the meters (or gas meter proxy or Communications Device) directly? How about my In-Home Display and my Consumer Access Device (an Octopus Home Mini)?  Since these are local devices, perhaps the same level of security is not appropriate. Do these have a different route to accessing meter data or is it possible that these could be 'locked-out' at some point?


   
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Toodles
(@toodles)
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@ianmk13 Our smart metre is a SMETS1 with some form of on-line update (during our days with Eon) OE were able to connect to it and I have Agile working well most of the time. We experience hiccups every so often and sometimes wait weeks before OE have the data to complete a bill. I am still awaiting on a long promised Octopus Mini which I think will give us more topical data. We will get there eventually but it would be nice if the system performed more reliably. Regards, Toodles.

This post was modified 3 months ago by Mars

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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(@ianmk13)
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@toodles There are many people who are anti-smart-meter. It wouldn't surprise me if there was a large intersection of the set of those people and the set of people who are anti-heat-pumps  😉. It is in the news again today that there are almost 4 million smart meters that aren't working in smart mode.  This just adds fuel to the fire.  I suspect that they may be SMETS1 meters (my meter is SMETS2) and it would be interesting to know just what the problem is with these, too.  Is it an incorrect communications protocol, an issue with the security credentials, or something else? Can it be fixed with a firmware update? If so, does it require a site visit? How did the industry get itself in this situation?


   
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(@guthrie)
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Posted by: @ianmk13

@toodles There are many people who are anti-smart-meter. It wouldn't surprise me if there was a large intersection of the set of those people and the set of people who are anti-heat-pumps  😉. It is in the news again today that there are almost 4 million smart meters that aren't working in smart mode.  This just adds fuel to the fire.  I suspect that they may be SMETS1 meters (my meter is SMETS2) and it would be interesting to know just what the problem is with these, too.  Is it an incorrect communications protocol, an issue with the security credentials, or something else? Can it be fixed with a firmware update? If so, does it require a site visit? How did the industry get itself in this situation?

 

Yes, a lot of the people who are anti smart meter will be anti heat pump, because their favourite columnist or conspiracy theorist, but I repeat myself, told them they were bad.  (Things are confused even more by the bots etc)

We have a smets2 meter installed last year but it isn't smart due to no signal or a mistake in installation, they weren't clear, but Octopus have told me they will be coming out to look at it at some point.  I was talking to someone some years ago now who had been involved in smart meter installations and I do recall he said hang on until smets2 because the gvt and industry had totally messed it ul with smets1.  Plenty of blame to go around, the problems were clear enough to those on the ground but not in board rooms and westminster.

 


   
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