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Smart Meters

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 Storage heaters, i had them in the 70s when they had all the super duper tariffs for the use of. I found they did get very hot & even had a four hour daytime boost but didn't give much heat into the room. They were very good at retaining their heat.

Smart meters, some woman phoned me a few weeks ago & more or less demanded that i have one. Interrogated as to why i didn't want one ,i said it wouldn't make any difference to my habits of usage & i just didn't want one. Apparently,that wasn't a good enough answer as to why i declined to have one fitted & she became quite miffed. As for causing fires, there was a tv programme a couple of years ago where it was suggested that faulty installation was to blame when coupling the meter to the existing house wiring.

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2 hours ago, Milky said:

Just noticed this post.

I imagine once they have been established the suppliers will be able to very the price of energy at different times of the day so we can put our washing machines and dish washers on when the energy demand is lower and cheaper to produce.

So everyone waits until the cheap period starts and switch on their washing machines and dishwashers VOILA! the demand skyrockets. What do the producers do then? Put the price back up?

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1 minute ago, asperity said:

So everyone waits until the cheap period starts and switch on their washing machines and dishwashers VOILA! the demand skyrockets. What do the producers do then? Put the price back up?

So you be waiting till the cheaper tariff to make dinner, switch on the lights, heating, TV, it is not just people in homes who use power, industry, office and shops use it too? If you can even out the usage then you need less infrastructure.

1 hour ago, Davy51 said:

 Storage heaters, i had them in the 70s when they had all the super duper tariffs for the use of. I found they did get very hot & even had a four hour daytime boost but didn't give much heat into the room. They were very good at retaining their heat.

Smart meters, some woman phoned me a few weeks ago & more or less demanded that i have one. Interrogated as to why i didn't want one ,i said it wouldn't make any difference to my habits of usage & i just didn't want one. Apparently,that wasn't a good enough answer as to why i declined to have one fitted & she became quite miffed. As for causing fires, there was a tv programme a couple of years ago where it was suggested that faulty installation was to blame when coupling the meter to the existing house wiring.

Storage heaters are still around, much more efficient these days. When I went to Finland on holiday the apartment  had underfloor storage heaters.

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5 hours ago, Milky said:

So you be waiting till the cheaper tariff to make dinner, switch on the lights, heating, TV, it is not just people in homes who use power, industry, office and shops use it too? If you can even out the usage then you need less infrastructure.

I won't be waiting for anything because I'm not getting a smart meter voluntarily, and my life won't be ruled by it if I'm forced to get one (whatever happened to us telling the government what we wanted rather than them telling us what we had to do?)

I don't know what you mean by "less infrastructure". Have you seen the size of these windfarms that produce less energy than a conventional power station that takes up less than a tenth of the land area? And are only a quarter as efficient?

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You need to have sufficient power stations (and here I am talking about generators in all forms) to meet your max demands, so for example this will be 10 power stations, while at fpur am you might only need two, if you can get people to reduce their consumption of energy at peak times and use more on off peak times fewer power stations would be required and you can use your power sources  that is the cheapest to run.

Am I making sense?

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In theory yes. For practical purposes no, because you're expecting people to follow the carrot when really you need the stick to make it work. In other words you need to force people to do their washing at 4am rather than expecting them to. So what will happen with smart meters is that, eventually, the consumer will only be able to switch on their washing machine when the supplier allows them to.

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10 hours ago, asperity said:

In theory yes. For practical purposes no, because you're expecting people to follow the carrot when really you need the stick to make it work. In other words you need to force people to do their washing at 4am rather than expecting them to. So what will happen with smart meters is that, eventually, the consumer will only be able to switch on their washing machine when the supplier allows them to.

I guess it depends on the size of the carrot. 

I often wonder why people buy fuel from the station on  Lovely Lane where the fuel is more expensive then in Tesco for example?

How would the suppliers force people to use their washing machines off peak, the meter does not differentiates  between what appliances are on?

 

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2 hours ago, Milky said:

I guess it depends on the size of the carrot. 

I often wonder why people buy fuel from the station on  Lovely Lane where the fuel is more expensive then in Tesco for example?

How would the suppliers force people to use their washing machines off peak, the meter does not differentiates  between what appliances are on?

 

Why do people buy fuel at motorway service stations? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe people like buying fuel where they want to buy it.

