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7 Million UK Smart Meters At Risk of Connectivity Loss in 2G and 3G Switch Off

Monday, Oct 23rd, 2023 (2:19 pm) - Score 8,480
o2_uk_smart_meter_5g_energy_efficiency

A new report from the cross-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has revealed that an estimated 7 million Smart Meters are at risk of losing data connectivity when the old 2G and 3G mobile communications networks are closed by 2033. But the report doesn’t mention Vodafone’s recent deal to help upgrade the old units.

At present Britain’s national Smart Meter network is managed by the descriptively named Data Communications Company (DCC). Existing Smart Meters (SMETS 1 and SMETS 2) use a mix of wireless network technologies to communicate how much gas and electricity people are using back to a central database – better known as the Smart Metering Wide Area Network (SMWAN).

NOTE: The government wants all 2G and 3G networks to be switched-off by 2033 (here), although 3G will be the first to go over the next couple of years as it has fewer dependencies than 2G (i.e. lots of low power devices still use 2G, which also remains handy as a backup for voice calls).

For example, Scotland and the North of England are largely served by Arqiva’s Long-Range Radio (LRR) wireless network, which operates in the 400MHz licensed spectrum band. By comparison, O2’s (Virgin Media) old 2G and / or 3G network is typically used to cater for meters installed across the rest of England and Wales. But O2 recently confirmed that they would start to switch-off their old 3G network in 2025 sometime (here).

The PAC states that an estimated 7 million communications hubs (i.e. the part of Smart Meters that will need to be upgraded) will also need to be replaced, because they “will lose functionality when the 2G and 3G mobile communications networks are closed“. The report warns that the “costs of these upgrades could be very significant, and, like other costs of the rollout, are ultimately passed on to billpayers“.

The government claims this replacement exercise will cost ‘about’ £2 for each household, which seems unrealistically low.

PAC Statement on 2G/3G Switch-Off

Too many smart meters are not fully functioning and millions more will be impacted when the 2G and 3G mobile communication networks close. In March 2023, around 3 million (9%) of smart meters were not working properly in total. Of these, 1.6 million are “transitory” issues according to the Department, but the remainder were faulty, and either not sending energy use information to suppliers or not displaying usage to consumers, or both.

Suppliers are supposed to take “‘all reasonable steps”’ to replace smart meters that are not working properly, but the government’s rollout targets mean suppliers have much clearer incentives to prioritise the installation of new meters rather than replacing broken ones. Consumers are only guaranteed for a year the benefits arising from being able to monitor their energy consumption in real-time – because if their display breaks after that, the supplier currently has no obligation to replace it.

An estimated seven million communications hubs (part of the electricity smart meters) will also need to be replaced, because they will lose functionality when the 2G and 3G mobile communications networks are closed. The costs of these upgrades could be very significant, and, like other costs of the rollout, are ultimately passed on to billpayers.

Recommendation 5: The Department and Ofgem should set out:

a) what they will do to ensure suppliers assign more importance than at present they do currently to replacing those smart meters (and their in-home displays) not functioning properly;.

b) a timetable for replacing the communication hub element of smart meters that will lose functionality when the 2G and 3G mobile networks are switched off;

c) measures to ensure that suppliers use future-proofed technology – for example, by excluding 2G or 3G connectivity – in all new smart meter installations.

On point C above, it’s perhaps not realistic to expect any ‘G’ generation of mobile technology to be truly “future-proofed“, thus the plan to add 4G to future Smart Meters may not represent any more of a long-term solution than the approach taken with 2G and 3G before. On the other hand, 5G still isn’t quite in the right position (technology, coverage and spectrum wise) to be harnessed for such purposes, although it is getting closer (example).

In relation to the issue of wireless data connectivity on Smart Meters, the government also informed the PAC that they were “looking into options” for the 0.75% of UK homes that sit outside its SMWAN coverage (known as “not-spots”) for smart metering – believed to reflect a “few hundred thousand” homes. This is mostly a rural issue, but some suburban areas, such as the constituency of Richmond Park, can have low coverage but have neither the characteristics of inner London nor rural or remote areas.

