Ask Your Smart Meter Technical Questions Here


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Hi
This thread is for any 'technical' questions about Smart Meters.

'Technical' in a broad sense, nothing is off limits, from installs, reading the screens, details about the In-Home-Display, communications...anything goes (..well almost anything...).

The idea is that anyone can contribute a reply, you don't have to be an expert, although expertise is always welcome. Hopefully over time a repository of information will build up to help all.

I know Leyton did a Q&A HERE but that's a closed thread now, so if anyone has any techy questions ask here and hopefully someone will know the answer, or maybe where to find it.

I'll start the ball rolling..
Has anyone who has had a SM fitted by PP and who is on Economy 7 noticed any change in the timings when it switches to night rate from what they were previously, and does the In-Home-Display tell you when it switches?

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Hi, here is a couple of pics of my meters.
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Probably best that you don't- it's an awful film! (About a dog with big jowls....
Jowl;28181:
ha, I've never seen the film. I've used Jowl across a number of forums though. It's supposed to be J - Owl but I'm often greeted with 'jowl' now :D
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Agreed and I don't understand the logic of this, if it's possible to disconnect the meter remotely and still maintain communications how can the comms supply be on the consumer side, unless it relies on batteries to communicate, and why would anyone design it that way? Put simply I don't (yet) believe the answer.
talldave;32929:
Thanks @Marc for the reply

The IHD is a customer device that they can decide to use or not use, so it's fair that the customer pays to power it.

But it seems wrong that the customer is expected to power the meter and comms hub - that's part of the supplier's infrastructure. It's not the (trivial) cost, it's the principle.
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Electric
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Gabolino;35767:
I'm South, home display still trying to connect, I've given up on him ;)

I'm just hoping PP is getting the reads automatically. Any way to confirm that? Should I contact the team maybe?


Hi Gabolono,
I have had to contact the team due to no statements or readings in the app, they have assured me that they are receiving the readings but waiting for meter info.
Contact PP and ask, can't do any harm
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Hi Marc,
yes I have replied to Nialls email with a pic.
cheers
​Angela
Angelabikerbabe;28199:
Hi Marc
no, I haven't pressed the button yet (scared). Still waiting for some direction from the team.

Good move @Angelabikerbabe
Best not, just in case it makes things worse.
I'll find out what's happening from the guys 🆙
Angelabikerbabe;28199:
Hi Marc
no, I haven't pressed the button yet (scared). Still waiting for some direction from the team.

Hi @Angelabikerbabe
Just to say that Niall from our Member services team has emailed you today 🆙
woz;29555:
hi marc
​The wifi module is quite important to a number of members here, please will you schedule this part of the query for an update with more details as things progress?


Hey @woz
Yep, the plan is to get the basics done first, get smart meters into 'business as usual' (shoot me now 😂)
We know some Members are keen on this more advanced techie stuff.
Gabolino;35767:
I'm South, home display still trying to connect, I've given up on him ;)

I'm just hoping PP is getting the reads automatically. Any way to confirm that? Should I contact the team maybe?


Hey @Gabolino
There is an issue with gas usage not appearing. It's mostly affecting IHDs in the North, but can affect ones in the South too.
Have you tried the famous IT trick of switching it off and on again? Also, how close is the IHD to your electricity meter?
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Thererein possibly lies a clue, it says in the manual of the scaling options under advanced (I have no idea how to select advanced, presumably it's an option in the menu?)
This option is only available whenyou have an electricity smartmeter and the usage level is notprovided by the meter.

So that tells me that the meter needs to send some information to do with the scaling of the display, and that's probably the bit that isn't working correctly. That's a complete guess based on the fact that manual scaling should be available when the meter doesn't send usage info.
Question for @Marc, can and do PP (or have they done) change the meter configuration remotely?
​Also does the IHD come with the wifi module?
Angelabikerbabe;27717:
Hi Woz, here's the link
https://support.geotogether.com/en/support/solutions/articles/7000031050-trio-ii-touch-button-user-guide

I thought I had ssomething to do with the 'usage level' in the advanced menu, but there us no usage level button showing on my IHD
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yeah it's a bit of a nuclear option, I can feel my finger twitching...maybe wait for some feedback from marc before you launch...
Angelabikerbabe;27807:
Hi Woz, yes there is. Wasn't sure whether to use it, didn't want to buggar it up.
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haaa, yes I did, sorry...I was just checking that the USB socket wasn't for some other function..like interrogating the device.
(for some reason when I see your name I think of the Film Cujo...)
I bet the IHD only takes a few hundred milliamps, plenty left for the phone (ipad might struggle just a little)
Jowl;28177:
You ask a lot of questions lol