The question of how would electricity suppliers force people to use their washing machines when the supplier wants them to is different however because of the Trojan Horse that Smart Meters introduce into the house. The way technology is advancing very soon the supplier will be able, through the Smart meter, to determine which appliances will be able to use the electricity supplied to the house. Do you want to enable someone to give you permission to do your washing? I bet you voted Remain as well 🤣

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Each "smart" appliance has a unique identifier so that your "smart" phone and integrated household systems can turn the appropriate one on when requested, either by your phone or your voice controller. If they did not have this then asking to turn on the lights, for example, could result in your stereo blaring out whatever tune is on your current playlist at full volume at two in the morning.

There was some concern not too long back about hackers using smart kettles to gain access to your home system. If they can do it then surely it would be a lot easier for the electric companies to do as they have permission and hackers do not.

The voice controller thing is also something that can be a nuisance if you have not set it up correctly. Did see an article somewhere where a couple found that they were spending quite a lot on vegetables and other such stuff online. Turns out it was the parrot that was ordering the stuff using the voice control and mimicking their voices.

Puts a whole new complexion on the phrase "Polly wants a cracker" 😯

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Well I think anyone who's prepared to pay well over the odds for a kettle that can be turned on and off by a mobile phone deserves to be hacked.

I can understand a company wanting to have a product that's significantly different and gets people talking even if it borders on stupidity but I can't believe that anyone really ever thought that life would be so much better with something like this.

For a utility company to be able to take control via a meter, they would need everyone to have all their appliances linked by WiFi and the ability to access their security codes but given they're struggling just to get the bloody things to report back correctly, what's the chance of them getting all this right? If I had to turn off my router and WiFi to make sure I could have tea and toast when I wanted it, I'd simply buy a cheaper standard kettle and toaster and so would everyone else, so the idea of utilities being able to control things this way will never happen.

 

Bill :)

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Unfortunately Bill it isn't WiFi but the signalling used by the Handset you use to see your meter apps. The signalling for this stuff is really in the spec for the latest meters already and the RF chips are in volume production, but not the controllers for the endpoints yet. It all works in the security zone of the smart meter and your WiFi password is irrelevant. The "smart fridge" etc will just turn on, say anybody there and the smart meter will ask what it is and give it a code. Being a fridge it will get instructions from the network about saving power unless the retailer says you can decide to not allow network control, if you can be bothered or can work out how to stop the network control. The entire system, end to end, is controlled by them not you.

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1 hour ago, Confused52 said:

Unfortunately Bill it isn't WiFi but the signalling used by the Handset you use to see your meter apps. The signalling for this stuff is really in the spec for the latest meters already and the RF chips are in volume production, but not the controllers for the endpoints yet. It all works in the security zone of the smart meter and your WiFi password is irrelevant. The "smart fridge" etc will just turn on, say anybody there and the smart meter will ask what it is and give it a code. Being a fridge it will get instructions from the network about saving power unless the retailer says you can decide to not allow network control, if you can be bothered or can work out how to stop the network control. The entire system, end to end, is controlled by them not you.

Like I said, the Smartmeter is the Trojan Horse you have allowed them to install in your property. Big Brother exists!

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Oh come on doe's anyone really believe that the public would accept being told when they could make a brew or eat their toast. We've had a referendom because people didn't like being dictated to by an outside party and something like this would be even worse. The public just wouldn't accept such intrusive measures being forced upon them so I doubt it'll ever happen.

I do understand that the meter needs to have it's own network if only to communicate with the display and in theory this could communicate with any other device within range. But getting a reliable connection to anywhere in the home is a struggle and it'd be as easy as pie to defeat the system with something as simple as a bit of tin foil.   

There's only one way to put some degree of control over when people do their washing and that's by pricing. If there's excess power available in the small hours then reduce the price during that time and people choose whether or not they want to take advantage. That said. the glut of night time power will in time be taken up as electric cars become more common. On the plus side though, millions of connected cars could feed back into the network providing energy when the sun doesn't sine and the wind doesn't blow thus completely negating the need for any stupidity like this.

Rant over.

 

Bill :)

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Well I have been in meetings where the ability to differentiate their online service with this kind of value added offering was discussed by Major Telecoms providers who wanted to get in on the act. Fortunately the powers that be realised the security dangers and put in the ability to talk to end devices as part of the DCC layer. None of them responded well to the notion that the data was the property of the consumer and they should all require express authority to reach any conclusions about what the end user wanted. Many consumers will try anything these days and seem to have no idea what they are giving away in terms of information. They are driven by one-upmanship and convenience to the exclusion of price which they don't seem to look at as much as the older generation. As we go by the reason I used the smart fridge is that in cold weather fridges and freezers can often be left off for an extended period without harm and that extra capacity can be diverted to charging electric cars. These discussions have been going on for years. You are absolutely right about control of anything with which humans interact being down to price but anything controlled by an automaton is fair game.

