Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)

Categories



Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!


powered by Surfing Waves




Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.




    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020
     
    What ho one and all,

    My energy supplier (Bulb) has sent an email, extolling me to arrange for a Smart meter installation, as they are currently working in the area.

    Personally, I cannot see the advantage as we probably do everything to not use excessive energy; well insulated house, 3g, weather comp UFH, nothing on stand-by. I cannot see any advantage in having a constant energy read-out on display, that albeit using only a small amount of electricity, is actually using energy.

    Grateful if someone can explain what I am missing?

    As an aside, what exactly is in the meter cabinet that monitors the gas and electricity usage? Presumably, whatever it is, must be using electricity (battery?) to transmit the data?
  1.  
    We just had Bulb install us a smart meter, much delayed after Covid. Couldn't fault their installation process, very well oiled.

    I was surprised/embarrassed as I thought we were already conscious of electricity usage, but having the display of £ and p has made some members of the family much more aware of what exactly uses electricity. Behaviour has changed about using electric towel rail to dry clothes which it turned out to be our biggest culprit. We also hadn't appreciated how inefficient our electric oven is. Overall I guess we saved 10-20% usage from a low base. We previously had clamp on type electric monitor displaying kWh but the new one displaying £ has been more effective changing everyone's behaviour.

    The Bulb one can output data to our WiFi which is not standard for smart meters (the secure comms are done by radio as usual). This should enable smart plugs etc to turn loads on and off, immersion etc, haven't used yet. It does display on my phone, see pic - the peaks are baking bread for lunch, pork for tea, and washing machine mid afternoon.

    The electric meter is powered from the electric supply, you don't pay for that. We have no gas meter but they have a 10-year battery built in, the energy co are responsible to change it when flat.

    See other recent discussions about Smart Meter tariffs that offer much cheaper electricity outside the evening peak period.
      Screenshot_20201129-151043.png
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020
     
    We have one, it was a requirement for V2G. I don't think you're under any obligation to change meter, at least not until your present meter is out of calibration, whenever that is.
    The smart gas meter has a battery in it - it transmits to the smart elec meter over low power wireless. Our elec meter transmits over I think 2G to OVO directly (we have smets1), there is another protocol for smets2 I think.

    Should you get one? Well, you could get a variable price tariff with one, very useful if you had an elec car. And you could get hourly or daily accurate useage data. If neither of those appeal, I'm not sure I'd bother.

    The read out is a gimmick, don't get one for that.
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020 edited
     
    Hi Rex,
    You are right in that a smart meter uses energy. On the other hand, so does any other meter, with the rotating dial meters probably the worst offenders.

    Smart meters do have a built-in power supply, so the electricity meter just snoops a bit off the electricity supply (from the unmetered side though). It could be that the smart gas meter uses a battery, or it could induce a tiny pressure drop to power the electronics, meaning the gas pump at the other end has to work a tiny bit harder. For ours, the smart gas meter needs to be woken up to read the display. It is probably much more energy efficient than the old (entirely mechanical) one it replaced. BTW our old gas meter was hopelessly inaccurate as it turns out: I have probably been paying too much for almost a decade, but it is very hard to prove.

    Because of the limited power available, the gas meter relays its data to the electricity meter, which does the more energy hungry long distance transmission.
    Playing devil's advocate a bit more: if smart meters result in one fewer car on the road carrying out inspection trips, they have likely already made up for the footprint of production etc.
    I am not talking about the in home displays, which might use a bit more energy. You are not required to run these though.

    As for the data: I am looking forward to getting my hands on accurate day-by-day consumption figures to get more insight in the heating system performance and to be able to see the effect of any home improvements I am planning to make in the future.
    For example, to see if that new A+++ rated fridge is really that much better than the old A+ one it replaces, you need high resolution, long term data, which the smart meter can provide automatically.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020
     
    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for the responses. Although we have a newly built (10 year ago) house, we are pretty much in the Luddite age. Just two of us, no microwave, no dish washer (it's me!), never need to use the immersion heater, and the only thing smart in the house is either the 'phone' or my wife!

    I did buy one of those plug-in gadgets that measures the electrical use, but having used once on a number of items, it now lives in a cupboard. Consequently, I don't feel the need to know my usage on an hourly basis. If I want a cuppa of a slice of toast, the usage will shoot up but there is no other way to heat the water, so no need to shock myself every time.

    Think I will resist a smart meter until I am forced to have one by HMG.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020
     
    Posted By: bhommelsto see if that new A+++ rated fridge is really that much better than the old A+ one it replaces, you need high resolution, long term data, which the smart meter can provide automatically

    I'll be impressed if you can pick your fridge's consumption out of the overall import data. :bigsmile:

    A plug-in energy meter is much more useful for measuring appliances.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020
     
    I think BigData can see your fridge use but need second by second energy use record and extensive analysis

    Variable tariff is a useful application for smart meters but they only record they don’t do anything smart like assisting you to save more.

