back to article New UK 'leccy meters remotely run via Voda 2G

British Gas is to deploy meters with embedded mobile phones, and Zigbee networking, to ensure we know how much electricity we're using, and they do too. The smart meters use Vodafone's 2G network to send back readings and allow British Gas to see exact levels of 'leccy consumption at any time, while the Zigbee connectivity …

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Headmaster

About smart meters, Ross Anderson says...

Does the name Ross Anderson mean anything to you?

Here's a URL to start from: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/

There, you will find:

"On the security economics of electricity metering appeared at WEIS 2010 and warns that the government's smart meter programme probably won't work. Other papers on security economics and control systems include Security Economics and Critical National Infrastructure (at WEIS 2009); Certification and Evaluation (at IEEE ETFA 2009); and The Protection of Substation Communications (SCADA Security Scientific Symposium, 2010)."

Worth a look.

Mortarbo.... seemed appropriate.

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Unhappy

Rather a complicated way of doing coin-slot meters

The aim of these meters is to be able to price power in real-time, a bit like the way that parking meters in the center of Los Angeles vary their tariff depending on how many people are trying to park. ("Yield management" is a polite term for this sort of thing.)

The logical end point of this is a coin-slot meter. Obviously they're a bit old school so I'd expect the meter to be tapped directly into your bank account....

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Not much chance here

No mobile signal, though you might send a text on vodafone if you have the phone stuck out of the skylight. the meter is well enclosed by granite wall so hnothing is reaching that unless the also install an exteral aerial.

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Coat

Naive idea

Couldn't they make electricity cheaper so that there's no need to faff around with smart meters? Has nobody thought of that? For instance, they could generate it from established, efficient and reasonably clean fuels such as gas, instead of insanely expensive methods such as windmills. Could that work?

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Unhappy

Tomorrow's World

The reason smart meters will be required is to cope with a future of energy shortage. When we no longer generate enough leccy to supply our needs we will need the ability to 'manage' overall usage to make the blackouts a safer shade of brown. Being able to make the best profit out of soaring leccy prices is going to be something of a bonus for the leccy companies, of course.

Personally I'm still waiting for the unlimited 'need to to even meter' free electricity we were promised on 'Tomorrow's World' all those years ago. It seems the peak of human aspiration and innovation is behind us now (largely curtailed by the green movement). 'Tomorrow's World' these days would probably be more depressing than even East Enders to watch...

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Switch off the freezer?

I bet the insurance companies are going to love all the claims " The leccy company told my freezer to switch off"

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7 Inch

Am I on the wrong site? Has no one noticed the non-iPad, 7-inch tablet, with gesture based unlock screen? My money's on a Galaxy Tab.

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It's a standard Android feature.

Though what that has to do with wireless Smart Meters is anyone's guess.

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more expensive?

First utility do smart meters, their smart meter tarrif is more expensive than their normal tarrif, so do that mean prices will go up even more once these new meters are installed?

thankfully I am not with British gas and my supplier have no plans at the moment to install these spy meters.

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Happy

not here they wont

yippee! deep in the new forest will be the last place they come.

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Anonymous Coward

Already done in (parts of) Scotland

BG or rather Scottish Gas (as it is north of the border) have already begun rolling out Smart Meters. Aside from the installer failing to inform BG of the previous electricity meter reading & BG then cocking up billing, everything went fine.

Both gas and electricity are smart metered. It's been a god send for switching off the immersion heater when the flatmate forgets for the nth time (BIG red light on the box in the living room).

The biggest boons for the energy companies will be (initially at least) not having to pay meter readers. There's no point complaining about this now either as it's a government sponsored program and it's in place. All homes will eventually go to smart meters (so I was told by the installer). As to 2G coverage, I was lead to believe BG are installing additional base stations (Femtocells perhaps?) to ensure coverage.

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I've had one for years

Here in New Zealand I've had such a smart meter for 2 1/2 years. At present it's only reporting one reading a day at 4 PP, via Vodafone. I don't know whether it's 2G or 3G but I do know it's got a microsim like an iPhone 4.

It's really quite useful to be able to go to the web site and see what usage has been:

http://hoult.org/dailyUsage.png

The main reason, for me, for getting the smart meter was so that I could get access to cheaper night rates for electricity. If you have separate metering in the day and at night (11 pm - 7 am in this case) then the day rate is the same as for people with a single meter, and the night rate is considerably cheaper (about 25% - 35%, depending on time of year).

I've been able to make some changes that have meant this winter I've used around 45% night and 55% day, while in the autumn (and it should be now again in spring) it was 60% night and 40% day.

That's a considerable saving.

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Happy

Finally

A proper use for my collection of GSM jammers.

Now to set up the remote control so when mr numpty comes to set it up, it wont connect, nor will the next one or the one after that.

I can live without a mobile phone.......In a 10 yard radius of the meter.....

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Facepalm

But

Can you live with OFCOMs fine?

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Devil

Fine???

For what?

A local, non specific sproadic interference pattern???

Could be my computers, DECT phone, CB radio (yeah, i know).

Also, take a look at the "wavebubble".

I suppose, if i was so inclined, i could set up the biggie and block out most of my cul-de-sac.

Should cause em some pericombobulation!

But i wont do that, its not fair on the neighbours.

My stance is this, as im on a pre paid meter, i have to pay up front for my leccy, as i also dont give a flying fuck about polar bears, if i want to burn of kilowatts of power, i will do.

Its simply more nanny state pandering all for the cause of "climate change".

I have no kids, when i die thats it....Why should i care what happens in 100 years time.

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WTF?

Well

Does your DECT or CB radio broadcast on 1.8Ghz or 900Mhz? If it does, you need to get it repaired as you're in a dangerous legal position.

my understanings is that its illegal to broadcast on licensed frequencies without the appriate permits and/or frequency owners position. Your jammer fits here.

Don't like smart meters all you like - but in effect you're setting up a pirate radio station to protest them.

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It happened here more than a year ago .....

And not a bad thing, as it (in theory) removes the need for being physically present at the unspecified time a meter reader may arrive.

With typical British Gas efficiency, of course, they continued to send meter readers for some time afterwards :-).

Should solve the problem for the holiday cottage, if it ever reaches there. Meter there hasn't been read by a meter reader for about thirty years!

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