Bumps in the Road to the Internet of Things

Regualr readers of this blog may recall that I dipped my toe into the waters of Home Automation at the beginning of last year, and I have been running a Domoticz system since last March.

I’ve been pretty pleased with it up until now, and the system has been expanded to control more appliances and to record their power consumption.

This week, however, I hit a bump in the road. I noticed that since January 1st, we have apparently not been using any gas:

Domoticz 48

This clearly isn’t right, and in fact the gas meter itself is showing that gas is being used. However, the “smart meter” data connection to Domoticz is claiming that no gas is being used. It turns out that this is a software bug in the firmware of these smart meters, either in the gas meter itself, or in the electricity meter that reports consumption readings for both gas and electricity to Domoticz.

The problem manifests itself if you have the combination of an Iskra-type 382 DSMR 2.2+ electricity meter with a Flonidan or a Landis & Gyr gasmeter. These meters were installed in the Netherlands during 2011-2013. And yes, we’ve got this type of electricity meter and a Landis & Gyr gasmeter. Bingo!

Presumably, this “smart meter” is also reporting this same false reading back to the energy company. I suspect that they are all running around like chickens with their heads cut off wondering what to do about this.

Worst case scenario is that all the meters will have to be exchanged if the firmware can’t be fixed. At the very least they will have to send out humans to come and read every meter so that customers can be accurately charged. I hope that the meter readers come equipped with a box to upgrade the meter’s firmware so that it’s a one time visit…

Addendum 25 January 2016: Luckily, this issue has now been addressed, and a firmware fix is being rolled out to all the 400,000 gas meters affected by this problem. In addition, the fix is one that can be delivered over the network, so no humans are needed to visit every meter. It will take a couple of weeks before the fix is installed on every meter, but ours started working again as of yesterday…

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
This entry was posted in Computers and Internet, Consumer Electronics. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bumps in the Road to the Internet of Things

  1. Ludwig says:

    Software glitches and bugs can be so amusing and dreadful at the same time. At least your gas company might send you a bill for zero due. Some years back we encountered a problem with a gas meter. Instead of billing us for the monthly reading difference we were billed for the entire numerical reading, enough gas to incinerate our city several times over. At least the amount was so outrageous that they readily understood there was a mistake.

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