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Yes I fully understand how those meeting go as I used to sit on the trade advisory group of Ofcom. The technology is almost boundless in it's scope and the companies producing the equipment all want to push it forwards for their own ends. Can't blame them for that but at the end of the day if the technology is allowed to get too controlling big issues will be created. 

As far as I know some of the utility providers are using the latest AI systems to be able differentiate between individual domestic devices. Seems like a sledge hammer to crack a nut though when all that's needed is to ask people.
Tea time.

 

Bill :)

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2 hours ago, Bill said:

Oh come on doe's anyone really believe that the public would accept being told when they could make a brew or eat their toast. We've had a referendom because people didn't like being dictated to by an outside party and something like this would be even worse. The public just wouldn't accept such intrusive measures being forced upon them so I doubt it'll ever happen.

 On the plus side though, millions of connected cars could feed back into the network providing energy when the sun doesn't sine and the wind doesn't blow thus completely negating the need for any stupidity like this.

Rant over.

 

Bill :)

Yes a referendum where 48% of the votes were in favour of us losing our national identity and are happy to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats.

Any suggestions of how electric cars are going to be able to "feed back" into the grid? Sounds pie in the sky to me Bill 🤣

 

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There are currently about 30 million cars on the road and if all of these were electric with 100 kwh batteries, that would equate to 3,000 Gigawatt hours of stored energy. Nationally we use at peak demand just over 40 Gigawatts so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that with that much power available on tap, that feeding back even just a fraction of this into the grid would even out our energy issues. 

The utility companies do store a small amount of energy in batteries but it's prohibitively expensive but electric cars would create humongous energy store. Charged off peak, the owner could then have the option to sell back the power when it's needed. Whether the power comes from a roof solar panel or a car parked on the drive it doesn't matter, feeding power back into the grid isn't pie in the sky but a technology that we have right now. That's the future Asp, not dodgy meters that stop you having a brew when you want one! 

I think my sums are right but if anyone cares to check them be my guest.

 

Bill :)

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Just a little word or warning but if any of you have elderly/vunerable relatives or neighbours maybe check if they have or are about to get smart meters fitted without their or their families knowledge. 

An elderly lady I know had a visit from British Gas last week who very kindly fitted her new free smart meters. 

Now then she is in her 90's, has dementia and they did it with JUST HER there.  Odd really as in the past her family have told them NOT to fit smart meters but somewhere along the line someone from BG must have asked her (either by phone or whatever) and 'presumed' she wanted or agreed to them even though she doesn't have a bloody clue what they are.  They have no record of an actual appointment being made though and all they can 'presume' is that maybe the person who read her meter 'in the past' mentioned it to her and put it through.
Surely there would be a record of that too though.  

Not very good that eh but on the plus side I suppose it means that nobody will have to call and read her meters now.  But then again family probably can't read them either now to check the actual use and bill or can they?

It will be interesting to see if her bill suddenly goes up though as happened with some people I know who had the damn things fitted.  BG do say they have sorted most of the problems out and they do work better now....we will see ! 

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Bill it all sounds nice and rosy, but the truth is we don't have the infrastrucure to charge up 30 million electric cars let alone feed the charge back into the grid willy nilly.

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18 hours ago, Dizzy said:

Just a little word or warning but if any of you have elderly/vunerable relatives or neighbours maybe check if they have or are about to get smart meters fitted without their or their families knowledge. 

An elderly lady I know had a visit from British Gas last week who very kindly fitted her new free smart meters. 

Now then she is in her 90's, has dementia and they did it with JUST HER there.  Odd really as in the past her family have told them NOT to fit smart meters but somewhere along the line someone from BG must have asked her (either by phone or whatever) and 'presumed' she wanted or agreed to them even though she doesn't have a bloody clue what they are.  They have no record of an actual appointment being made though and all they can 'presume' is that maybe the person who read her meter 'in the past' mentioned it to her and put it through.
Surely there would be a record of that too though.  

Not very good that eh but on the plus side I suppose it means that nobody will have to call and read her meters now.  But then again family probably can't read them either now to check the actual use and bill or can they?

It will be interesting to see if her bill suddenly goes up though as happened with some people I know who had the damn things fitted.  BG do say they have sorted most of the problems out and they do work better now....we will see ! 

You can make a complaint, the Ofgem process for complaints and referring to the Ombudsman is here https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/complain-about-your-gas-or-electricity-bill-or-supplier. If the meter needed to be replaced because it was faulty or needed replacing for a safety reason you still have the right to have a standard meter fitted. The rectification you request can therefore be to fit a standard meter, if anyone feels they can tolerate the extra disturbance. It is worth writing the Ofgem anyway, (and possibly to Trading Standards since it is malpractice) as these tactics are not acceptable and designed to help BG meet their targets for fitting meters and not for our benefit.