Smart Meter Upgrades

Curiously, the PAC’s report makes no mention of DCC’s recent deal with Vodafone (here), which will supply the 4G network for DCC to harness. The DCC has previously said they planned to start tackling the upgrade problem by making single band 4G Communications Hubs available in 2023, with dual-band kit expected to follow in Q2 2024.

Just to be clear, under DCC’s programme the meters themselves won’t be replaced, it’s just the communications hub (i.e. the “router” that connects the meters in the home to the network). This is still a very big job, and it requires a site visit to pull off, but it’s also a quicker and simpler job than when a Smart Meter is first fully installed. The immediate focus will naturally be on upgrading 3G based meters, since 2G won’t be vanishing just yet.

The question will be whether or not they can pull this off before O2 (VMO2) completes its switch-off programme, but on that point it’s notable that O2 hasn’t expressed how long it will take to complete the switch-off. Obviously, 2033 is the ultimate deadline, but we doubt it’ll take them that long (2033 is more about 2G) and so some sort of co-ordinated approach seems most likely.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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76 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Phil says:

    They should have designed the communications hub to be end user replaceable rather than hard wire them in, as then they could just be posted out and the bill payer could swap it over.

    They could also use something like LoRa for sending the data back avoiding any reliance on a phone network, although this wouldn’t necessarily allow firmware upgrades as those files might be too big to send to the meter using LoRa, but then an easy solution would be to incorporate a USB connector on the hub and the energy company could just ask the home owner to download and write it to a USB stick and plug it in or send a USB stick out to the user, and for those customers where this is a problem the electricity meter reader could do it as they wouldn’t need to be a qualified electrician.

    Just seems they’ve not thought very far ahead as solutions are already there, just not implemented.

    1. Avatar photo Broken Meter Guy says:

      I’ve never understood why they didn’t just add the ability to connect over WiFi… Most people will have that option, and they could configure the devices to talk back over a VPN to secure it down.

      Scottish Power have not been able to get mine working, even after 2 rounds of ombudsman intervention

    2. Avatar photo Tom says:

      I agree things were not well designed, but you do not under any circumstances want to ask the general public to be messing with devices hard wired into their main feed from the grid. You’re just asking for trouble.

      Having it so the module can be easily replaced by an engineer would have been a good compromise – a hot swappable module which takes <5 mins would be sufficient imo.

    3. Avatar photo Phil says:

      @Tom, I don’t why that is asking for trouble. It need not be high voltage, the meter could provide safe 5 volt DC (it might do that already) and you just have a connector that can be removed that goes to the hub. Home owners with mart meters already need to play about with it to get manual readings by pressing buttons on the actual meter, or they are using pre-payment meters and sticking cards in so meters are not go zone areas by any means. If you are reliant on engineers doing it that is where the cost comes in, visiting every home costs money.

      @Chris, not heard of encryption, which will already be taking place anyway. Wi-Fi would use a VPN which is encrypted or use SSL. Everyone seems okay accessing their bank accounts over an encrypted connection, what is the issue with a smart meter doing it? The technology is already there to make it tamper proof as much as possible. If in the worst case someone manages to change the data and send lower readings, there will then be a mismatch between that and what the meter is saying, so people would get found out. You could go as far as to have something like a SIM card that you move from the old hub to the new one, that would contain its own CPU and encryption engine, much like a mobile phone, and provide extra protection, and facilitate the easy changing of the encryption and keys should it become compromised.

      At the end of the day all these meters are doing is sending back pricing information, with the master reading still being with the electricity meter.

    4. Avatar photo Name says:

      First of all, why they still install meters supporting 2G/3G only? Secondly the level of incompetence in British Gas is already at its peak. Two years ago I moved in to my new home fitted with brand new smart meters. After 2-3 months of not getting gas readings/usage I made a call and found that they were not able to add my meter to their system because someone somewhere in the country already has a meter with the same serial number. They’ve asked me to prove that I own the one with correct serial etc. I’ve sent them pictures, and then after another two months they told me that they can’t fix this issue and need to replace my meter… which happened eventually 4 months later.

    5. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      they would not want people taking the communications hub out, so they would not allow it to be user replaceable. Can you imagine the people that have been forced to have smart meter and don’t want them taking out the hub, so it don’t connect./ That is one thing I would do if I was forced to have a smart meter.

