Smart meters update May 2019 - first installations in south


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Hi everyone

We’re continuing to make steady progress with our rollout of smart meters, here’s an update for our community.

Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to be part of our pilot of 2nd generation meters (known as ‘SMETS2’).

Our pilot has up until now focused in the north of the UK.

What’s new this month:


  • We’re getting in touch with Members who live in the central and south of the UK to arrange installs. (In the smart meter world, the UK is divided into the ‘north’ which is Manchester and above, with everything below the south. This is due to the different networks which carry the data - Telefonica in the south, and Arqiva in the north.)
  • Our north installs have been slightly slowed by a ‘noise’ issue, caused by radio interference in the Arqiva network. During the pilot phase we’ve seen some installations cancelled midway through because the engineer was not able to make the smart meter ‘talk’ to the network. This issue is affecting all energy suppliers, and is being worked on by the Data Communications Company (which is responsible for managing the network which carries smart data from meters to energy companies), smart meter manufacturers, and Arqiva. We’re also going to use meter models which are less affected by the ‘noise’ interference in the north.
  • We’ve got a few hundred new Pure Planet Members (welcome! :)) who have recently joined us with SMETS2 already installed by their old supplier. We’ve got a firmware update planned for late June which should mean your smart readings will come through, allowing us to stop asking you for meter reading.
  • The firmware update will also mean we’ll be able to stop asking for readings from Members have had their new SMETS2 meter successfully installed in the pilot.
  • From now we’re also going to be installing SMETS2 smart meters for all meter exchanges where possible. If you report a faulty meter and would prefer not to have a smart meter installed, make sure you let us know in the early appointment booking stage.


We’ve had hundreds of people offering to be part of the smart meters pilot. If you’re not contacted, please don’t take it personally! It’s just a matter of meter and installer availability.

Registrations for the pilot are now closed. If you’d like to register your interest for a smart meter later this year, head over to the Pure Planet website where there is a form you can fill in.

If you’re one of about 30,000 or so Members with a 1st generation (SMETS1) smart meter, remember that we’re not going to be offering SMETS2 to you, as the Data Communications Company says many will become smart again.
Check out this FAQ for more info about the latest timescales.


That's it for now. Thanks again to Members helping out in the pilot. Your feedback is really useful, and always appreciated
🆙

22 replies

Hi getting a bit impatient now waiting for my smets2 meter - so much so that I am now considering moving to another supplier. Can you please tell me when I cam expect my new meter please.
Hi Marc

If you registered for the pilot but are unsuccessful do you need to register again on the website?
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ronnielyons1;30392:
Hi getting a bit impatient now waiting for my smets2 meter - so much so that I am now considering moving to another supplier. Can you please tell me when I cam expect my new meter please.


Hi there

Can't help asking why you are so anxious for a smart meter that you would pay extra for it? Having read all the threads here on this topic, the benefits seem marginal at best - though I acknowledge that if meters are currently difficult to access, then less-abled people could find them helpful.

Didn't you think this update from Marc kind of answered your question?
Stephen
Cost was a secondary consideration when I moved to PP, primary was that you seemed to be making good progress on the smets2 rollout, which now seems to be be beset by delay and extension. I simply would like my new meter to be installed as soon as possible. m If it is going to be an extended period then i would consider moving to another supplier who can provide one more quickly.
ChrisH;30393:
Hi Marc

If you registered for the pilot but are unsuccessful do you need to register again on the website?


Hi @ChrisH
Good question
No need to register again, we'll already have your details.
(Also, if you live in the central or southern part of the UK remember that we'e focused mostly in the northern areas so far. Magnum are starting to contact our Members in the South.)
I finally got a call today to arrange installing one of the new smart meters because installers were now in the area. However, when I went through the initial checks I said that I had solar panels. That meant that they could not continue.

