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Topic Title: Network challenges
Topic Summary: Smart meters: too little too late?
Created On: 18 April 2014 07:58 PM
Status: Read Only
Related E&T article: Smart meters: too little, too late?
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 18 April 2014 07:58 PM
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As well as the performance, practicality and cost effectiveness of the new domestic energy sources, there's also the challenge of hooking them up to the network. I hope the rules and systems around smart meters provide the network operators with what they need, and that the data is not too little or too late.

 18 April 2014 09:58 PM
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If somebody is living in an old, cold, draughty house, then no amount of smart metering is going to allow them to save money.

The authorities need to stop getting so excited about techno-gimmickry, and solve the underlying problems. And that doesn't mean half-baked schemes like the Green Deal which just end up costing the consumers more.

S P Barker BSc PhD IEng MIET
 20 April 2014 08:12 AM
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The term 'Smart Meter' seems to be the answer to everything these days. The GB specification for a smart meter also tries to do everything - it is effectively a billing system built into the meter complete with prepay functionality and a cut off switch. It is so complex that the roll out programme has been delayed and delayed as more and more issues emerge. Having the cut off switch means it is part of the critical national infrastructure which means there are security issues, which means new secure protocols are required, which means new key management services have to be set up and so it goes on and delays continue.

A 'Smart Metering System' is rather different where the meter is simply a sensor on the network providing consumption data. Pricing information can be easily downloaded from the web and costs calculated using 1/2 hour metering data either locally on a device in the home or on-line.

Perhaps if this approach had been adopted in Britain we would have had smart metering systems deployed by now rather than facing another 6 month delay at a cost to the consumer of £23m announced recently.

Smart meters in themselves will not save energy but a smart metering system that feeds into home energy management systems with built in controls would - as being deployed in Japan.
 29 April 2014 11:31 AM
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A 'Smart Meter' with a cut off switch is a threat to everyone's security of supply. I believe that nothing works perfectly. Convenient though it may be for suppliers to deal with non-payment it should not be there.
The announced cost of £23m must surely be the additional costs of the mess of the introduction. With about 28m customers no one can believe that a meter and its installation will cost 82p. While the suppliers will not be paying the retail cost for a simple meter of about £40, they are buying a much more complex article. Add the cost of installation by their employees I would suggest an overall cost nearer £60 or a total cost to the consumers of nearly £1.7B. Whatever figure you think is right it will be vastly more than £23m and of course the customer will pay.

 29 April 2014 08:34 PM
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European meddlers think all done and dusted, class the UK among dynamic movers. Of course, if the EU says anything we jump. Such phoney and mannered expressions they use to describe us.

Along these lines we classified all Member States and Norway in five groups:

1. The "dynamic movers" are characterised by a clear path towards a full rollout of smart metering. Either the mandatory rollout is already decided, or there are major pilot pro-jects that are paving the way for a subsequent decision. Estonia, Finland, France, Ire-land, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK come under this group.

2. The "market drivers" are countries where there are no legal requirements for a rollout. Some DSOs or legally responsible metering companies nevertheless go ahead with in-stalling electronic meters either because of internal synergetic effects or because of customer demands. We classified Denmark, Germany and Czech Republic in this group.

3. Austria and Poland ("ambiguous movers") represent a situation where a legal and/or regulatory framework has been established to some extent and the issue is high on the agenda of the relevant stakeholders. However, due to lack of clarity within the frame-work, at this point only some DSOs have decided to install smart meters.

4. The "waverers" show some interest in smart metering from regulators, the utilities or the ministries. However, corresponding initiatives have either just started, are still in progress or have not yet resulted in a regulatory push towards smart metering imple-mentation. We rank Belgium, Greece, Latvia and Romania in this group.

5. Finally, "laggards" are countries where smart metering is not yet an issue. This group consists of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic. However, since transposition of Directive 2009/72EC is on-going, it is possible that the laggards will suddenly gain momentum.

European Smart Metering Landscape Report

 30 April 2014 07:31 AM
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The real purpose of smart meters is to allow for domestic supplies to be turned off selectively, to control the brownouts that will occur when the UK's power grid cannot cope in the not too distant future.

Andy Taylor CEng MIET
 30 April 2014 01:21 PM
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Or more likley to shift demand by aggressive pricing in order to avoid the brown outs.



Let the wind blow you, across a big floor.
 02 May 2014 11:47 PM
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A few weeks ago I changed a consumer unit in a Birmingham house, tucked behind the cast iron incomer was two meter reading cards from 1936. The printed cards were completed in pencilwith a printed warning not to alter the recorded figures. One card was for lighting and the other for heating and power asthere were two meters recording the usage separately.
It has been pointed out to me that generally people only used electricty for lighting for a few hours in the evening, so particularly in the summer months power stations were only loaded for a short time each cay in a very inefficient way for the operators, so they discounted electricty for hezt and power to encourage the use of electricty hence two meters were required to differentiate between the tariffs.
So the British Gas advert for smart meters that tell you the differing electricity usage in your homee is just reverting to the system in operation around eighty years ago in 1936.


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