    6. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      they are replaceable, just not by users (there is a security seal on the screw holding it in). Go and take a look at yours, if you have one – you’ll notice it is a separate unit, probably from a different manufacturer to the meter.

      they can use a mesh network, and are doing so in the north of the country, with O2’s cellular network in the south.

      USB would be fraught with a number of dangers – why would that be better than a manual read as is done now? (perhaps with some sort of ability to “sign” the data so it can’t be tampered with)

    7. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      @Phil

      ” to be end user replaceable rather than hard wire them in, as then they could just be posted out and the bill payer could swap it over.”

      Ours never worked for 2 years and EDF sent 4 of them out. They all needed a Network key and none of the keys they sent us worked. Even the Engineer couldn’t get a code right.

      I will be glad if ours stops working. I don’t want it anyway

    8. Avatar photo greggles says:

      There was a recent thread on this on ispreview, so this article clarifies things a little bit.

      Short sighted thinking from everyone involved in the UK rollout, adding the costs of these poor decisions to customers bills seems wrong for this reasons.

      1 – Why wasnt there a binding contract in place for at least 10 years.
      2 – Why are they still deploying 4g’less based smart meters whilst there is a shut off planned.
      3 – As pointed out already on here, why are these not user replaceable.
      4 – Why is the obligation to keep meters working so weak, a year is nothing, and not much point in a rollout if its a I dont care attitude if the meter becomes dumb.
      5 – As also pointed out why cant these use wifi.

  2. Avatar photo Chris says:

    Having the modems be user serviceable, providing capability for the modems to connect to consumers WiFi or giving consumers the ability to upload firmware is a recipe for disaster.

    Nefarious consumers with access to the stream could man in the middle it and change readings,
    Ability to upload firmware means miscreants could potentially upload their own firmware.

    Sufi for replacement modems that special ones could be had on eBay for £100.

    Lastly, these meters are designed for remote shut off capability which incurs a special security consideration meaning they must use their own special back haul network to ensure some state doesn’t decide to turn uk consumers off.

    If it was just about getting consumers bills then loran and other low power comms networks would have been the better obvious choice but necessitating secure 2 way comms has lead them fine this path.

  3. Avatar photo M says:

    Shouldn’t the government keep at least a 2g network for smart meters to continue to work and for a nationwide fallback?

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      You can’t keep older tech going forever. Past a certain point, the bits and pieces used to build it just won’t exist in the supply chain. Plus it often takes up more space, uses more power and places limitations on existing bands. Eventually it ends up costing more to maintain than it does to run.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      I thought 2G was going to stay?

    3. Avatar photo Blueacid says:

      @ad47uk
      It’ll be with us for longer than 3G shall be, but its days are ultimately numbered. Certainly the expectation is that it’ll be gone by 2033.
      That said, right now I don’t think any of the three different networks running a 2G network (being EE, O2, and Vodafone) have provided a date for when they’ll be sunsetting their 2G networks.

    4. Avatar photo Jon says:

      2G equipment is still being installed as part of vendor refresh programmes. 3G installs stopped many years ago, but new sites now are generally 2G/4G at basic.

    5. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @Blueacid, I did notice the 2033 date after :). Mark says you can’t keep old technology going, but sometimes that is the better technology, may not be fast, but for small amount of data it is fine, and it is more reliable than the 5G that is around by a long way, also more reliable than 4G. I have been in some places where the only signal I can get is 2G, where my other half live mobile phone connection is awful, it changes though the day for some reason, thankfully she has a decent broadband connection, and I can use Wi-fi calling.

      I know technology changes and when the first smart meters were installed, things were different, but even then you would have thought they would have thought about the future.

      thankfully I don’t have that problem, I don’t have smart meters, nor do the other half as they can’t get a decent signal where she is

  4. Avatar photo Stephen says:

    I wonder, given the circumstances described, why all UK Smart Meters should have simply adopted the LRR wireless network, which is in use currently in Scotland and Northern England?

    There does not appear to be any issues with such a network – currently at least! If so, this would perhaps be a better way forward.

    1. Avatar photo Brian says:

      The problem being the LRR network doesn’t work properly in Scotland either. Over a year’s efforts not got it working properly as the signal is so poor. Any standalone network needs to give proper coverage, and a second method needs to be available for not spots.

