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Smart Meters

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I've come across this article on the rollout of Smart Meters:

http://www.nickhunn.com/british-smart-meters-cost-28-million-each/

I've already told my Energy Supplier that I don't want any smart meters installed, but the worry is that the government will make it mandatory. I send my Energy Supplier meter readings online every month and don't see why they would need anything more technical than that.

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There was a tv programme /news article about 12 months ago where smart meters  had caused house fires due to faulty or incorrect installation. Like you though Asp ,my thinking is that a regular update to my supplier is no less accurate than a smart meter. One thing is for sure ,i wouldn't be sat watching a smart meter to see which gadget to turn off to save a few bob on my bill.....We are still nearly £250 in credit & rising after the bad winter & we didn't sit shivering.

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Agree with you guys:  fail to see the point, as energy use is essential to cooking and keeping warm, and that's a requirement for all.  What do they expect, everyone watches their meters and if the £s start mounting up, turn everything off on a freezing day and pile a load of cloths on, or eat a salad instead of a roast.    

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I've got a Smart meter and I'm quite happy with it as I don't have to keep crawling on hands and knees to read the damn thing.

As for the safety issues, well they don't just chuck these things in, they do all sorts of checks and in fact they found a huge gas leak under the gas fire that we'd probably had for years and a gas hob where the safety mechanism had completely failed. So for me I see it as a good thing to get a free safety check done on both the gas and electric even though it meant no heating or hot water for two weeks and having the road and drive dug up for a week.

As for constantly looking at the thing well that's another story. I've worked in technology for the last forty odd years but for the life of me, I cant get my head around what the little box is trying to tell me. Whoever designed the user interface on my device ought to be shot at dawn because if I can't understand it then there's going to be an awful lot more that can't. My daughter has a different unit (British Gas I think) and it's simplicity itself with a colourful display showing how much she's used that day.

 

Bill :)

 

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Yes Bill, but if the meter reads quite high in £s;  does that mean you switch everything off and die of hyperthermia  ?

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Well fortunately I don't live that close to the breadline that I have to watch each and every penny I spend so comfort and convenience come first.

 

Bill :)

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What I don't understand is why anyone would want to have to waste their time ringing the supply companies just to tell them how much energy they've used when the meter can do it automatically. It's a bit like my wife who prefers standing in a long que at the Co-Op  so she can give the assistant the correct amount of cash rather than use a card or automated and her rational for this is that she's always done it this way and doesn't want to change.


As for sitting watching the thing, I doubt very many people do that. Sure you look at it when you first get it but once the novelty wears off you just don't bother. Mines sitting right beside me now, it's turned off and it's been that way for at least the last six months. Theoretically, it gives people the ability to see their energy usage in monetary values which is easier to understand than looking at digits or spinning discs. Whether this makes people change their usage or not has more to do with peoples circumstances or attitudes but the meter has only gives them the ability to see the information which for me is a good thing.


Bill :)
 

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The only benefit for instant access of the cost of your usage, is for those too tight or too poor to afford to properly heat their home in the first place; for the more fortunate and less tight fisted; it will cost whatever it costs to maintain a comfortable temperature, provide lighting and cooking.  If you think your being over-charged, then you can look for a cheaper provider.

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The must also be times when watching it is preferable to what's on tv Bill ?

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I dont look at it quite that way Obs. If someone is so close to the breadline then giving them access to their real time enegy spend is preferable to them not knowing then getting hit with a whacking great bill that they can't pay. It's a bit like not being able to see your credit card spend until the end of the month.

I doubt and hope that nobody here is in this sort of situation so that only leaves me to think that some would actually want to constantly read their meter and phone it through which to me is bonkers. We're all going to end up with smart meters before too long and there are no prize for who can resist the change for the longest.
 
Bill :)

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Okay Bill you are entitled to think that way, but the idea that I am phoning the energy supplier with my meter readings is ludicrous! I would ask if you had ever heard of the Internet but won't because obviously you have (duh because otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation!). And as for "constantly" reading the meter, come on Bill that's beneath you. Read the meter once a month, put the numbers on the website account. They are happy, you are happy because you know they have the correct readings and aren't estimating. Get a smart meter fitted, they have the readings but how do you know they haven't "made a mistake"?