Jowl becuase my Initial plus I'm an Owl (Sheffield Wednesday fan)

Yes it comes with a Plug to USB adapter and the IHD is then powered by the USB cable. The 13A power sockets with usb will give a minimum 2.4A, sometimes shared by both sockets. But it means you can plug in the IHD and still charge your phone (albiet slowly)
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hi marc
​The wifi module is quite important to a number of members here, please will you schedule this part of the query for an update with more details as things progress?
Marc;29507:
Hey @jelockwood
Here you go 🆙

No, we don't provide the 'touch' version. Ours has buttons.


The model we have is WiFi compatible, but needs an additional component added to a slot at the back of the device. This can be retrofitted for Members who want it. But this isn't something we'll be looking into until we're well into smart meters business-as-usual and they're in the hands of several thousand PP Members.


For electricity, every 10 seconds.
For gas, every 30 minutes.

Hope that's been helpful!
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DT Money Article 20th July 2019
New Fix For Smart Meters Still Riddled With Issues <-link
Hope it's OK to post a scan of the article, not sure if I need permission
if not delete it.
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hi Gab, hows the little one doing?
IHD issues are known about by PP and are work in progress, leave it a few days then try siting it as near meter as possible and switch it off/on. There's not much else you can do for the moment. (it might work)
Also all new meters start from zero, your old readings will have been noted by the installer and sent to PP to work out the billing for the old meter.
Sadly for the moment until the teething probs are sorted, (you'll know about teething!) you'll need to send in readings for the while.
Gabolino;35206:
I got my smart meter installed today! I have a couple of questions though, do I have to send readings from now on? I can see the numbers have been reset to 0 somehow - see picture.

2601

Also, the IHD isn't working. Apparently the signal in the meeting room isn't great and there's too much distance in between the meter and the IHD. Kind of disappointed about that but according to the technician these IHDs are a gimmick and barely work!
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hi Gab
Depends if you're in North or South if South PP may well get your readings automatically.
Presume you've seen THIS
I'd just send the readings in at the usual time, it'll take quite a while for the billing to catch up anyway. Eventually (hopefully) the comms issues will be sorted.
Gabolino;35211:
The installer used the word teething as well! :D

What about the readings, do i simply forget about them?

The little is doing great, thanks. He's now with my parents in Spain while I keep things rolling here in the UK.
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I don't believe the quoted power consumption on the Trio (IHD) website or in the manual.
That specification defies physics, you cannot light up a screen and run the electronics for 0.5W, and what I think has happened here is one of two things, one of which is worse than the other.

Either
1. This should say 0.5A, in which case at 5V this would be 2.5W (this would be believable)
or
2. It should say 5W (a bit high but possible)

The claim of <£1 a year is based on 0.5W
At PPprices 0.5W is circa £0.65
My estimate would be between £3 and £4 a year.


If the display is not lit and the unit is not doing anything then it is possible it could be taking less than 1W but that isn't typical.
As I said above I don't have one to test.

(Also there is the power factor of the supply to be taken into account, which determines how much it's taking from the grid -it could have a poor power factor, which won't cost the consumer but will cost the grid)

I await someone with an accurate power meter telling me I'm wrong...(in this case I'd be happy to be wrong)
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Looking on the bright side, simply by asking this question and the follow up debate, chances are you have earnt more than £2 in community points.
But i see your point. For me if/when a 3phase smet2 meter becomes available the IHD will still be pointless as the meter is so far away that the range to the IHD will be too far for it to be visable to anybody.
talldave;32929:
Thanks @Marc for the reply

The IHD is a customer device that they can decide to use or not use, so it's fair that the customer pays to power it.

But it seems wrong that the customer is expected to power the meter and comms hub - that's part of the supplier's infrastructure. It's not the (trivial) cost, it's the principle.
Smart meters use Zigbee to link to both IHD (In Home Display) and CAD (Consumer Access Device) devices.

Typically a customer get an IHD along with their Smart Meter installation. This then visually shows energy use on an LCD screen.