Why don't the smart meters handle solar panels (my basic non-smart meter seems to be perfectly fine with the additional input) and when are you going to get ones that will?
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hi Mark
I'm fairly sure all smets2 meters are designed to cope with SP installations but the fitters have to know what they're doing to configure them, and many haven't had the training. If they get it wrong you could be faced with incorrect billing.
So it's not a case of the getting the right meters, but getting the right training.
​Just out of interest do you have a separate meter measuring the export from your SP's?
(that's what I've read, but if anyone knows differently? One for @mr smart perhaps?)

and...there's another issue here, what would happen if your meter was faulty? I'm almost certain they would fit a Smart Meter.

Mark Pocock;30811:
I finally got a call today to arrange installing one of the new smart meters because installers were now in the area. However, when I went through the initial checks I said that I had solar panels. That meant that they could not continue.

Why don't the smart meters handle solar panels (my basic non-smart meter seems to be perfectly fine with the additional input) and when are you going to get ones that will?
Thanks Woz. That makes sense. Hope they get the installers trained up soon then.
I just have the generation meter and use deemed export rate for my FIT calculation. I would almost certainly benefit from a measured export value though.
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A bit confused Marc as I thought you had started your initial roll out near to your HQ. Defo not Manchester. Can I also make sure I understand correctly. I will not need a new SMET2 as I already had a SMET1 installed by BG. Any idea of a timecale when it might be SMET2'ised'
Appreciate any feedback cheers.
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Hi daspy.
Indeed most smet1 can be upgraded to be smet2 compatable, however the upgrade process is out of pps hands and is controlled by the DDC or whatever they are called so it could be a while.
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I'm in no rush at all for a smart meter
Daspy;30853:
A bit confused Marc as I thought you had started your initial roll out near to your HQ. Defo not Manchester.

Hi @Daspy
Yep, that's right, the very first installs were in the homes of PP staff, who live in the Bath/Bristol/Wiltshire area.
After that we went to the North.
When deciding which areas to go to next we've got a few things to take into account: Availability of meters, availability of engineers and location of Members. (It makes sense for the engineeers to focus on one 'cluster' at a time so they're not spending all their time driving)
Daspy;30853:
Can I also make sure I understand correctly. I will not need a new SMET2 as I already had a SMET1 installed by BG. Any idea of a timecale when it might be SMET2'ised'
Appreciate any feedback cheers.
@Jon1 is spot on here, some models of SMETS1 will be able to connect to the SMETS2 network, so we won't have to rip all of them off.
The timings of that is controlled by Data Communications Company. Check out this FAQ which has more info.
Hello Woz,
I had the same experience today. I was refused a smart meter installation as I have solar panels. However, earlier this year SSE installed Gas and Electric Smart Meters, though the Solar Generation Meter was kept separate and I still report in to SSE with my solar generation and they pay the FITS payments into my bank account. As I already have smart meters why is this an issue for Pure Planet - can't I just keep my FITS separate?
Thanks, Neil.
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hi nwedmuller
​I don't work for PP, but I agree, I can't see why it should be a problem, it's merely a substitute, but as I said it's almost certainly down to the installers not knowing how to configure.
That said they should be able to reconfigure your SSE meters to smets2 and so they talk to PP, so you may not need new meters.
You should go to help in the app, ask wattbot, type "message the team" and ask for an explanation. It's early days for the trial, relatively speaking so I guess this will be sorted in the fullness of time (no consolation to you I know)
I'm also guessing part of the problem is targets, but that's only a guess.
nwerdmuller;30979:
Hello Woz,
I had the same experience today. I was refused a smart meter installation as I have solar panels. However, earlier this year SSE installed Gas and Electric Smart Meters, though the Solar Generation Meter was kept separate and I still report in to SSE with my solar generation and they pay the FITS payments into my bank account. As I already have smart meters why is this an issue for Pure Planet - can't I just keep my FITS separate?
Thanks, Neil.
nwerdmuller;30979:
Hello Woz,
I had the same experience today. I was refused a smart meter installation as I have solar panels. However, earlier this year SSE installed Gas and Electric Smart Meters, though the Solar Generation Meter was kept separate and I still report in to SSE with my solar generation and they pay the FITS payments into my bank account. As I already have smart meters why is this an issue for Pure Planet - can't I just keep my FITS separate?
Thanks, Neil.


