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Aclara smart meter problems

Aclara smart meter problems

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We reveal the most common problems we hear about from customers with smart meters, plus tips on how to solve them. There are two types of smart meter: first and second generation. The type you have depends mainly on when you had it fitted. Issues with smart-meter installation and functionality have come to light during various stages of the smart meter roll-out. So far, most of the smart meters installed are first-generation meters. But several million second-generation meters have now been installed, which should not have many of these issues.

Over 17m first-generation smart meters are fitted in homes so far — over 7m more than the original target, according to the National Audit Office. So we asked hundreds of Which? Smart Energy GB, the smart meter consumer-information campaign, gave us its tips on how best to solve them.

aclara smart meter problems

Depending on which company you switch to, you may not lose your smart functionality. Check with your chosen supplier before you switch. One in five said their smart meter stopped working. Just two in five found that both the smart meter and in-home display worked after switching. This means that smart functions will be restored and retained when you switch supplier.

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Energy companies begun connecting meters in the summer ofand there are plans for most to be upgraded in this way. Here's when upgrades will become possible for different brands, according to Smart DCC.

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From these dates, companies have 12 months to upgrade the meters. If your first-generation smart meter still works, it will be connected to the network by mid This may be because they use compatible technology or the same brand of meter, or have agreements in place.

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We spoke to 10 of the biggest energy firms:. Check if your energy supplier is having connectivity issues. Most problems should be resolved when all smart meters use the DCC wireless network, covering If your first-generation smart meter stopped working when you switched supplier, read the section above about what to do if your smart meter turned dumb when you switched supplier.

The displays work best when close to the smart meter.

aclara smart meter problems

If your meters are inaccessible or outside, ask your energy supplier for advice. Check if your in-home display has a flat battery or is unplugged. Check the instruction booklet for troubleshooting tips, and contact your energy supplier if the problem persists. Solar panel owners already have a PV-generation meter that tells them how much electricity their system is generating.

EDF says it has installed smart meters for customers with solar panels. British Gas, Ovo Energy and Utilita told us that they are also able to install smart meters at homes with solar panels. SSE is able to install, but advises customers to wait until technical constraints are resolved.Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Angry homeowners have accused the meters of gross inaccuracy, blaming them for monthly bills that in some cases doubled without warning.

aclara smart meter problems

California energy regulators have launched an independent investigation, expected to last four to six months, that will subject the devices to a battery of tests in the field and in the lab. About 5. However, the company's internal investigation has found several recurring problems with the meters and their installation. The most common SmartMeter problem boils down to human error.

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Or rather, several different errors, most involving meters that measure natural gas usage. Gas SmartMeters, in contrast, are small modules that installers attach to existing gas meters to record and relay data.

While that sounds like a minor issue, it caused a magnet inside each module to be jarred loose. Those modules registered no gas usage at all, Burt said. Gary Moorepresident of Aclara RF Systems, disputed that account, saying, "We have not made any changes to those modules.

We haven't had any incidents reported to us saying a magnet was falling out. Other gas modules - about 6, - weren't properly calibrated to work with their meters. As a result, they either doubled the apparent usage or cut it in half.

Fixing the problem requires sending a technician to the customer's home or business to recalibrate the module. SmartMeters for homes record electricity use once an hour, while those for businesses record once every 15 minutes. But in roughly 2, cases, workers installed the wrong kind, giving homeowners meters meant for businesses or vice versa. Burt said that problem could affect customer bills, although she wasn't aware of any specific cases in which that happened.

In some meters, a software glitch causes the component that stores energy-use data to reboot itself occasionally, losing some but not all of the data in the process. Not every customer who experiences this problem will notice it. The company has installed the patch in all meters that are awaiting installation, Devereaux said.

While some meters contact the access points directly, most transmit their data to other meters nearby, the information taking several "hops" before it finally reaches a meter communicating with an access point. That system works for the vast majority of meters. But in some cases, meters have had trouble reaching the network, or reaching it on a regular basis. Customers may receive estimated bills as a result.

Or, individual meters may be located in rooms with poor wireless reception. Moving the meter can solve the problem. So can connecting it to an antenna that leads outside the room. All are electric meters. Three of them undercounted energy usage, six of them overcounted. The company will ask the Structure Groupa consulting firm hired by the California Public Utilities Commission to investigate SmartMeters, to perform an "autopsy" on the defective devices.The largest interconnected machine in America, our electric power grid, is undergoing the largest transformation in its history.