Go a few years down the line and everyone has a smart meter, but now, instead of you controlling your energy use by watching (or not) your smart meter the energy company, on behalf of the government - which is on your side (and if you believe that I've a bridge you might want to buy) - starts controlling - via the smart meter - which appliances in your house you can use depending on the national grid load. High load on a cold day? Nobody can use their washing machine/dishwasher/cooker because the wind has dropped and it's overcast.

Be careful what you wish for, the government is not on your side!

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I must be well behind the time then when it comes to energy bills and payments. I get an email every three months saying they want my readings. I read my meters and write the figures down. I then go online and log into my account and input the readings. This gives me an instant cost for my energy. i then log out. a few days later i get an email saying my online bill is ready. i log in download the bill as a pdf and then call the automated line and pay using the numbered options. once payment has been made i am given a reference number which i amend to the pdf of my bill which is saved on my pc.  and not once do i have to speak to a human being unless their automated system throws a wobbler.

all of my lighting throughout the house is led bulbs or led tubes. ok so my heating is two gas fires. not very efficient but central heating would be not so much impossible but rather difficult to put in. and if it does get cold then an extra jumper or two soon sorts that as far as i am concerned.

my dishwasher is very efficient energy wise ME.

so do i need a smart meter. not really. i have a smart TV and that is more trouble than it is worth. (suffers from bouts of alzeihmers and has to be retuned about once a month.) are smart meters more use than ordinary meters, possibly providing that they are set right and you don't end up with a bill for 10 years energy for Buckingham palace. would a smart meter change my habits. not really apart from possibly adding an extra touch of paranoia wondering what was making it tick over even when every appliance in the house was definitely switched off and unplugged leading me to search every nook and cranny.

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Have you thought about paying by Direct Debit Sid? They give you a small discount if you do, and it saves having to ring them. Plus you know exactly how much you are paying every month.

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Quote

starts controlling - via the smart meter - which appliances in your house you can use depending on the national grid load.

Smart meters arn't quite that smart Asp, theyre connected directly on the main feed into the home and have no connections to any appliances. The only thing they do is read the meter and send that information back to the supplier via the mobile phone network. They certainly can't turn your washing machine off when they feel like it, that's a load of old bunkum (fake news) that's doing the rounds on things like Facebook along the the "your house might burn down".


As for them not being accurate, that's a bit like arguing that a calculator might make mistakes, when we all know the only mistakes it makes is by pressing wrong buttons.  There's got to be infinatly more chance of a human getting things wrong by mis-reading or mis-typing.

For me to read my meter I had to first look for a torch, get on my hands and knees, remove loads of pans and junk from the cupboard, then try to read the tiny digits with my varifocals. I hated having do this and especially having the wife constantly nagging me about the need to do it.


The only downside I see from the whole of this is that the meter readers haven't got a job (along with the lamp lighters, chimney sweeps etc etc) but that's progress for you.


Bill :)
 

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No Asp. The security bits of smart meters are managed by CESG, part of GCHQ, at Cheltenham because the risks were recognised to be so serious.

The ability to turn supply outlets on and off remotely is a functional requirement of the latest version on the Smart Meter specification (SMETS2) which is just now supposed to be being installed and every one is supposed to be able to have one offered by 2020. The function, and the required by date, is because the Radio Tele-switch Service carried by the BBC on Radio4LW, to control Night Storage heaters, cannot be guaranteed beyond March 2020 by the BBC (they are running out of high power thermionic valves and there is no-one left who can make more!). To deal with this the SMETS2 meter can control up to five remote power switches in the home on a programme set by the supplier. The supplier needs to do it so that he does not exceed the contracted power agreed with the generators in any 30 minute accounting period which would cause him to have to pay at spot rates instead of the prior contracted rates. 

There is also an option to have some control of devices from the home controller. When we have widespread electric car charging National Grid expect the maximum demand will increase by 13GW above the current 63GW and you can expect new tariffs to be offered which require you to connect devices that can be load controlled via the new switches. The new tariffs will be less expensive than the uncontrolled ones I expect, which amounts to a price increase if you don't join in!

Given that the number of SMETS2 meters is miniscule Bill is of course right that they do not currently do this, as there would be no saving in network load from a tiny number of working SMETS2 meters. However you are correct that it is where things will go. Remember too that you are in control of what gets plugged in to the remote switches normally. However you can expect political pressure to fit them into all new fridges at some point to reduce the overnight load when it is a cooler night and almost certainly into car charging terminals. These things have to be automatic to stop the public cheating. Everyone is supposed to be having the ability to change the existing proprietary of SMETS1 meter out to a SMETS2 meter from 2020, only SMETS2 meters are guaranteed to operate with all energy retailers.

