This has some interesting information about smart meter data and the arguments about its use. What do people think?
12-05-19, 23:51stephenrandSmart meters data - interesting article
This is a bit concerning...especially the bit about our data being made available to 3rd parties.
I hope this is not happening now to those of us who are in the trial.
I can't remember giving my permission.
13-05-19, 08:05Strutt G
I Just don't see the need for a smart metre.
But that's me and there are good and specific reasons to have one installed.
Another piece of equipment that could fail.
Smets 1 was a failed industry strategy and smets 2 is far from proven on several fronts.
I like tech, but more home gadgets with ongoing software updates, linked to security back door vulnerability does not appeal until the evidence stacks up.
Best to sit back and watch!
Third parties would only include bodies such as Ofgem, and even then the data wouldn't be specific to individuals. It's data such as 'how many members do you have with smart meters' which we have to report.
The kind of third party which would want an individual's data is a law enforcement agency. I imagine there would be a court order for that issued to us. Perhaps a crime agency (as I believe the police are called nowadays!) who believed some naughty person was growing dodgy weeds in their basement and might be interested in electricity usage.
This does seem to be more of a scare story, at the end of the day what can any one find out from my meter?
Name, address, size of my bill.
When the day arrives where i swipe my credit card through the meter in order to pay the bill or top up my credit then yes i would be worried. Nothing yet available that google cannot already tell anybody about me.
If you really want to worry how about people getting your info. your mortgage details what bank you owe the money too, name address and all property details. For a mere £3 from land registry website.
Look up your posh neighbours and see how big a hole debt wise they are in.
Marc, the point about naughty persons growing dodgy weeds in the basement wouldn't apply. From the numerous police programs I have watched these persons bypass the meter anyway, so that information wouldn't be available
Duppy I've no idea! It's just an example of the kind of 3rd party who can request info about smart meter use. Maybe it would fall under a fraud agency (depends on the number of plants I suppose!)
There should be an opt-in with the DCC meaning you can separately give your existing supplier permission to access the data but unless you agree all other 3rd parties are automatically excluded.
(is this possible? A supplier registered with the DCC trawling the data looking for high energy users and cherry-picking them?)
Under GDPR you can opt out of things which aren't integral to the service being provided. Sharing data with regulators, crime agencies and other mandatory third parties are requirements that all service providers must comply with. Thus, you would be unable to opt out regardless of the energy provider you are signed up with.
I decided to invest in a smart meter that’s independent from any energy supplier which gives me all the benefits of a smart meter without having concerns about what third parties do with the data. The devices connect wirelessly to a gateway hooked up to my router. It gives me real time readings and historical consumption data, via an app and a web portal with nice graphs, from where I can also download the data hourly or per day and import into my spreadsheets, set budget alerts and get recommendations on better tariffs based on my consumption. Weekly and monthly reports by email too. I know the data is processed only for the purpose of delivering the reports and to receive tariff comparisons. I paid a one-off £70 which works out £7 per year over the estimated 10 year battery life... and no worries about data being shared with third parties or compatibility when I switch suppliers (which I am not planning because PP is great!! Also, my smart meter tariff comparison tool does show a few cheaper plans, but the saving is not enough to make me want to switch.) happy days
14-05-19, 07:58David j
Impressive research DutchCaerleon, I wasn’t aware of independent smart meter availability.
sure. The smart monitor I decided on is called Loop Energy Saver, only available from https://amzn.to/2LFJXIM . I was looking for something that did both gas and electric reporting via app/web, and I wanted to be able to extract the data in a format for my spreadsheet. There are a few monitors on the market, but I liked the features Loop Energy offers, and the company has implied potentially adding IFTTT integration and API as part of a product roadmap and is interested in user feedback on new features. I like that it integrates with uswitch and monitors the market for the best energy deals. When PP changed its gas unit rate, Loop Energy instantly updated my tariff details. You can buy it just for gas or just electricity, but I have bought both monitors. It doesn’t work with solar.
Installation was straightforward, and the instructions are very clear. The gateway plugs in with an Ethernet cable in your router and has a power adapter; the two monitors communicate wirelessly with the gateway and have a 10 year non-replaceable battery. The Electricity monitor works with the standard clamp, and gas consumption is measured by monitoring rotations on my R5 meter, so you fit a sensor on the rotating clock. I had to adjust the sensor once to improve accuracy, and customer services was fast and very helpful with accurate instructions. The deviation is insignificant.
It’s worth pointing out that the electricity device is a monitor not a meter, hence it will allow tracking your usage, but does not replace any supplier fitted meter readings. Installed accuracy can vary as the device does not measure voltage or power factor. I remember reading that only a monitoring device with a sensor that records the electric meter flashes can mimics meter readings; the Look Energy device uses a clamp.