Smart meter problems and how to solve them

Stressed by increased demand coupled with the need to accommodate new energy sources — from smaller, gas-fired plants to renewable resources like solar and wind power.

All at a time when consumers demand faster responses to outages and more control over usage. The bottom line is that the electricity grid is more complex today than ever, and utilities are seeking new solutions to increase visibility into their distribution networks.

Utilities want to better manage their assets, the fluctuations in voltage, current and loads resulting from increased demands and the integration of distributed resources on their aging system.

Solutions that combine the latest technologies — from initial plan through implementation — offer new visibility and control to monitor millions of distribution lines connecting homes and businesses while reducing costs, improving reliability and actively engaging with customers. Control load, curb demand and safeguard against under-voltage and under-frequency conditions utilizing the Demand Response Unit DRU.

The Aclara DRU reduces peak power costs without impacting customer service.

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Manage and monitor your security and streetlight fixtures with more efficiency through improved visibility. Improve your outdoor lighting operations and lower their maintenance costs while improving customer satisfaction. It provides your customers with an omni-channel experience with personalized and actionable solutions that heighten energy-cost awareness, promote energy and water efficiency, boost utility program enrollment, and increase customer satisfaction scores.

Ultimately, Aclara ACE positions you to exceed program goals, meet customer needs and maximize program impact. Contact us today for a FREE consultation. AclaraONE leverages our advanced metering infrastructure AMI networks to provide communications and visibility to all your electric distribution devices including capacitor banks, reclosers, voltage regulators, customer meters, and other intelligent electronic devices. Aclara sensors and analytics let you monitor your water and gas distribution networks, improve your daily operations, and provide your customers with relevant, actionable information about their usage.

The reliable meter data management MDM component underlying AclaraONE provides accurate data to the utility billing system through a comprehensive set of industry-standard interfaces that connect securely to utility back-office and distribution operations. Our network management engages effectively and securely with business systems for billing, customer service, outage management, load management, and distribution engineering.

The solution provides a comprehensive suite of interoperable, industry-standard integration adaptors, as well as standard and customizable file-based options. Reach a new level of highly accurate revenue metering, advanced real-time instrumentation and true power quality for your commercial and industrial customers. The Aclara SGM series links both usage and power quality data with advanced smart grid functionality such as demand response, time-of-use billing and remote management. The Synergize RF Communications Network provides gas, electric and water utilities with a communications network with optimum performance and reliable and two-way communications.

The network employs licensed MHz radio frequencies for all inbound and outbound communications between data collectors and endpoints. The communications network integrates with many types of gas, electric and water meters, often allowing customers to use existing meter infrastructure and permits for upgrades to new meters with full compatibility.

TWACS is ideally suited for networks and feeders with high, geographically dispersed assets. Aclara links insightful consumer market research with proven social science theories to customize meaningful behavioral efficiency programs that drives customer consumption awareness and conservation.

Redefine the Reliability of Your Grid Infrastructure.Everything will carry on as normal with your original energy supplier once your smart meter has been installed. Sometimes, your installer might have an issue when installing your smart meter. This could be because the meter has trouble connecting to the network. In the meantime, you will have to give manual readings for gas. During the smart meter installation process, your installer should show you how to read your smart meter monitor.

To wake it up, press any button and it should spring into life. You can also try resetting it. Have a look at our using your smart meter page and pick the relevant in-home display. Have your account number ready for us to help you. Smart meters should send us their readings automatically. Occasionally, your smart meter might be unable to send us automatic readings for example, when the signal is weak or interrupted.

As the national infrastructure improves over time, this problem should become less and less common. If you smell gas or think you have a gas leak, call the National Gas Emergency Services immediately on their free emergency number — Lines are open 24 hours a day, every day, including bank holidays.

Calls to UK wide numbers are included in any inclusive call plan you may have. For home. Log in. My bills and payments. Submit a meter reading. Manage payments. Move home. Get a quote. Compare our tariffs. Retrieve your quote.

Tariff rates. Boiler services.Our full range of Smart Energy Meter products offers robust, flexible and configurable technology for every metering requirement from basic, energy-only metering to comprehensive smart metering functionality — with multiple communication technologies. Reach a new level of highly accurate revenue metering, advanced real-time instrumentation and true power quality for your commercial and industrial customers.

