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"Smart" meters!

Community Veteran
Posts: 2,282
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Registered: 04-08-2009

"Smart" meters!

Here's me, thinking that because the smart meter installation programme is well under way, the problems must have been sorted. How wrong could I be? This lot should have been fixed at the specification stage!
Courtesy of today's FT..
Quote
GCHQ has intervened in the design of an £11bn nationwide system of smart energy meters to secure them against attempts by hackers to crash the country’s power grids.
The agency built in additional security measures for the UK metering system after discovering loopholes in meter designs in use abroad that it believed could pose a national security risk if rolled out in Britain.
The communication channel between each meter and the utilities operating them was designed to be encrypted. But the encryption key, the code used to unscramble the data each meter sends and receives, was the same for all of them.

GCHQ is helping the Department of Energy and Climate Change securely design the new metering system, one of the UK’s biggest IT projects in a generation. Energy companies have already installed about 2m of the 53m smart meters due to be rolled out in homes and small businesses across the country by 2020.
“The guys making the meters are really good at making the meters, but they might not know a lot about making them secure. The guys making head-end systems know a lot about making them secure, but not about what vulnerabilities might be built into them,”

47 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,556
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Registered: 27-05-2011

Re: "Smart" meters!

Hmmmmmmm
I suspect there will be more issues so I am fighting having a smart meter
I recently changed supplier and during my sign up I was asked do you have a smart meter?  When I said no he said good then we won't have a problem transferring you Huh
To do is to be - Neitzsche
To be is to do - Kant
do be do be do - Sinatra
Moderator
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: "Smart" meters!

I've had Smart meters since October last year and I'm beginning to wonder why.
As can be seen from my online account below I've had 2 'Smart' readings on the gas meter since installation.
The latest 2 readings were requested by nPower and supplied by me in order for them to supply me with an accurate statement Huh
Quote
16/02/2016 Customer read, Electricity 1242
16/02/2016 Customer read, Gas 523
15/12/2015 Estimated read, Electricity 834
14/12/2015 Smart read, Gas 222
08/12/2015 Estimated read, Electricity 741
07/12/2015 Smart read, Gas 191
07/10/2015 npower read, Electricity 0
07/10/2015 npower read, Gas 99999
You had a new gas and electric meter put in on 07/10/2015

I don't know how secure my meters are but if the country is plunged into darkness then I apologise in advance.
Customer and Forum Moderator.
Product of the Tyrell Corporation
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: "Smart" meters!

I've just renewed with First Utility. I said 'yes' to a smart meter. I'm on the list to have one fitted which they tell me will be about 4 weeks to do.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: "Smart" meters!

for "GCHQ has intervened" read "gchq has asked for a back door into the meters".  how do they think that access to a household appliance can allow baddies to route themselves to the power suppliers?  it's a nonsense.  gchq sees meters as a handy window onto an unsuspecting population.
deathtrap
Grafter
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Registered: 23-04-2013

Re: "Smart" meters!

I couldn't care less as i won't be having smart meters ,because they only benefit the utility companies , many of those in fuel poverty  will share this view, as lots of them like to spread out the winter usage over a longer period , then there's also the cost of these meters who do you think is paying for them?
jab1
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Re: "Smart" meters!

My reason for telling Eon 'No thank you' is simple - If/when I switch provider, there is a good chance the 'smart' meter becomes a 'dumb' meter. Until the power companies harmonise their systems so that I don't potentially have a yearly meter change, I don't want to know.
John
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: "Smart" meters!

Eventually all households must have a smart meter as it's the law. All households must have one fitted by 2020.
The smart meter doesn't prevent a consumer from spreading the cost of their utilities throughout the year just as they do now.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 27-05-2011

Re: "Smart" meters!

But the disjointed electricity supply industry is missing a great opportunity to be world leaders in the " internet of things". Technically the meters could be talking to the fridge, freezer, oven, telly as well as the electric car and solar panels but the big 6 are just implementing what is best for them commercially and its not joined up. I'm putting off having a smart meter till say mark 4 by which time they may have got it right.  Roll eyes
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jab1
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Re: "Smart" meters!

Quote from: artmo
Eventually all households must have a smart meter as it's the law. All households must have one fitted by 2020.
The smart meter doesn't prevent a consumer from spreading the cost of their utilities throughout the year just as they do now.

I'm well aware of that, artmo, but until they solve the problem of 'smart' becoming 'dumb', it seems a pointless and expensive exercise.
John
alanj
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Re: "Smart" meters!

Quote from: artmo
Eventually all households must have a smart meter as it's the law. All households must have one fitted by 2020.

Not quite true. From https://www.gov.uk/guidance/smart-meters-how-they-work
Quote
Smart meters will be rolled out as standard across the country by 2020. But there will not be a legal obligation on individuals to have one.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 27-05-2011

Re: "Smart" meters!

One of my first jobs was as a plastics manufacturing engineer working for English Electric. We made the plastic gears for the first induction disc meters to be fitted with a mechanical digital readout rather than dials. I remember my very first trip on expenses to travel from Bradford where we did the plastic moulding to Rugby where the meters were assembled  Smiley
To do is to be - Neitzsche
To be is to do - Kant
do be do be do - Sinatra
Superuser
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Re: "Smart" meters!

Quote from: artmo
Eventually all households must have a smart meter as it's the law. All households must have one fitted by 2020.

That's real good news.  It means that prior to that we MUST have a reliable mobile signal in the village.  Smiley Smiley Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: "Smart" meters!

I read that eventually utility companies will not switch consumers who do not have a smart meter.
itsme
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Re: "Smart" meters!

I have Smart Meters fitted by First Utility in 2009 that are now dumb because I switch provider. But under the government driven scheme this will not be a problem when switching because the data will be hold in a central database.
[quote=http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/blog/2015/02/whats-behind-smart-meter-delay]“Although the initial installation of smart meters is carried out by whoever is your energy supplier at the time, the intention is that the data generated is under control of the customer rather than the supplier. Once the DCC is up and running, when a customer switches supplier the new supplier will be able to request and receive data from the existing smart meter."
He adds that because smart meter data is not owned by the supplier, it can be shared with third parties who might come up with innovative services for consumers. Nick says:
and it's the delay in the implementation of this database that have pushed the roll out of smart meters by 2 years.
With Smart Metering I believe thief of electricity and gas will be highlighted as generating companies know how much is going through a sub station and how much is being used by properties connected to that sub station.