SMETS1 Secure Meter Compatibility

I have SMETS1 Secure Meters, and from a chat with a Bulb representative it seems that these are only partially compatible with Bulb. They are connected and sending data, but only once per day so the tab in the smartphone app won’t give the more granular view. I was also told that these meters aren’t compatible with Bulb’s In-Home-Displays either, so basically I have no way of monitoring my energy use in much detail, which is of course one of the two benefits of smart meters.

I asked if it would be possible to upgrade/replace these with newer smart meters that do work properly with Bulb, but apparently this isn’t possible as removing smart meters results in a fine. This seems a bit silly since it wouldn’t be “removing” smart meters and returning to “dumb” meters.

Do I actually have any options here?

Hi @kraken2109,

Thanks so much for your post. I can see you’ve been sent a deadlock letter on the above issue, as unfortunately there isn’t anything more we can do right now. If you’re still not happy with our response, you can of course escalate this to the Ombudsman to get it sorted.

We aren’t able to remove your SMETS1 meter, but going forwards we may be able to offer more detailed usage charts and guides so it will be as if you have a SMETS2 meter - but I appreciate that isn’t immediately helpful.

Please let me know if you need a hand with anything.
Georgie :bulb:

So, I’ve been digging around trying to figure out how exactly my smart meters are hooked up, what it can (and can’t) do, the usual for tech-inclined smartasses like myself.

Turns out, whoever installed our meters (I’m guessing British Gas, since I have an IHD from them in one of my drawers), did a terrible job. It’s basically a Landis+Gyr E470 - the newer series, that is supposed to have a SMETS 2 comm unit - but with an old Trilliant comm unit that only does SMETS 1.

The kind people over at the OVO forum have investigated similar installs (unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to share links at the moment) without much luck, and ended up deeming these meters, even though the meter itself is designed for SMETS 2, only compatible with SMETS 1.

My question is - would it be possible to have these meters upgraded to SMETS 2? By my quick guess (and let’s be honest, I’m not an electrician), all this would need is a SMETS2 comm unit replacing the Trilliant botch-job, and looking at my meter box, there’s ample space for an SKU1 Cellular unit.

If it’s possible to upgrade, who would be in charge of it? Right now I’m with Bulb (obviously), the unit was installed by British Gas (presumably), the main block is maintained by ESP Electricity, and the previous supplier was SSE Swalec (who have been less than responsive for queries). I’d like to avoid being bounced between companies trying to push responsibility on others.

Hi @kiraly.jozsef,

Thanks for your post! I hope you don’t mind but I have merged this with a previous thread about upgrading SMETS1 meters.

Unfortunately at present, we still are not able to upgrade SMETS1 meters to SMETS2 meters. This is something we are working on but as Georgie mentions - we are working on being able to offer more detailed usage charts and guides so it will be as if you have a SMETS2 meter.

As soon as we are able to do this, we will update our members.

Have you tried using the IHD from British Gas? We have more information on Using your Secure SMETS1 In-Home-Display here.

– Daisy :bulb:

Hi Daisy,

It is my understanding that technically the meter itself doesn’t need to be upgraded, since it’s already designed for SMETS 2, it’s only the COMM unit that needs to be replaced.

I understand that you’re not able to upgrade meters as of now (though I’d like to know a bit more details as to why - is it a COVID restriction, or is something else in play?).

My main use case for having a SMETS2 meter, combined with the IHD Bulb provides, would be integration into my smarthome system - only Bulb’s IHD’s (which are only compatible with SMETS 2) provide integration into SmartThings, unless I go out of my way and get CT clamp meters installed (which are nowhere near as precise as getting the data directly from the meter). Unfortunately, the IHD supplied by British Gas is neither smart, nor connected - it provides a quick glance of what’s going on, but that’s it, I can’t integrate my automations based on that.

EDIT: I fired up my British Gas meter, and it’s horrible. I get maybe a second or so of reported data every 20-30 seconds, just for a blink, then it goes empty, even though it shows full signal strength. And it happens even right next to the meter, out in the hallway. It’s practically useless.

@kiraly.jozsef - we wouldn’t need to replace anything on the physical meter. The upgrade comes with the smart network itself and what kinds of meters can be enrolled onto it so this is a remote thing being done by suppliers in tandem with the DCC who run the smart network.

Due to the meters not being connected to the network yet, the IHD won’t work either. Once the remote connection works and we enroll the meter the IHD will start showing the data. The reason for this is because the IHD pulls the data from the meters themselves, so if they’re not yet connected it has nothing to go off.

Similarly to your gas meter- it’ll only show the reading on the meter immediately like a credit meter as its not actually connected to the network yet. We’re enrolling them in batches so shouldn’t be long until yours are ‘smart’ with us. We’ll also send you an email to let you know when this is the case.

If you did want to remove the SMETS1 meters and install SMETS2 meters, this would be a chargeable job. We have a list of the costs here if you’re interested :slight_smile:

– H :bulb:

1 Like

@holly_at_bulb as I’ve explained, the meter itself is SMETS2 compatible, and it’s British Gas who effed up the install by combining the Landis+Gyr E470 (the newer generation that is supposed to be SMETS2) with an old COMM unit (Trilliant HAN/WAN unit that is designed for SMETS1). You can see the difference on this thread over at the OVO forums (forum.ovoenergy.c om/smart-meters-136/landis-gyr-e470-guide-how-to-tell-which-one-you-have-and-if-it-s-s1-or-s2-9151) - mine is specifically the setup pointed out in this comment (forum.ovoenergy.c om/smart-meters-136/landis-gyr-e470-guide-how-to-tell-which-one-you-have-and-if-it-s-s1-or-s2-9151?postid=39106#post39106 and OVO’s engineers confirmed that it is a botched install.

For reference, here’s a photo of my meter setup:

upload://pYultgYO22MGKf76lRzVE6A06zM.jpeg

The plastic cover that has “83” scribbled on it is just a cover plate for where the SMETS2 comm unit should sit, like this:

I don’t seem to be able to post either images or links - could you remove this limitation please?

I could even agree to a charged job, if the replacement is possible (though I don’t see why you’d need to remove the whole meter, replace it with an identical one, and slap the SMETS2 comm unit on top), but your pricing isn’t exactly clear. Would this be just a smart meter install (£120) or a smart meter removal (for some reason you charge £350 for this??) combined with a smart meter install, so totalling at a whopping £470 just because the previous installer screwed it up?

I will also approach British Gas and inquire about this whole mess, since it is their mess after all, and they should be fixing it, free of charge.