I am more interested in the possibilities of having also a CAD device so I can link it to a smart home platform. There are some devices to do this but it seems most might be still limited to use with SMETS1 devices. For example the Rainforrest EAGLE-200 https://rainforestautomation.com/rfa-z114-eagle-200-2/ and TheRetriever which is used by the UK energy switching provider TheLabrador https://kb.thelabrador.co.uk/troubleshooting/how-do-i-install-the-labrador-home-hub

These types of devices use Zigbee to talk to the smart meters and Ethernet or WiFi to link to the customers home network.

If PurePlanet is using the Geotogether Trio II Touch IHD this can also act as a CAD since it has the (option) of including a WiFi module. See - https://www.geotogether.com/products-services/tempo-smarter-energy/

So it seems the hardware side of things may already be solved and this leaves just the software side. Ideally the Geotogether Treo II would have an API via which a customer could access the data. I get the impression it might also have the option for the Treo II to upload data to some cloud service which in turn might be accessible by the customer via an API. (Rainforest's Eagle-200 offers both local API access and cloud access.)

Apparently Geotogether do already provide an API for accessing their devices/data. See the link on the same page I listed for them above.

Could Pureplanet tell us what their current and future plans are in this area?
Is Pureplanet providing the Treo II Touch as standard?
I presume we can assume the Treo II Touch is SMETS2 compatible?
Does the model provided by Pureplanet include the WiFi module?
What sample rate does the Treo II Touch use? That is how frequently does it update the figures, the more frequent the more accurate the information you could see but equally it would cause more work by the Treo and drain its batteries faster - since it has the option of USB power this is not a concern to me.
@Angelabikerbabe @Duppy

Thank you both for your pictures. It would seem they both and presumably others all use LCD displays for the figures for both gas and electricity. I get the impression that this type of display does not work with the Smappee gas monitor. (The Smappee electricity monitor would work as this is a standard clamp on the power cable and does not try to read the meter.)

So for anyone else interested in trying to have an automated energy monitoring system the best approach is going to be my previously mentioned CAD approach.
thisperson;32266:
Is there a way to extend the IHD as the meters are reasonably far away and it can't connect with them from our flat, unfortunately.


The IHD and Comms Hub and Meters all communicate using the Zigbee wireless standard. With Zigbee each device acts as a repeater for others and forms a 'mesh' type network topology. However in this case the number of devices is small and all but the IHD are likely to be in the same single location so this does not help in terms of extending range.

In a normal Zigbee setup it would be possible to get a dedicated Zigbee repeater although most people get a simple and very cheap Zigbee smart power socket like this - https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/tradfri-wireless-control-outlet-00364477/

I believe this still may not help in this case because I believe all the Zigbee devices need to be configured as part of the same 'network' and you would not be able to add the standard Zigbee device to the smart meter network. Perhaps PurePlanet can confirm this.

So, it seems hypothetically it would be possible but it might require the smart meter manufacturers to make a Zigbee repeater that can be officially joined to a customers smart meter HAN - Home Area Network. I have not been specifically looking but I strongly suspect that no such device yet exists.

Since likely many customers will have this problem I feel that the manufacturers need to address this and provide such a repeater solution.

Note: For security reasons the HAN used by smart meters only accepts devices that have been officially 'white listed' so generic Zigbee devices cannot be connected. They are supposed to allow the customer to connect their own devices as long as they are white listed, despite this some providers have been uncooperative and this is regarded as being in breach of the licensing terms for smart meters. (The whole point of smart meters is to facilitate connecting customer access devices.)

@Marc I hope Pureplanet are going to be more cooperative about customers wanting to connect CAD type devices. Some customers have had to take OVO Energy to OFGEM and BEIS to get them to behave properly.
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Hi woz
In answer to your question about the display, you can set it to power saving mode turning off/ wake up the display at your preset times.if you touch the home button while display is off it will come back on again
Also states batteries only last about 3 hours and not to use rechargeable batteries, which is not very environmentally friendly
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schase;39291:
I realise Marc's comment is from 17 May, but what he said then about the Geo model is different to what I currently have.

My meters were installed 17 September, and the IHD model I have is a Trio II Touch Button (no physical buttons). Now with display problems after 2-1/2 weeks.



Hi schase
the difference between the two displays is the trio 2 touch button has "buttons" that you touch to activate the various functions, the trio2 touch has an interactive screen that functions like a mobile/tablet screen. The display problems seem to be par for the course

Thanks @Marc for the reply

The IHD is a customer device that they can decide to use or not use, so it's fair that the customer pays to power it.

But it seems wrong that the customer is expected to power the meter and comms hub - that's part of the supplier's infrastructure. It's not the (trivial) cost, it's the principle.

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