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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthorjhsigma
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2022
    Smart meter with no DCC wireless network connection
    I am told I cant feed into grid from my new solar array without a smart meter which I cant have because we have no DCC signal, also cant have offpeak as they no longer fit Economy 7 meters which is a problem as I have just got a battery car, anyone throw any light on this ?
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2022
    Where are you? I thought when they installed a smart meter they first did a visit to check that it would work, so that should have caught the problem. Then they have special people/units to deal with difficult situations, but I don't know much about them (I believe we'll need a 'special' installation if/when I get a smart meter because of the distance between the meter and the house).

    Worst case I think they will have to treat the meter as a 'dumb' one that needs manual reading until they sort the problem out.

    E7 tariffs are still available but not all suppliers provide them so you'll need to find a supplier that provides the tariff. Switching may be problematic at the moment.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2022 edited
    It sounds like you have gone through a process much like myself as I tried to:- 1. initially get an Economy 7 meter fitted, no luck there. 2. Get a Smart meter fitted and move to one of the more progressive tariffs.
    In the end I gave up and have gone off the boil with Smart meters; that's not much help to you though.

    From my admittedly casual research it seems that the UK is split into 2 Smart meter signal coverage providers. Broadly, they are responsible for the Southern half of the UK; and the North and Scotland. Where are you located as it may give you some sort of steer as to how long the whole connection process may take. Coverage in the Northern half is iffy, esp. in rural areas, it certainly is in my area. Having said that it may be possible to get a Smart meter together with you own signal transmitter is that what you mean by DCC? Ultimately you'll be in the hands of your provider and their available fitters.
    Have you done a comparison with off peak of some description V. Standard tariff, for charging? Will the difference really be that significant?
    Sorry not to be of more help and you may know all this already, good luck.

    As djh said Cross posted.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2022
    For me a smart meter needs to something more than collect data, like switch things on and off in my house to help the grid to work better.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2022 edited
    Posted By: tonyFor me a smart meter needs to something more than collect data, like switch things on and off in my house to help the grid to work better.

    Are you being serious?!! :sad:
    Jhsigma, you sound unlucky as signal coverage is supposedly 99.55% using different kinds of antenna. Maybe a different supplier would be more proactive about making it work?

    You can still read a smart meter manually to get separate export/import readings, and some allow manual peak/off-peak readings. You might find a dedicated EV tariff suits you better than Economy 7. Hope it works out for you.

    This is what is needed for DJH's installation, not sure that it would help with jhsigma's. A range extender for meters that are located far away from the home display unit:

    Tony, the smart meters can switch things on/off using their ALCS (auxiliary load control switches) however the electricity suppliers are all reluctant to enable that, in case they accidentally switch off someone's medical devices, fire alarms etc. You'd have to rewire the house so that every appliance you wanted to switch was on the same circuit. Best leave the smart meter to just do metering (time-of-use). If you wanted a smart switch instead, I saw some good prices in Argos and Lidl recently?
    • CommentAuthorjhsigma
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2022
    Thanks everyone for your input ,not heard back from Scot power but Ovo have been really helpfull and responded next day saying they have fitted smartmeters with no signal allowing power to be put in the grid so that could solve part of the problem .DCC is the name of the Comms network run by 02 and Telefonica that is used for smart meter communications Im in mid wales and we do have a signal of sorts on EE but has to be DCC apparently .
    I will chase up a special installation team thanks djh ,bit of a war of attrition Owlman the prices off peak currently are about 7p a KW v 18p (up to 23.5 shortly )a kw about 2.5 times the price . For interest Im waiting for my Zappi charger to be fitted and currently charging from a standard socket puts on about 6miles range in an hour
    (Ioniq 5) my full range is 256miles so theoretically 42 hours for a full charge you cant be in a hurry.:sad:
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2022 edited
    I guess the theoretical 42 hours won't be the norm, 2.5x is significant but will that tariff last for the full theoretical charging time before it reverts to full tariff, I don't know how it works.
    I looked at my supplier EDF, and this seems it could be even cheaper than the 7p you mention.

    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2022
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenThis is what is needed for DJH's installation, not sure that it would help with jhsigma's. A range extender for meters that are located far away from the home display unit:
    Thanks for the link, Will. Yes that seems like it will help. It's a pity they don't give a model number! The other thing I want is direct access to the data from the meter (not via an external website) so I suspect I'll still be waiting :bigsmile:
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2022 edited
    Incidentally, has anybody come across the Ohme smart chargers and especially the smart cable?


    Looks like it would work with my existing dumb Type 2 charger.
    • CommentAuthorCliff Pope
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2022
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Jeff B</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: tony</cite>For me a smart meter needs to something more than collect data, like switch things on and off in my house to help the grid to work better.</blockquote>

    Are you being serious?!!<img src="/newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/sad.gif" alt=":sad:" title=":sad:"></img></blockquote>

    Are you being serious when you refer to these gadgets as "smart" ? :)
    • CommentAuthorjhsigma
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2022
    Your right Owlman 4.5 p from EDF (but 36.5p for peak) but the lower rate would cost £3.24 to fully charge !,the good thing about this hyundai it has a 3 pin socket so I can take power out if we get cuts from the coming storm. If I leave enough to get to a charger will be able to ferry 'buckets ' of electricity :cool:
    • CommentAuthorLord Lucan
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2022 edited
    I had a similar situation last year where there would be no DCC connection for a new meter.
    I tried about 8 different suppliers and it was monumentally painful until I got way down my list to British Gas.