  5. Avatar photo William Allan says:

    This Tory government knew this was planned but it is just another bonus for the energy companies. Of course the consumers will be the ones who will pay for it??

    1. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

      It was Ed Milliband’s idea along with so much more of the green cr%p.

  6. Avatar photo Name says:

    So far British Gas is not able to migrate my readings data from one system to another or they’ve lost this data already. This is what happen when you outsource IT to third world.

  7. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    LOL, this is so funny, at least it will keep my energy company off my back about getting a smart meter as they will have to sort out the ones that lose signal

  8. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    Still got our old mechanical meters and will be hanging on to them for as long as possible. Just enter the readings to the website once a month. Don’t know anyone who has had smart meters and not had problems with them at one time or another.

    1. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      I’m one – pleased to meet you.

      Only complaint is that it’s a SMETS1 meter that hasn’t yet been SMETS2’d, but I was able to move it from OVO to Octopus and retain smart functionality.

      Minor whinge is that when the tariff changed two years ago, the meter wasn’t updated (readings would be correct but £ representation would not be), but I got them to do it manually and this time around it did so automatically.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      My gas meter is an old one with dials, I had it changed a couple of years ago as my old one was at the end of it’s certified life. I did not want smart meters, so they put another gas meter in that was older than the one they took out:).

      My electric meter which was installed the same time as my original gas meter, 2004, is a small plastic box with a LCD readout, the certified life of that ends in another 5 years, so I am safe for 5 years, that is if I am still living here then.

  9. Avatar photo ad47uk says:

    Oh I just saw 2033, a few years yet, oh yeah DCC is Capita, I would not trust them with my data.

    1. Avatar photo MikeP says:

      DCC don’t have your data. They just pass it on. Perhaps. If you and your energey supplier are lucky.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Don’t trust capita, sadly they have their mitts in too many things, I think too many people high up have shares in the company, which is why they keep being used for these contracts.

  10. Avatar photo fsociety3765 says:

    I would advise anyone with a traditional meter to keep it as long as possible and steer clear of any Smart Meter upgrades.

    What is not made clear by all the marketing around them, is that if you come up against hard times financially and struggle to pay your energy bills, with a Smart Meter, they can switch you over to PAYG at the click of a button remotely. No need to go through the courts to get a court order to enter your home to fit a PAYG meter.

    They dont mention this for obvious reasons.

    1. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      Ofgem is requiring suppliers to follow a lengthy process to forcibly move someone to prepayment, in the wake of recent scandals, including avoiding forced prepayment meters for vulnerable customers. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/new-rules-installing-involuntary-prepayment-meters

      A smart meter doesn’t make that much difference – if you have an old meter and refuse to co-operate to be switched over to prepayment *and* don’t meet the vulnerability criteria, they’ll just turn off your supply from the street. It’s not like water where you cannot be disconnected for non payment.

      Not sure your “advice” is worth much in this case.

    2. Avatar photo greggles says:

      This stuff happens after someone just keeps ignoring the supplier for a long time hoping the issue just goes away, but ignoring things doesnt make things go away, its a last resort.

      I agree court orders should be needed as a safe guard, but to be clear its also people managing their situation badly, if you have financial problems contact your supplier and work with them.

  11. Avatar photo XGS says:

    If they could just get my existing IHD working properly that’d be a good start.

    Fully imagined there would be multiple generations of connectivity. Hopefully it’ll all be more easily field replaceable going forward. Modular systems agnostic to the radio system the telemetry rides over would be good.

    1. Avatar photo greggles says:

      Was a nightmare to get my IHD working, lots of repeated phonecalls, the fix was a second engineer visit who paired a new one.

      But dont use it now, there is an octopus mini device which is so much better (and in my opinion should be the default instead of an IHD), this device instead has no screen, but has its own wifi communications which can access via app on your phone and check the data there, so no need to walk up to a screen and also no need to manufacture such a device as the mini is clearly cheaper to make as well.

  12. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

    These OSD’s don’t work anyway, never have, never will. The Energy companies don’t want you to know how much energy you’re using, they just want you’re meter to tell them.