The Aclara SGM series links both usage and power quality data with advanced smart grid functionality such as demand response, time-of-use billing and remote management. Smart Meters. Harness new insight from every AMI metering endpoint in your network.

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Necessary Always Enabled. Non-necessary Non-necessary.Post a Comment. The TWACS smart meters communicate with the utility by adding low frequency signals to the electrical lines. Some utilities promote such power line carrier PLC systems as a positive alternative to wireless smart meters. This article covers all these issues in detail. It allows the utility company to communicate with smart meters placed on buildings throughout their service area.

The communication system is two-way, which means the utility can both send instructions to the meter and receive data coming back. The system can be used to read the electrical usage for a building, instead of sending out a meter reader once a month. The information is typically transmitted a few times a day, but could be only once a month. The transmission may contain information on how much power is used each hour of the day, or even every 15 minutes. These functionalities will require transmissions throughout the day.

Another possible use is to disconnect the electricity to a household remotely, instead of a service technician having to manually do that on site using the Disconnect Switch Interbase.

It usually does not use wireless transmissions to communicate, though it always radiates unintentionally see later. The power lines are used to transmit locally between each household and the TWACS receiver at the substation. TWACS can communicate over dozens of miles.

It is mostly used in rural areas and small towns where houses are further apart than in a city. Rural areas are more difficult to serve with wireless meters due to the limited range of some models. These are probably not used for new installations. It is usually placed on the front, but could be elsewhere. The Aclara logo is a red square with rounded corners and two crossed white lines.

Other power line communication. There are other systems that communicate via the power lines. These are also problematic, but are not covered in this article. TWACS meters may also be wireless. These are mostly used to get meter readings from gas and water meters on the house.

The line pulses. This pulse travels along the power line to the substation, where it is received. The voltage fluctuations from the pulse may also go in other directions on the local grid, including into other houses in the area, even houses several miles away. The utility equipment at the substation also transmits by sending pulses on the grid, which it uses to send instructions to the smart meters.Please purchase a subscription to read our premium content.

Residential smart meter installation process

If you have a subscription, please log in or sign up for an account on our website to continue. Please log in, or sign up for a new account to continue reading. Thank you for reading! On your next view you will be asked to log in to your subscriber account or create an account and subscribe purchase a subscription to continue reading. Jimmy Leal, from Santa Fe, looks at one of the new water meters at the city of Santa Fe's utility billing division on Monday, December 28,while he waits to try to resolve a dispute about an office space that has been vacant since since mid August.

The notice he received says the the location 49 thousand gallons in one month. Leal was told to hire a plumber to check if he has a leak on the property. The city of Santa Fe's utility billing division has been taking a lot of heat in recent months from customers who are upset with what they believe to be mistakes in their water bills, many of which are tied to the installation of new water meters. The notice he received says the the location used 49 thousand gallons in one month.

Fernando Cobos and his son Fernando Cobos, 9, pay for their water bill at the city of Santa Fe's utility billing division on Monday, December 28, Fernando says " I haven't had any problems, it's just like normal.

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However, the city of Santa Fe's utility billing division has been taking a lot of heat in recent months from customers who are upset with what they believe to be mistakes in their water bills, many of which are tied to the installation of new water meters. Rodolfo Torres, from Santa Fe, waits for someone to help him at the front desk of the city of Santa Fe's utility billing division on Monday, December 28, Torres' water meter at a trailer that has been empty for two months is more expensive now than when he lived in it.

Instead of getting an answer, however, all he got was an answering machine that repeated the same message, adding to his frustration. The New Mexican first reported a spike in complaints over water bills last month, most of which stemmed from the installation of new water meters. Probably too late to affect that situation, but there should have been clear evidence of the overcharge LONG ago.

The influx of complaints, plus a staffing shortage, created longer wait times on the phone, a problem that persists.

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Schiavo, who on Monday referred questions about the complaints to Catanach, said last month that the new Badger Meter Inc. The complaints against the Utility Billing Division, obtained by The New Mexican under an open-records request, raise a host of concerns from various people, including City Council candidate Marie Campos, who said in May that her water bill had doubled.

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In an email to Schiavo, Campos said her attempts to the get the problem resolved at the Water Division offices were fruitless. Catanach said about half the complaints logged against the Water Division were valid.