What is different or special about this smart meter, compared to “off the shelf” solutions that have been out there?

The biggest issue with smart meters is the cost. The Open Smart meter can be manufactured for about 25 USD in Nigeria (that is the cost for one meter, not ordering in bulk). We estimate that if ordering in bulk, the price could be less than 20 USD. Though your manufacturing costs may be different, this is what the cost that First Electric was able to come to in 2022.


The Open Smart Meter also offers more functionality, like being able to see an historic view on how customers are topping up and how much power has been used. 

Can the Open Smart Meter be easily hacked?

The code is open source, but we think that developers will need to use the publicly available code and materials as a starting point. Adopters will need to customize the code to ensure protection. Generally speaking, we think there would not be a compelling reason for a full stack systems engineer to want hack into an Open Smart Meter, though of course, anything is possible. We should also point out here that if someone is dedicated into hacking into a system for malicious purposes, the code being open or closed won’t make much of a difference.


Are there any plans to have samples of the Open Smart Meter available for testing purposes?

Yes. There is a plan to get a batch of some Open Smart Meters produced that then can be purchased on Seeed Studio to allow people to run their own tests. For this to happen, an issue with the power supply model must be fixed first and that is planned for the beginning of 2024.

However, First Electric can already help early adopters get a Smart Meter for testing but with an off-the-shelf power supply model until the Open Source model is fixed.

Is there a web portal that Open Smart Meter reports to?

Yes. For right now, the original developer (First Electric) uses the free server on GitHub.

However, because the codes are Open Source, the Open Smart Meter can be set up on any backend, any website, any server. To do so, you must implement the codes available on the GitHub server, and then the Open Smart Meter will be able to communicate with the host server of your choice.

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How many layers does the PCB have?

The PCB has a 2 layer design. You can find more information about the PCB design on GitHub.