    1. Avatar photo Blueacid says:

      Mine… does? It shows the real-time consumption of my house in watts or kilowatts, and then lets me see how many kWh I’ve used that day/week/month/year.

    2. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      You’re the exception dude.

    3. Avatar photo ToneDeaf says:

      My display device also shows live & historical consumption and cost.
      A bit of tosh being spouted on this subject!

    4. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      mine has worked from day one. The connection can be flaky, but that’s because I’m in a flat where the communal meter cupboard is some distance & many walls away, and I’ve chosen to put it in perhaps the worst possible location. But it does work most of the time. I can of course log into my supplier’s website and get all except today’s usage that way too.

      Agreed – much tosh. There are certainly flaws with UK smart metering, but people seem to be making stuff up instead.

    5. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Any evidence for your claim they don’t work and the readings they give are fiction my man?

    6. Avatar photo Rich says:

      Mine has pretty much worked from day 1 with only the occasional blip where I’ve noticed no data on my Energy Hub on the app, but quick restart and back up and running.

      My only niggle is I have one of the first generation ones that seems can’t be upgraded, so when I come of my fixed rate in May and change suppliers then I’ll need to get a new one installed.

    7. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      You can get the readings online if your display is not working, you can also buy better displays if you are that interested. the majority of people I know with smart meters don’t bother with the displays, they have dumped them in a drawer. their view is the same as mine, what is the point of knowing how much energy a kettle is taking, you are still going to use it if you want a cup of Tea. Not going to stop me putting my espresso machine on just because a display say it is using 0.03KW/H. that is how much it used this morning, I know this because I have a smart plug on it with an energy monitor.

  13. Avatar photo Robin says:

    Absolutely agree that smart meters can be a pain to get working properly but when they do there are savings to be made. I’m on Octopus agile where the price of electricity changes every 30 minutes. With solar panels and batteries, I can program the system to buy electricity when it’s cheap ( occasionally they pay me to use it ) and use it when the price is high. Even without solar and/or batteries savings can be made but it’s more difficult. A loss of connection to the DCC would be a disaster for me

    1. Avatar photo Sid says:

      @Robin What is the payback period for your solar panels and batteries? the last time I checked it was 15+ years.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      That is fine if you have your own house or the money to buy solar and batteries.

  14. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

    From the experience of the last 30 years, you wouldn’t have thought commerc, especially the utilities and their aiders and abettors, needed any help making excess profits from nugatory work.

    But apparently government neglect . . neglect of planning is an essential ingredient.

    No doubt the the City analysts will interpret the financial effect as if it were making a genuine
    contributionas to the real economy.

    What know-nothing government department has say over this ?

    This is what happens when government leaves the planning to commercial concerns and doesn’t lay down the law.
    The brainless self-agrandising, excess-profiteering bandwagon grinds on, no matter what the costs, ot its effect on the industries and lives it disrupts.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      ‘What know-nothing government department has say over this ?’

      Department of Energy and Climate Change

      ‘This is what happens when government leaves the planning to commercial concerns and doesn’t lay down the law.’

      They didn’t leave it to commercial concerns: HMG provided the specifications for the programme in general:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/smart-metering-equipment-technical-specifications-second-version

      Including the Communications Hub:

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a7de0ba40f0b65d88634f54/SMIP_E2E_CHTS.pdf

      ‘The requirement on the Data and Communications Company (DCC) to provide Communications Hubs that comply with these Communications Hub Technical Specifications (CHTS) arises from Part E of the Smart Meter Communication Licence (granted pursuant to sections 7AB(2) and (4) of the Gas Act 1986 and sections 6(1A) and (1C) of the Electricity Act 1989).’

      Regarding 2G and 3G switch off that’d be Ofcom and you can find more on their expectations for the industry here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/information-for-industry/policy/2g-and-3g-switch-off

      If they don’t like what they are seeing from the industry they can seek additional powers from HMG if necessary and use existing ones as appropriate.

      2G is with us until 2033 most likely. Ample time for smart meter upgrades.

  15. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

    Will HMG have to put a Preservation Order on 2 & 3 G ?