Anyway, I’m sure you do it anyway, before buying read the Amazon reviews from other users, read the faq on their website loopenergysaver.com but also feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll answer them as best I can.
Just also wanted to say, while Loop energy saver is good, there are some things that I think they could improve on, such as providing the gas unit readings, the ‘raw’ data. Loop saver offers kwh, CO2 equivalent and £, but it would be good to have the ft3 unit readings as an additional dataset. The other thing is that it would be an improvement to upgrade the electricity monitor with a red flash sensor, so the electricity monitor shows meter readings.
As someone interested in calculating the energy efficiency of my house (so I can more accurately calculate gas usage over years and offset variations between mild and extremely cold winters) I would also prefer to have a direct heating days dataset option alongside the local ambient weather temperature which loop energy saver uses.
But I realise those features may be a bit niche. ...
Hi Dutch, these are monitors not smart meters, so maybe worth their own thread? Clip on electricity monitors are usually pretty inaccurate the lower the consumption. Have you compared the readings you're getting with your meters?
In my experience, once you've solved your greedy items (lightbulb, old white goods, etc), consumption levels out, becomes entirely predictable and monitoring becomes boring. All you can do then (for free) is keep entering the same data in comparison sites.
Fit solar panels and a power wall and there'll be no need to shop around!
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The article didn't tell me anything I didn't know already, but then as a software engineer I was at a smart metering conference probably a decade ago where it was depressing to see energy industry dinosaurs unable to comprehend where smart metering would take us - dynamic supplier relationships, switching during the night to get a "buy one get one free deal" to charge the car, etc.
The industry always appeared to struggle with one or two meter readings a year, never mind 48 a day. Hence, a decade on it hasn't happened.
In ignorance or stupidity the government pushed energy saving as the justification for smart meters, but with led bulbs, A+++ white goods and TVs using 0.1W in standby, we've already made the big savings so there's very little left for IHDs to do in that department.
As well as the ability to switch suppliers by the hour, I see a future where you'll get a kickback for allowing the generators to store power in your car during the evening before dishing it out to your neighbours during the Corrie ad break. You'll simply set the drive away time you need the car topped up. The only downside with that idea is that if we all do it the cables under the pavement will melt!
So if a supplier is going to offer me a good deal, it's worth allowing them to read my meter. That said, once I get back to owning a property again, I'll be panelled up and kitted out with batteries and would hope to be a net exporter.
As far as I’m concerned, the consumer USP for smart meters is that they create insight, allow greater scrutiny, and if consumers act on that knowledge, some savings could be achieved. This is what Loop energy saver does exceptionally well and much better than some of the smart energy meters I’ve seen. However, it doesn’t do away with the need to give readings to energy suppliers and the current version of the electricity monitor could be improved.
I did a test on both gas and electricity monitor over one month, and electricity was surprisingly close to the meter reading, and the gas reading was pretty much spot on. I keep monitoring for differences and see if any deviation is more or less constant I will incorporate an offset value. I did look for a system with an optical led pulse sensor, but haven’t found something that comes close to Loop energy saver, apart from the emonpi/ open energy monitoring system which has an optical pulse led sensor. It currently doesn’t do gas monitoring, which is what Loop Energy saver does well and what I definitely want - Plus I didn’t want to take on another open source project. I hope that energy saver as a company will develop their technology and incorporate a led pulse sensor in due course.
I think innovation is changing many things in life, and you only need to see what sense and neurio are doing in the US in terms of energy monitoring. One energy provider in the U.K. has already introduced a plan that allows customers to benefit from half-hourly pricing and make use of ifttt, which is great if you have an EV and enough electrical appliances/white goods with high energy consumption that can be time-shift to the cheapest pricing.
Another interesting article about smart meters!
Thanks for the detailed share (or should that be going Dutch)
This really bugs me and really does not help the struggling image of the smart meter rollout. I read the article some time ago and it is filled with holes, misinformation and scaremongering.
For clarity - the supplier is responsible for installing the smart meter and responsible for asking the appropriate consent from the customer to obtain such data. If there is no consent they cannot obtain anything more than a monthly reading; it is not possible to stop the meter sending at least 1 reading per month.
As a qualified user of smart metering a supplier has to be signed up to the Smart Energy Code which includes a stringent Privacy Framework with regular audits. They cannot do anything with your data without you consenting to it.
Also, the meter does not provide readings every 30 minutes as that would flood the network. It records consumption in half hour periods (48 in a day) and the supplier, with your consent, can receive this data in a daily, weekly or monthly download direct from the meter.
Please, if anyone has concerns about smart metering do not read everything you see in articles as it's so badly managed right now it is likely to be false. You know where I am if you need the real facts.
17-05-19, 20:07Strutt G
Thanks Mr Smart even though I'm going to sit back and ponder, I find your posts on this topic always informative.