"A system error in smart meters has led to customers being quoted thousands
of pounds for a day's usage of gas and electricity.
Confused customers posted the strange readings from their SSE smart meters
on social media, with one display showing almost £20,000 for a single day."
It took me about a year to sort out an overcharge of more than £4,000
from a smart meter that had been fitted into a factory that I leased
out. I suspect the previous tenant must have been overcharged as well,
but didn't notice it as the factory wasn't sitting empty.
The meters don't calculate the cost, the in home display does that,
using consumption and costs fed to it from the meter(s).
My two, as near as I can tell, have been spot on since they were fitted
last June (then on OVO)- that despite not functioning as SM's since I
switched to First Utility. FU have emailed to say they will be
re-enabling both SM's as SM's, with remote reading in 28days.
Understood. The IHD in fact is fairly useless except as a rough guide.
They do seem fairly accurate though, as a means of assessing
instantaneous demand. The one glaringly obvious bit of data absent from
our IHD is the actual meter reading value. Were I designing them, that
would be top of my list to include..
I have been told that when they alert me to fit mine, I have to ring up and
be sure they fit the accessible one, the one with the voice. would you not
have thought that cost wise it would have been just as cheap to fit them all
with this function and you could turn it off. Seems a wasteful way of going
on. However apparently the units for single fuel and economy 7 are still not
I find the whole way this has been done to be grossly inefficient and
unduly complicated for what, on the surface seems like something many pieces
of domestic gear have been able to do for years now. they say its the
security aspect, but then again, if they are reading the meter directly o
now how can this be a problem?
All I hope is that it will have a little ringer that tells you when it was
actually read for billing so one can actually make the readings agree when
the bill arrives.
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
I agree, the whole thing has been very amateur. Even the fact that each
supplier seems to have been able to implement a separate system,
incompatible with the rest.
The customer decides when/how often they are read - monthly, daily or
every 30 minutes, but I think that irrespective, the data is sent daily
at around midnight. The monthly, daily, 30 minutes only sets out how
the data is tabulated on their website. The IHD, via the meter I guess,
is update on the standing charges and costs per unit, but doesn't seem
to get updated on what you as the customer, pay into your account.
I had mine set for 30 minutes - which would show when the boiler fired
up to heat the tank of HW. You could also see when the oven went on and
TV's, lights turned on from the consumption graphs.
Our bill indicated by the IHD just kept on incrementing from the day it
was installed and is still incrementing - how useless is that? I
actually paid them a fixed amount towards the bill, each month, but had
to check with the site whether I was ahead or behind.
So really, the IHD is handy to see your instantaneous consumption only.
It gives a figure for your standing charges and unit charges. The
suppliers website provides the only reliable information about your
actual consumption and how much you owe them/they owe you.
The suppliers seem to be suggesting that all readings of the SM's are
collected by an independent third party, if that is true then
differences in SM's shouldn't really matter - the third party ought to
be able to ensure there is continuity of data reading, when you switch
One thing to be aware of, is that the trigger points for higher
consumption levels are not user adjustable. Our IHD has tri-colour
LED's to show when an instantaneous consumption level is exceeded.
Every time the boiler fires up, the gas LED turns red, when not lit, it
shows green. Likewise the 'speedo' style LCD display just gets pinned
to the full scale when the boiler fires.
I suspect your voice version would only offer similar low/medium/high
consumption voice output. Much more useful to you, will be the values
shown on the suppliers web site.
That website says that a 'Rogowski Coil' is used to measure the current, and
gives a link to a description of this
http://www.pemuk.com/how-it-works.aspx . The thing that struck me was that
although the described circuit certainly measures average alternating
current of any waveshape, there's nothing about RMS value, or combining with
voltage waveform to get true wattage.
I would imagine that smart meters would have a completely different circuit
arrangement, probably involving fast analogue to digital converters
monitoring both current and voltage, and software to do the multiplication
into true power. There could be many causes of error if current waveforms
are encountered that have not been catered for in the design.
That seems the sort of clip-on sensor from devices like the Owl or
CurrentCost. In an electronic meter (be it smart or dumb) I'd have
thought a current shunt would be more likely, as it's already sitting
between the incomer and the CU?
I'd imagine the frequency of sampling in order to send volts*amps to see
the power drawn by "odd shaped" loads like SMPSUs and dimmers and
integrate it properly to register energy is where the report found
The article I first saw was in the telegraph, but the register gave a
bit more information, so I gave that link.
A three phase smart meter is likely to simply include three sensors
where a single phase one includes only one. It is also likely that they
are the same devices and have the same problems.
You may also want to read the comments on that article. There are
(at least) three from people who have read the original research
Basically, the problem is not with single phase meters, which tested
ok in the research.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.