  16. Avatar photo Robin says:

    About 6.5 years for the solar panels, based on purchase in 2011 and about 10 years for the batteries, purchased 2020. Solar purchase today will have different payback period due to changing purchase price and no feed in tariff, only export payments. Batteries possibly shorter payback today due to high price of electricity.

    1. Avatar photo Paul Rhodes says:

      8-9 years is current and falling with reducing cost.

      @sid better hope that more people invest in PV and batteries, or the payback will fall sharper still as people are able to avoid surge charging which will surely follow ‘rewards’ for using less power during peaks, something which those with storage can take advantage of.

  17. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

    The leccy company still text me when I manually submit a meter reading every month extolling the virtues of a smart meter and illustrating how much worse life would be without one. This, of course, I faithfully ignore, whilst simultaneously conjuring a mental picture of it being inserted somewhere deep, dark, cavernous and fragrantly scented in the relevant boardroom.

    1. Avatar photo Good grief… says:

      Find a new hobby Nick, that one is bizarre and unhealthy…

  18. Avatar photo R. Mark Clayton says:

    Sure they intend to switch off 2G in 203x. Even if meters cannot or haven’t been upgraded, then the utility comp could take over the 2G network with h just a few channels for a modest fee…

    1. Avatar photo D McGuinness says:

      The cost of doing that would be astronomical and the frequencies for 2G will be reused.

  19. Avatar photo Andrew says:

    Octopus are slowly replacing their IHD’s with an Octopus Home Mini – a little pink box with no screen, connects to wifi and reports the data to the DCC, other energy providers need to follow suit

    I love mine, just sits behind the kettle, not taking up much electric (1 watt) vs my iHD which was 10watts)

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      So what about people who don’t have a smartphone? You need one to see the data from the mini. Also the mini is not really a replacement for the IHD, the IHD you can just look to see what is happening, if that is what you are interested in.

      I have managed for at least 35 years without a display telling me how much energy I am using, I can work out how much a device cost to run. at the end of the day you still have to use what you use unless you are going to stop making hot drinks, not do any washing and not bother with heating.

      anything that is not required to be left on, when I am at work or asleep is switch off at the mains, smart plugs are good for that.

    2. Avatar photo XGS says:

      You presumably managed to switch power sockets on and off for many years without smart plugs but are using them now, Ad.

    3. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @XGS, I don’t disagree, but with smart plugs I can switch off stuff I would not have switched off before due to them being in awkward positions, granted before I had smart plugs IO did have remote control ones. I know I don’t need smart plugs, but then I am also not being nagged to get them it is my choice. Energy companies are nagging people to have smart meters, sometime using tricks so people think they have to have them or making appointments to have them fitted, like BG did with my brother. Not asking, but more or less telling them

      Going by your logic and my I suppose, we can say we never used to do something and do it now for everything. Never used remotes for TV sets years ago, used to have to watch our toast under the grill instead of using a toaster or keep an eye on kettles on the stove. Saying that I still use a whistling kettle on the gas stove if I need more than a cup of boiling water. the electric kettle I have takes just as long as it is old, i do have a one cup kettle if it is just me, but 99% of the time I use my espresso machine for making coffee.

      So again, going by your logic, I should make instant coffee using my kettle on the gas cooker.
      But yeah, I do get what you are getting at, but still at the end of the day, a display telling you how much energy you are using for your cup of coffee,tea, or what other hot drink you are making is not going to stop you making that drink.

      i can understand that some people may use one of the off-peak tariffs, if they have a EV, house battery or they use their washing machine, dishwasher a lot in the early hours and a smart meter may be useful for them.

    4. Avatar photo XGS says:

      That is an absurdly long response I’m not going to read, sorry. You made a blanket statement and I replied with one. Adding nuance later is a bit belated.

  20. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

    24×365 @ 10 watts . . 87.6 kiowatts a year EXTRA consumption . .times 25 million UK households 2190 Gigawatts . . . for whose benefit again ? . .. who, at the planning stage could have thought that was good for going Green ? . . . . you can see where the utility companies priorities are . . . . and it ain’t going green . . . you have to do that . . . . they are exempted . . . their priority is making sure the profits healthily avoid the red.

    1. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      25M x 10W = 250,000kW = 250MW. Current demand 35GW. 0.7%.