Hi @nwerdmuller
This question cropped up in a recent community Q&A with our head of smart meters at PP.
The link above ☝ will take you to the full Q&A, but the specific answer is:

Unfortunately there are a few issues that the industry needs to resolve before the roll-out can start for feed in tariff Members.
Firstly, there is not currently the capability for generation meters to communicate with smart meters on the HAN (Home Area Network), so there’s an ongoing issue where this meter would still need to be manually read by a meter reader on a regular basis.
The smart meter installation also leads to the need for a separate industry identifier to be registered to allow the export volume to be accurately measured and no longer paid on a deemed basis against the export tariff. There’s then the issue of the meter being installed by your supplier, who may not be the same company as your FIT supplier. This then leads to an industry process breakdown as to how communication and information passes between both of these suppliers.
These issues and complexities have been collated by the industry and are being addressed, but until there is clarity on the process we will not be installing meters for our FIT members as it would be a poor experience for them.
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Thanks for the details marc. What happens if the customer's meter is faulty and needs changing?

Is it just me or is there a huge irony here?
A government who want to encourage Smart meters, a "failed" (or badly thought-out in terms or interoperability at the least) Smets1 project, and then the new improved version learning all the lessons from first generation rollout, but those who are most up to date with their green credentials and technology are excluded ...there isn't an emoticon for deep despair but there should be.
What a screw up.
The above comment was rhetorical.
Marc;31007:
Hi @nwerdmuller
This question cropped up in a recent community Q&A with our head of smart meters at PP.
The link above ☝ will take you to the full Q&A, but the specific answer is:
woz;31025:
Thanks for the details marc. What happens if the customer's meter is faulty and needs changing?

Well for now @woz the answer is that we'd have to install a traditional meter. Yes, yes, I know.....


Is it just me or is there a huge irony here?
A government who want to encourage Smart meters, a "failed" (or badly thought-out in terms or interoperability at the least) Smets1 project, and then the new improved version learning all the lessons from first generation rollout, but those who are most up to date with their green credentials and technology are excluded ...

It's not just you who feels this way! :mad:
Hi Marc
Today I’ve had a visit from Magnum Utilities to install my smart meters. Unfortunately they had to put my old gas meter back las it would not connect to the network outside of our house. I’m not too sure what happens now and whether my electric meter is connected to the network or not.
The Trio II monitor just says it’s truing to connect to the meter then says it’s not commissioned. I am unsure where I’m at and not sure when or if someone is going t come back to install the new gas meter.
I have to say the chap who came to install it was very helpful and extremely apologetic and I think the installation is quite a steep learning curve as he tried several times to connect to the network.
Are you able to investigate for me please?
Hi @MartyB
I've just posted over here about the IHD issue being reported by some Members. It's got some useful troubleshooting tips, and also how to let us know if it still doesn't sort it.
Hi Marc

Thanks for this. I received a voice mail from Magnum utilities earlier asking me to get in contact to rebook my gas meter installation. However I have also had an email from Pure Planet asking me to hold fire until I hear again from PP about rescheduling a new installation. Should I call Magnum or wait for PP to contact me?
MartyB;32009:
Hi Marc

Thanks for this. I received a voice mail from Magnum utilities earlier asking me to get in contact to rebook my gas meter installation. However I have also had an email from Pure Planet asking me to hold fire until I hear again from PP about rescheduling a new installation. Should I call Magnum or wait for PP to contact me?


Hey @MartyB
I've checked this out with our Smart team. Yes by all means give Magnum a call so that they can have another attempt. If it fails to connect again then it means we'll need to investigate our end. 🆙

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