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Thread: Smart meters ...

  1. #1
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default Smart meters ...

    some interesting points raised here :

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/10173856.stm

    security- & other-wise ... that might have wider implications (HA-system, etc) ...

    eg:

    "every home in Britain is expected to be equipped with a smart meter by 2020 and the Information Commissioner's Office warned privacy must not be compromised ... each home would get a new smart gas meter and a new electricity meter ... one is the host meter, that will communicate with the customer and the supplier ...

    various security concerns have been raised ... the amount of personal data held on the devices ... [and] ... it could make clear the exact times householders tend to leave their home, or when they sleep, by looking at their energy usage ...

    a link-up with Google, that would allow people to check ... energy usage via the internet & mobile phone ...

    encrypted, but ...

    no requirement for a screen on each smart meter ... big energy companies have said that they will offer the option of a digital display ... "
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 31st May 2010 at 02:12 PM. Reason: duplication removed

  2. #2
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    If utility suppliers are able to use smart meters for variable tariffing, expect them to create tariff confusion to make it much more difficult to compare suppliers.
    ----------------------
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  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    True it'll be the mobile phone market all over again. Which ultimately detracts from the original reason for smart meters to make people aware of their consumption and lower it

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    yep ... 'noticed this earlier today :

    http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/alert...366796625?mt=8

    (sorry if auto-launches iTunes, not sure how to stop that)

    data it uses seems to be Crown Copyright, implying the data is getting around already !

    Nervous of straying too far OT, but Idratek Internet & e-mail & macro & API features do open the way for wider interaction - which would strengthen the need to think about security !
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 31st May 2010 at 02:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    And what about not so nice people monitoring your electricity usage, they would be able to tell when the house is empty. all it could take is a usb stick or laptop left on a train with consumer data on it!!!!!!
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu

  6. #6
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    And 7 years later, Smart meters are still being pushed on the public and are still just as insecure if not more so:

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...secure-hackers

    The lack of any sort of real security in the devices is just laughable.

    Just a couple of weeks ago I came home to a "we missed you" card through the door from our energy provider saying they'd called to install a Smart Meter - huh ? First I've heard of that. No phone calls, email contact, letters or anything. I was aware that there was a push in general across the country to get Smart Meters installed but I certainly didn't have any contact regarding it.

    They obviously just thought they'd turn up without warning and try to talk me into one, to which I would have said no thanks, being well aware for years now of the security problems of Smart Meters...

    And probably just as well - we'll be switching provider shortly and the new provider doesn't currently support Smart Meters, and it turns out (and I was not aware) that Smart Meters are not even fully standardised in the industry, so that a meter installed by one energy provider isn't necessarily compatible with another provider that you might switch to! (Although there are moves in place to rectify this in the future)

    What a screw up...

  7. #7
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    goodness, seven years ...

    wonder how much the cost of this nonsense has been, so far ...

    we had a smart meter in our previous house, and left it unplugged all the time - the user interface was rubbish, clarity of presentation was worse, and it cost a few pounds a year to run ...

    incompetency at every level - but wonder if anyone has done it better ?

    as a stand-alone meter, that is ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 5th January 2017 at 10:40 PM.

  8. #8
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience a few months ago on two accounts. On one they sent out a letter saying they were coming to fit a smart meter on a particular date and please contact them for a different date if this was not convenient (in other words fitting the meter was implied as a fait accompli). On another they called me by phone with the same kind of message. I declined and was then told that it would be mandatory by 2020 anyway. This quite incensed me as I know that the government has not made it a legal obligation (yet...). I asked a line manager to request the 'Customer Services Director' - a certain Chris Thewlis in this case - to explain to me why their staff had been programmed to misinform customers in this way and to make it clear on their letters that there was no legal obligation to have one installed. Needless to say he has not responded. This in itself is bad enough considering his title, no matter what the complaint is about. May yet take it up with Ofgem as he's now beyond his 8 week max response time.

    Personally I'm all for the principles. It must ultimately be good to reduce the effort of meter readings (which I think was the initial driving force), and I also understand that it could help with impending capacity problems through active or coerced load balancing. I'm not so convinced about the case for changing customer behaviour based on real time visualisation of consumption. I think this might happen with some people but my opinion is a small percentage (notwithstanding several reports that did not convince me of their scientific rigour). Anyhow I suppose any percentage is better than nothing.

    However I just don't like the way its being done, and have my reservations about other motives and technical issues. As already mentioned, it will be a good excuse to confuse us with zillions of new tariffs to incentivise load balancing and you can bet your bottom dollar that reduction in metering costs will not be passed on to the consumer. The cost of installing all these meters and their associated infrastructure (and its maintenance) also needs to be recovered somehow.

    Ultimately I don't think there will be much choice anyway since a smart meter is just a meter with some communication capabilities and did you ever ask your utility company much about the digital meter that replaced the previous analogue one? And your present meter will need replacing at some point. So the crux of it may just be whether you will continue to have the choice to ban communications. Of course even if you did, pretty soon only the wealthy will be able to afford to exercise such a choice. There again, there are much bigger concerns elsewhere regarding the erosion of our privacy and freedoms.

  9. #9
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Slightly difference experience but still a woeful outcome for me.

    I'm with Ovo and they were offering Smart Meters to be fitted and you could opt for a gateway to have more direct interaction with the data on our premise as the Smart meter was using ZigBee and promised web interfaces and mobile apps. I signed up and duly had the smart meters fitted. The gateway was to follow. But then the gateway was delayed and then finally cancelled. The standard monitor for in house use is woeful and doesn't provide anything useful beyond immediate real time cost. That is now unplugged.

    The website is slightly more useful although I had to request 30 minute sampling rather than day sampling to make any sort of usage decisions. The web has no API so their is no way I can interact with my own data and bring it into something more useful. I have written on numerous occasions only to receive uninformed responses from Customer Service about my queries and complaints. In the end I went my own way and bought an OpenEnergyMonitor solution which gives me real time information and I can link it with my Solar generation to see when I am importing and exporting. As the whole project is open I can manipulate and export the data in anyway I see fit, although their is no solution for gas usage.

    I'm in favour of the idea of Smart meters as it would provides*the potential to visualise usage and make informed decisions and potential savings. I also feel it is necessary for the introduction of demand side management to flatten the peaks and troughs of current consumption as we hopefully move to a more sustainable energy solution. But for both the Smart data this needs to be open, comparable,*accessible and secure. Innovators need to be able to come up with solutions to help people visualise their usage and make easy decisions. Demand side management needs to be standardised so tariffs are not deliberately complex leading to confusion and people locked into expensive options. I'm not going to hold my breathe that this will ever happen based on the debacle to date**

  10. #10
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Anecdote you may chuckle at - sometimes too much information is not so good...

    My sister and brother in law live in a totally electric property which includes an electric boiler, So perhaps not surprisingly my brother in law has a very keen eye on the electricity consumption. They already had metering output on the displays of all their DFP units, but when I introduced them to a 10" tablet with the noticeboard app my first thought naturally was to cast the metering output onto this in a nice big font. For added emphasis I enabled the sound option (i.e for when the reading changed). I then forced the heating on to demonstrate. The horror on both their faces when the tablet pinged just about every 10s was something to be seen. But it was for differing reasons... My brother in law horrified at the rate, my sister horrified because of the effect on my brother in law. To avoid marital strife I had to remove this particular item of information and it is now relegated back to the DFP displays

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