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Wouldn't work in our street bill.

12 houses 26 cars ( the houses only occupy one side of the street) of the cars almost a third are 7 seater people carriers so take up space in front of 1 1/2 houses when space allowed for getting them in and out. ( i have the additional problem that my neighbour has a disabled parking bay which covers the whole of his house and about half of mine so for me to park my car, the smallest in the street, i have to park out side my other next door neighbours. so two cars to three houses.)

Then there is the fact that it is a terraced street so no drives just the footpath and all have extensions in the back so no room to park in the back for charging.

Can't see the council allowing heavy cables to be stretched across the footpath to charge cars, Elf and Safety.

Can also see the down side of the smart charging.

Irate workers having to wait an extra hour because the car does not have enough charge to get them home due to car not charging as the peek demand was exceeded and they had some of their electric fed back into the grid to cope with demand.

Could also be awkward on motorways. car stops due to not being fully charged and then have to wait for recovery team to come and tow them away. Can't nip to the nearest power station and get a gallon of electric like you can petrol if that runs out.

Given that the councils are investing in solar panels, maybe a bank of panels built into the car roof could be useful as a charge system when the car is unable to connect to the grid. you can buy these solar chargers that plug into the 12 socket to top up your battery, how successful they are is another thing, but they are only a small panel. a panel of roof size would surely be more efficient.

Perhaps i am being overly pessimistic about it and all these possible problems will not arise.

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On 12/17/2018 at 6:55 AM, Evil Sid said:

Each "smart" appliance has a unique identifier so that your "smart" phone and integrated household systems can turn the appropriate one on when requested, either by your phone or your voice controller. If they did not have this then asking to turn on the lights, for example, could result in your stereo blaring out whatever tune is on your current playlist at full volume at two in the morning.

There was some concern not too long back about hackers using smart kettles to gain access to your home system. If they can do it then surely it would be a lot easier for the electric companies to do as they have permission and hackers do not.

The voice controller thing is also something that can be a nuisance if you have not set it up correctly. Did see an article somewhere where a couple found that they were spending quite a lot on vegetables and other such stuff online. Turns out it was the parrot that was ordering the stuff using the voice control and mimicking their voices.

Puts a whole new complexion on the phrase "Polly wants a cracker" 😯

Do people really believe hackers can get through a kettle into a computer, how?

On 12/22/2018 at 7:14 AM, Evil Sid said:

Wouldn't work in our street bill.

12 houses 26 cars ( the houses only occupy one side of the street) of the cars almost a third are 7 seater people carriers so take up space in front of 1 1/2 houses when space allowed for getting them in and out. ( i have the additional problem that my neighbour has a disabled parking bay which covers the whole of his house and about half of mine so for me to park my car, the smallest in the street, i have to park out side my other next door neighbours. so two cars to three houses.)

Then there is the fact that it is a terraced street so no drives just the footpath and all have extensions in the back so no room to park in the back for charging.

Can't see the council allowing heavy cables to be stretched across the footpath to charge cars, Elf and Safety.

Can also see the down side of the smart charging.

Irate workers having to wait an extra hour because the car does not have enough charge to get them home due to car not charging as the peek demand was exceeded and they had some of their electric fed back into the grid to cope with demand.

Could also be awkward on motorways. car stops due to not being fully charged and then have to wait for recovery team to come and tow them away. Can't nip to the nearest power station and get a gallon of electric like you can petrol if that runs out.

Given that the councils are investing in solar panels, maybe a bank of panels built into the car roof could be useful as a charge system when the car is unable to connect to the grid. you can buy these solar chargers that plug into the 12 socket to top up your battery, how successful they are is another thing, but they are only a small panel. a panel of roof size would surely be more efficient.

Perhaps i am being overly pessimistic about it and all these possible problems will not arise.

One of the bosses of one of the large car companies (I think it was Toyota) said he did not think the infrastructure for mass electric vehicles will be ready for 30 years.

Would it not take a very big solar panel to charge a car? 

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halfords do a battery top up charger that is solar powered for £25.00  It about 14" x 9"  according to the blurb even works on cloudy days. so if it was plugged into the car all the time it would be putting something back into the battery. might not be a great deal but would be a help. Given that the average car roof is probably about ten times that size would be getting a fair bit whilst the car was parked up during the day.

Quote

Do people really believe hackers can get through a kettle into a computer, how?

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/03/easy-to-hack-smart-devices-targeted-by-government/

doesn't give step by step details on how.

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