    I am not having one yet,

    Who pays for smart meters, individual customers or all of us ?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020
     
    Posted By: tonyWho pays for smart meters, individual customers or all of us

    Well, you certainly don't pay anything to have one fitted, so you can probably work out the answer :devil:
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020
     
    Not sure who I am quoting:
    "if it is free, there is someone else paying for it"
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: djh
    Posted By: bhommelsto see if that new A+++ rated fridge is really that much better than the old A+ one it replaces, you need high resolution, long term data, which the smart meter can provide automatically

    I'll be impressed if you can pick your fridge's consumption out of the overall import data.http:///newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/bigsmile.gif" alt=":bigsmile:" title=":bigsmile:" >

    A plug-in energy meter is much more useful for measuring appliances.


    You can clearly see our fridge/freezer demand in my 15-minute Enphase data: you can even hear it with the right treatment!

    http://www.earth.org.uk/battery-sounds-electric-music.html

    So yes, you might be able to pick it out with half-hourly samples. (Sampling as fast as every few seconds is avalable locally for electricity.)

    Rgds

    Damon
  2.  
    Posted By: tonyI think BigData can see your fridge use but need second by second energy use record and extensive analysis
    UK smart meters provide data no more often than every 30minutes to the energy co. But every 10s to the householder, I went round turning things off to work out how much the fridge uses. My overnight usage seems higher than expected, more investigations to follow.

    Posted By: tonysmart meters but they only record they don’t do anything smart like assisting you to save more.
    Posted By: meI was surprised... but having the display of £ and p has saved 10-20% usage


    Posted By: tonyWho pays for smart meters, individual customers or all of us ?
    Based on what I've unexpectedly saved so far, I'm very happy to pay for it in my bill. I expect to save a lot more if/when we get EV or HP.

    If lots of other people don't take advantage of Smart tariffs, the grid will be less balanced, prices will be more volatile, giving Smart customers like me more of an advantage, so I will save more! (thanks Tony!)

    Posted By: bhommels
    "if it is free, there is someone else paying for it"

    That's the First Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law states : "Nothing is free."
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020
     
    Research in Holland has shown savings in first two or three weeks but that they evaporate after the ‘honeymoon period’
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020 edited
     
    OVO can give us daily kWh use, but they also magically manage to figure out what appliance types use what percentage of energy, averaged over a month. Quite impressive I think, it could show the importance of different things better than a kW display - I think you can pay for gadgets to do similar. Piccy below shows some of it, all I could fit on my screen in one go:
      08457413-07BD-455B-ADE6-3CA63684EED5.png
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2020
     
    I’m just looking at those numbers I posted above - the fridge freezer one is way out. It should be 20kWh/month, not 3kWh/month. Still, I like the ambition that OVO have, even if it’s not right yet!
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2020
     
    Posted By: DamonHDYou can clearly see our fridge/freezer demand in my 15-minute Enphase data

    Sorry, did you post a link to a picture to confirm this? I didn't see it.
    • CommentAuthorCliff Pope
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2020
     
    <blockquote><cite>

    So yes, you might be able to pick it out with half-hourly samples. (Sampling as fast as every few seconds is avalable locally for electricity.)

    </blockquote>

    But what do you do with the information once you have picked it out? Do you decide not to bother with a fridge?

    Or more relevantly, what does this ever so smart meter actually DO that is so smart? Does it turn your fridge off?
    Does it warn you that you could buy a more efficient one at XYZ? Does it notify you that there is a better supplier for the electricity you are using?
    Or to be very smart, does it automatically switch you to the most efficient supplier or tariff?

    Everybody challenged to name one smart thing that a smart meter does starts by saying "It allows you to ...."
    Yes, but what does IT do?
  3.  
    Posted By: RobLOVO can give us daily kWh use, but they also magically manage to figure out what appliance types use what percentage of energy, averaged over a month. Quite impressive I think, it could show the importance of different things better than a kW display - I think you can pay for gadgets to do similar. Piccy below shows some of it, all I could fit on my screen in one go:
      http:///newforum/extensions/InlineImages/image.php?AttachmentID=7689" alt="08457413-07BD-455B-ADE6-3CA63684EED5.png" >

    I'm intrigued - how does a smart meter differentiate between say- cooking and hot water? (or any other load for that matter)
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2020
     
    Big Data , patterns and power used
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2020
     
    and power factor, and other load characteristics.
    A hot water immersion heater is a purely resistive load, whereas an induction cooker has fast switching power electronics on board, leaving a signature of spikes and ripples on the mains lines. Which are visible to the meter as it has a high sampling rate.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2020
     
    If typical UK smart meters only report data to a supplier every 30 mins, surely they arent going to be able to report any meaningful data about specific useage??
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2020
     
    Worth knowing that some energy suppliers have been experimenting with paying customers who have smart meters to use energy. For example https://octopusgroup.com/newsroom/latest-news/octopus-energy-will-pay-customers-to-use-electricity-in-uks-largest-ever-consumer-energy-trial/
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
     
    I will switch when they can guarantee I will get a SMEETs 2 smart meter. As I think they are the only ones you can be sure of working with other suppliers. Think they claim a SMEETs 1 will also be portable soon? Not yet? I might be out if date.
    "
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
     
    Posted By: CWattersI will switch when they can guarantee I will get a SMEETs 2 smart meter.