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asp they gave me a small discount for having dual fuel with them. that has since been removed and having to spend twenty minutes at most on the phone four times a year is no great problem to me especially as it is an 0800 number and so only cost me twenty minutes of my time.

Paying by direct debit might get you a small discount but you pay a fixed amount which in theory evens out over a year.

if your consumption goes up it can be a few months before you get a letter saying that you need to up your payments and can we please have the extra £300 asap.

if your consumption goes down then you still pay the same amount but end up with them owing you £300 which you will not get back if you ask for it but they may say that you can lower your payment.

Also i like to make them wait for their money.B)

 

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Well we have had our Smart Meter fitted today. It cost us nothing and I have been told it will be more efficient and save us money.

The fitters do a health check on everything gas and electric related all for free and gave us peace of mind that everything is OK.

We didn't have to have one but I decided the benefits outweighed the negatives - especially as I never have to bother sending a meter reading ever again!

Should my bills go up or my house burn down I will let you know!!!

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1 hour ago, Evil Sid said:

asp they gave me a small discount for having dual fuel with them. that has since been removed and having to spend twenty minutes at most on the phone four times a year is no great problem to me especially as it is an 0800 number and so only cost me twenty minutes of my time.

Paying by direct debit might get you a small discount but you pay a fixed amount which in theory evens out over a year.

if your consumption goes up it can be a few months before you get a letter saying that you need to up your payments and can we please have the extra £300 asap.

if your consumption goes down then you still pay the same amount but end up with them owing you £300 which you will not get back if you ask for it but they may say that you can lower your payment.

Also i like to make them wait for their money.B)

 

Okay Sid, as long as you don't mind working for the energy supplier for nothing (it might only be 80 minutes a year but it's a tenner on minimum wage!) I'm currently about £20 in credit and will probably be a lot more in credit by the time the cold weather comes, but that's the way I prefer it.

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1 hour ago, Gary said:

Well we have had our Smart Meter fitted today. It cost us nothing and I have been told it will be more efficient and save us money.

The fitters do a health check on everything gas and electric related all for free and gave us peace of mind that everything is OK.

We didn't have to have one but I decided the benefits outweighed the negatives - especially as I never have to bother sending a meter reading ever again!

Should my bills go up or my house burn down I will let you know!!!

It will only save you money if you keep a close check on your consumption, something you can do without having a smart meter. Confused has the real reasoning behind them, the PTB are looking long term at controlling our power usage so that it will no longer be consumer led but supplier led.

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" To stop the public cheating" (Confused) ,but who stops the energy companies coming up with ways to cheat the customer , Fat cats & MPs to cheat the taxpayer. Could easily become another tool of the  Big Brother society.

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6 minutes ago, Davy51 said:

" To stop the public cheating" (Confused) ,but who stops the energy companies coming up with ways to cheat the customer , Fat cats & MPs to cheat the taxpayer. Could easily become another tool of the  Big Brother society.

We are certainly being cheated by this smart meter con. Gary may think his new smart meter has cost him nothing but, as the article in my original post says, they cost £millions, and the energy suppliers and the government aren't paying - the tax payers and the consumers are. Gins all round!

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I think we all know the answer to who pays for the new meters and unfortuntly there arnt any discounts for anyone who dosn't want one.

As for the fake news, well fake was perhaps a bit strong but I think reading about a houses burning down or million pound bills might have happened but there's about as much chance of this as being struck by lightening.

On the electric night storage heater thing, I recon given that given the number of people that actually use this, it would have made more sense to simply say you can't have a smart meter and be done with it. Then again it would appear that using cheaper night time rates to charge electric cars then for them to feed back into the system at peak times may be a solution to the unreliability of green energy sources. So on that basis, maybe they're right to build in controls for this. One thing I've learnt though from yeas of working in technology is that you can't stand still because the tech has to constantly change to meet the ever changing needs of society and whatever gets developed will soon be yesterdays technology.

I think the original idea of doing this was an attempt to reduce energy consumption and climate change by making people more aware. I somehow doubt that this will have much affect but it may make some think more about their energy use.

So for now I'll take it for the convenience if offers and just hope my mobile phone battery doesn't kill me before I have time to use the time saved LOL


Bill :)
 

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