    I phoned up and within 5 rings a human being answered the phone.
    I explained my situation, he said not a problem we'll just operate the smart meter in dumb mode, when would you like it fitted. Simple as that.

    I hope this helps.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2022
    @ jhsigma

    Yes John the cheap rates are often accompanied by swingeing rates at the other.

    @ Lord Lucan ( at one stage apparently, unbeknown to me he used to live nearby, before his disappearance, - It's not you is it? :bigsmile::wink: )

    I occasionally get a nice email from EDF asking for me to show an interest in a Smart meter but I'm unsure, at the moment I can't see any benefit for me.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2022 edited
    In cases where there isn't a suitable external radio connection, why can't the smart meter use the domestic Wi-Fi? AIUI, the connection is well enough encrypted that that shouldn't add any risk of fraud, the amount of bandwidth used would be miniscule and if the owner didn't have Wi-Fi running enough of the time then presumably it could just revert to dumb mode. Perhaps via the IHD (in-home display) which is supposed to be connected to Wi-Fi anyway and which therefore has the UI to select the access point, password, etc. Just a SMOP (small matter of programming).
    It seems to me that the legislation and accompanying SMETS protocol were drawn very tightly in the UK compared to other countries, to address people's concerns about hacking. It was before people had got comfortable with cloud-based banking, shopping, phonecalls etc.

    Part of that security was making the smart meter networks (HAN and WAN) physically separate from the internet, and another part was that only very regulated/scrutinised organisations are allowed to access the smart meter HAN, and only the DCC can access the WAN.

    So seems it is nigh on impossible for any individual to access the HAN to retrieve their data, as DJH would like, and nobody can implement novel solutions for gaps in the WAN. Not just a small matter of programming - lots of legislation to unpick! I doubt they would relax security, too many naysayers.

    The government has recently legislated that all EV chargers must include a built in smart meter from this year. They seem to have not been so prescriptive about how it will work, so suppliers can use wifi or other networks, if WAN is not available.

    HAN = smart meter comms network within the home, eg meter to the display
    WAN = smart meter comms network from the home to/from the supplier via the DCC
    DCC = company with sole purpose of operating the smart meter comms

    Edit: Trusted suppliers of In Home Displays are allowed to access the HAN, retrieve meter readings, and send them via a separate lower-security WiFi to their own cloud server. The homeowner can then be allowed access to their data on that server without risking the security of the HAN. Or they can set up smart thermostats, lightswitches etc to access their meter readings and turn stuff off as Tony would like. Hildebrand are one such, Chamaeleon are another. That would allow a smart meter to be operated in 'dumb' mode while still giving some of the benefits.
    • CommentAuthorLord Lucan
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2022
    @ Owlman...........You never know :-)
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2022
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenPart of that was making the smart meter networks (HAN and WAN) physically separate from the internet, and another part was restrictions such that only very regulated/scrutinised organisations are allowed to access the smart meter HAN, and only the DCC can access the WAN.
    Your picture isn't quite complete. There's another participant who's entitled to access the data - the customer! That's supposedly guaranteed by legislation. The fact that it isn't actually possible is the problem, not the regulations. No need to unpick any legislation - just apply/enforce that which is already there!

    Your list of acronyms is missing the component that individuals can supposedly use to access the data

    CAD = Customer Access Device
    IHD = In Home Display - a particular type of CAD that might also allow access to data but none supplied do.

    Your edit is not quite correct. It's not IHD suppliers especially, it's anybody who has passed accreditation to attach their CAD, but again none supplied in the UK have enabled the direct data export facility that some devices have. There's no risk to the security of the HAN in any event since the CAD needs to be tested and approved before it can work on the HAN.
    All irrelevant to Ed's question, unfortunately.

    The customer has the right to read-only access to their data, for example on the display unit or by requesting them from their supplier. They don't have the right to freely access the HAN or WAN themselves, for obvious reasons. The electricity supplier and the DCC have strictly defined roles under the legislation. So nobody is legally in position to build an alternative two-way network from the meter to/from the supplier, via WiFi and the internet, bypassing gaps in the radio WAN as Ed proposed.

    The customer does (theoretically) have the right to ask the electricity supplier to connect a trusted third-party's device to the HAN (I mentioned Hildebrand and Chamaeleon and previously linked to a report about L&G) but those are defined in law as one-way read-only services, they don't provide a bi-directional WAN network, so couldn't notify the meter about changes to the tariff, or update its firmware, etc, again for obvious reasons.

    If you read all the preceding paragraphs, you'll see why I carefully avoided adding the IHD and CAD acronyms into the soup as well!

    Edit for clarity and predictive text
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