    Just ask your supplier? I'd be surprised if anybody's still fitting SMETS1. I'll fit one when they can supply one with an IHD that will work (too large a distance between my meter and my house) and a CAD that lets me access real-time data fro the meter (not via a server on the intertubes).
  4.  
  5.  
    DJH: >>> "too large a distance between my meter and my house"

    I'm sure you are more up on this stuff than me, but meters normally talk to IHDs using ZigBee which is intentionally a low-power short-range wireless network. The network is self-healing with connected devices passing on each other's signals. If your supplier provides a repeater between the meter and the house, they could make the network join up. There is also a longer-wave version of ZigBee that they might be able to use. Our house has thick stone internal partition walls and it seems the ZigBee signal can get through 2 walls but not 3.

    Or - many suppliers are using the Chameleon IHD/CAD (Bulb just gave us one), which can upload high-resolution data over your WiFi, to Chameleon's server thence to Samsung SmartThings, and from there to devices of your choice in your house or in your pocket, to display the data or to switch things on and off. Does your WiFi reach where the meter is, can you extend the WiFi over the power line? Obviously passing your data over all those servers on the intertube just to get it displayed in your house, is not what you had in mind.

    People have discussed communicating directly with the Chameleon IHD by WiFi but that's way beyond my ability.

    I am pleased so far with the graphical presentation of my data in the bulb and Samsung apps, but disappointed by how difficult it is to download raw data.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2020
     
    I asked my supplier - also Bulb - and they're the ones that told me it wouldn't work. I also asked them about the Chameleon and they confirmed that it will only let me get data via an Internet server.

    There are plans to make meters work at longer ranges as detailed on that page I provided a link to a while ago. Remember that everything has to be certified, so it's not as simple as just finding something that works.

    I'm not interested in passing data over the Internet. And I don't want to use phone apps.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2020
     
    Posted By: djhI'm not interested in passing data over the Internet.
    I've been wondering about this as the reliability of meter data is so poor. I suspect the specification was written long before the Wi-Fi became pretty much ubiquitous and I wonder how many folk would be happy to have a HAN device that could upload data to the DCC via Wi-Fi. i.e. you plug it in, it talks to your meters over the HAN (Home Area Network) then uploads the data over Wi-Fi rather than relying on the WAN comms.

    If it also provided a realtime use output via API, even better.

    I definitely would.
  6.  
    Previously, I used to get a torch and read the meter, then type the reading into a box on the supplier's website. I see no difference in principle if there were a box of tricks that did the same: take a meter reading and upload it over my WiFi to the supplier's website or the DCC.

    The full SM solution is an improvement for security and ease of switching supplier though.

    In our case the internet is poor (we have to use 4g wireless) so it would not be an improvement over the meter communicating by wireless. But there could be other homes nearby where internet could work much better than the wireless SM comms.

    The vital next step is not for the meter to communicate with the IHD - rather it needs to communicate with the immersion heater and the ASHP and the towel rail to run them at the cheapest times. Having an open and easy way for this to just-work would really help. This will probably have to involve the internet because the security around the ZigBee HAN is necessarily so rigid and slow to develop, but it would be better if there were a parallel lower-security HAN which the ASHP could join easily.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenThe vital next step is not for the meter to communicate with the IHD - rather it needs to communicate with the immersion heater and the ASHP and the towel rail to run them at the cheapest times.
    Making them talk to the immersion etc is way outside the scope of the SM, the variables immense and is just not feasible. In addition, the meters do not reliably know what the current half hour tariff is nor (and more importantly) accurately know what he time is.However, making the spec such that there is a defined API to access the data on the HAN is more than possible and, as pointed out recently, is actually required as part of the spec!
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2020 edited
     
    From https://community.openenergymonitor.org/t/octopus-energy-smart-meter-feed/13178/39?u=borpin

    https://epr.ofgem.gov.uk/Content/Documents/Electricity%20Supply%20Standard%20Licence%20Conditions%20Consolidated%20-%20Current%20Version.pdf

    "Looking at the Electricity Supply Regulations (section 49.4, parts (d) and (e)), the supplier has an obligation to allow the consumer access to their data:

    (d) on request of the Customer at the relevant premises, it both establishes and thereafter maintains a connection through the HAN Interfaces between the Smart Metering System and each Relevant Consumer Device that is located within a part of the premises to which the HAN extends and is the subject of the request; and
    (e) the connection established in accordance with paragraph (d) enables that Customer to access (at any time and, in the case of the Domestic Customer, free of charge) by means of each
    Relevant Consumer Device, the Customer Information that:
    (i) is capable of being stored in or held by the Smart Metering System (or any part of it); and
    (ii) the Smart Metering System (or any part of it) is capable of sending to the Relevant Consumer
    Device."

    The argument is that any IHD does not "enable that Customer to access the Customer Information that is capable of being stored in or held by the Smart Metering System"
   
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   
Logout    

© Green Building Press