      What about phone chargers and everything else in standby?

    2. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

      Your calculation specifies the demand at any one moment in time, but the heating effect occurs everyday of the year that 10W per hour is burning, so the cumulative heating effect is 10x 24(Hours in the day) x 365 (days in the year) x 25 million (Number of households) . . = 2190GW per year . . toasty !

  21. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

    Wonder how many AntarWest tic ice sheets 2190 Gigawatts would melt ?
    If that goes . . sea levels rise by 50 feet. Bye-bye Charlie.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Heavy night last night, Nick?

      The US state of Texas uses twice the entire power consumption of the UK. I can’t see smart meters, even if they don’t change behaviour and reduce consumption on the round, making much of a dent in the polar ice caps relative to that.

      If you’ve evidence they don’t change behaviour and have been a net consumer of electricity that’d be good, too.

      Your opposition to them seems.. vociferous. Irrationally so.

  22. Avatar photo Bob says:

    Smart meters have wasted Billions of pounds and uses more energy than they can possibly safe. Most do not even work reliably

    1. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      The plus point is no meter readers needed and flexible tariffs possible. Particularly for car charging.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      more energy? If you mean to run the IHD, they take very little, and most people chuck them in a drawer anyway after a few weeks.

  23. Avatar photo Daminous says:

    Anyone who installs these stupid meters needs their head examined. More technological rubbish that was never designed to be anything other than utility companies methods of control and further ripping you off.

    Then again it’s the old saying: IF ANYTHING WAS ACTUALLY FUTURE PROOF, NO COMPANY WOULD EVER MAKE MONEY.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Government idea, government set standards and government targets for adoption pushing the companies into pushing the meters but okay.

  24. Avatar photo chris says:

    I see ISPreview is leading with the same anti-smart meter sensationalism as the mainstream media by not mentioning **2033** in the headline.
    We’ve got an entire decade to sort this issue. It’s honestly as simple as ofcom mandating 2G sticks around for a few more years.
    Simple as that, no sensationalism required.

    People just love to hate smart meters and it’s utterly bizarre. It’s a minor, unexciting yet important piece of the power grid infrastructure yet it seems to suffer from so much anger, misinformation and hatred?

    People, get a grip.

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      It might be because its widely known the energy companies can remotely cut off supplies once smart meters are installed. That and the vast majority of OSD’s not working and the energy companies not fixing them because they don’t want customers to actually see their live usage and save money.

    2. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      @B – ‘the vast majority of OSD’s not working’. Source please.

    3. Avatar photo chris says:

      The OSD/IHD is an add on, but is not a key component of the smart meter. It doesn’t affect the meter’s ability to read and submit readings.
      OSD/IHD is also not in any way going to be affected by by the 3G or 2G switch off.

    4. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Less than 10% aren’t working, Lugz, and companies don’t want to fix them because they didn’t want them to be their problem in the first place. They wanted to buy and sell energy, not have to have field engineers as some in home device was foisted on them by government. The way responsibilities are divvied up alongside how the market works in the UK makes the IHDs a PITA for the companies. Previously if it broke in the home the customer needed to get their own sparky, it broke meter outwards the DNO needed to fix it, no need for field teams.

      Interesting how much blame is being laid at the feet of the customer-facing companies and how little at the actual source of the issue: government.

  25. Avatar photo Richard says:

    Smart Gas Meter`s need to their batteries replaced about every 10 years which will require an engineering coming round to swap the battery. Considering the 2033 deadline is 10 years away and alot of the current smart meters will need their batteries replaced before then, could they not combine the battery replacement with upgrading the communications hub at the same time?

  26. Avatar photo Barry says:

    I understand that a device like new octopus mini could be used to feed data back to the energy provider via the internet if approved by regulations

  27. Avatar photo Cheesemp says:

    Can’t get O2 2G/3G where my meters are – they tried to install them a few years ago, gave up and eventually told me I’d need an external aerial fitted (I don’t want an aerial!). This in the middle of a small town. Gave up at that point and in no rush to change my mind. I’m in a dead spot for most mobile so until they change the solution to non-mobile its a non-starter. Still keep getting them trying as they never believe I have no signal as OFCOMs/O2s maps show good signal…

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