Smart meters (again?)

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3988
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 26 Oct 2020, 6:28pm

Free leccy is not incentive enough?
I just don't see it.
Bob reckons old apples are a explanation.
But leccy ain't apples (I compost them there is no "waste"), my cars alternator spins out far too much most of the time and it's not a problem. I guess windmills are much the same.

I fear your tariff is of little interest to a low user like me. (A few hand tools are used pretty much in normal working hours. In daylight preferably some are dangerous)

I'll just have to get an EV then I can use all that free power!! But everything has it's price.

kwackers
Posts: 15318
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 26 Oct 2020, 6:40pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:Free leccy is not incentive enough?
I just don't see it.

You mean free only when the price drops below zero?

I did mention it's a tariff that tracks wholesale prices right?


I fear you're making a mistake with prices here.
1p is 1p cheaper than 2p.
0p is 1p cheaper than 1p.
-1p is 1p cheaper than 0p.

Nothing magic happens at 0p, the price is just a sliding scale that alters my overall bill.

If Octopus are being paid 30p for each kw they can sell not only would it be a bit mean of them to simply make it 'free' but it makes a nonsense of a tariff that supposedly tracks trade prices.
A tariff that they sell to appeal to people like me, for people like you they have different tariffs - for example tariffs that protect you against paying £1 a unit if usage goes through the roof.

Yesterday when I got the alert that prices were going negative (they send you an email) I made a point of doing all the errands I was saving for today in order to make some space in the battery.
If the price simply went to 0p I'd have less incentive because I'd save less. And that's the whole point, behaviour change.
(And obviously it works.)

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3988
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 26 Oct 2020, 10:25pm

So you can't use enormous amounts and retire to the (fill in appropriate tropical island group...) on the proceeds?

Why on earth don't they just lower the top price, or drop the price of the midfle tariffs and stop at the zero, free, it's all buckshee, point.
The world's gone mad.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17971
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Oct 2020, 10:53pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:Free leccy is not incentive enough?
I just don't see it.
Bob reckons old apples are a explanation.
But leccy ain't apples (I compost them there is no "waste"), my cars alternator spins out far too much most of the time and it's not a problem. I guess windmills are much the same.

I fear your tariff is of little interest to a low user like me. (A few hand tools are used pretty much in normal working hours. In daylight preferably some are dangerous)

I'll just have to get an EV then I can use all that free power!! But everything has it's price.


No - it costs you £1 to compost them... now do you encourage the last people in the shop to take them?

A car alternator does spin much of the time - how many GW is that producing? The national grid is on a scale that few can really grasp. Daily voltage fluctuations are the result of slight imbalances of load, predicted vs actual. They maintain the frequency to a very tight tolerance, but the voltage gives them some control over demand (since resistive loads will lower their demands when provided with a lower voltage).

You may not be able to arrange to do the washing when power is cheaper, but I still reckon you do better than 17p!
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17971
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Oct 2020, 10:53pm

kwackers wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:My car - an MG ZS EV isn't the best EV on the market by a long stretch, but it does 4m/kWh around town, and ~3.3 sat at 70mph.

Looks like me and Bob have the same car - hope it's a blue one.


It is...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

kwackers
Posts: 15318
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 26 Oct 2020, 10:57pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:So you can't use enormous amounts and retire to the (fill in appropriate tropical island group...) on the proceeds?

Why on earth don't they just lower the top price, or drop the price of the midfle tariffs and stop at the zero, free, it's all buckshee, point.
The world's gone mad.


I have a 100A connection to the grid, even with an almost direct short I can only pull 24kw, not going to get rich on that any time soon.

They do drop the top price and level out the tariff - that's what the standard Octopus tariff is. You're already on such a tariff.
If they didn't make money from you during the night when they're overcharging you how do you think they avoid making a loss during the day when they're undercharging you?

However we live in a world where companies have to differentiate and with electricity suppliers they do that by offering different tariffs.
Nobody complains about Economy 7 tariffs - they've been around as long as I can remember and simply allowed you to have cheaper electricity at night in return for more expensive electricity during the day.

Octopus 'Go' is an Economy 7 style tariff. It charges 5p during the night and 15p during the day.

If you want more "risk" then you have Octopus "Agile" which tracks the price they're actually paying.
You *might* get very cheap electricity during the night or you *might* not.
Tonight for example it would be cheaper to be on an economy 7 style tariff but because I can choose when to use electricity it suits me to be on Agile.

I honestly don't understand why you're not "getting" it.
Last edited by kwackers on 26 Oct 2020, 10:58pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17971
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Oct 2020, 10:57pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:So you can't use enormous amounts and retire to the (fill in appropriate tropical island group...) on the proceeds?

Why on earth don't they just lower the top price, or drop the price of the midfle tariffs and stop at the zero, free, it's all buckshee, point.
The world's gone mad.


Because that’s not how the wholesale price of electricity works.

Stations bid prices to produce, users (like your energy provider) bid for what they think they’ll need, there are often gaps...

It has ever been thus.
Large users used to hook directly into the market, and so take advantage of the lowest priced periods for the energy intensive operations they need to do.

Hospitals (amongst other operations) used to volunteer to be cut off if power became unexpectedly critical. They had onsite battery and generator capacity anyway, and were paid well when they were cut off.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3988
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 26 Oct 2020, 11:59pm

^^
T'was a tad tongue in cheek about the tropical island, thought it was obvious to be honest.
But the point remains why not just simplify the whole ridiculously complex business and do away with negative tariffs? For they seem a sort of "never never land" business to my simple and practical mind.

I tire of these privatized enterprises.
And often accompanying poor service.
I could tell you the most extraordinary tales of wastage of money and resources just pertaining to this small rural spot.

I get the Economy 7 stuff, it was at the time when the nuclear industry was going to give us "energy too cheap to meter" and those stations WERE hard to shut down.
Many are shut down now alright not a single watt emerges and still costing us all a lot of money.

Wind is something of a different kettle of fish.
Ostensibly "free" but unreliable and very variable.
Welcome of course, I don't mean to suggest otherwise, but there will be periods of persistent anticyclonic weather where back up alternatives will be necessary especially if we all use EVs!
And I wonder where we will find it.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50688
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby Mick F » 27 Oct 2020, 8:27am

We spend about £40 a month on petrol. 6,000 miles a year perhaps.
Five year old Toyota Yaris Hybrid. Regularly does 60odd mpg.


Zero VED.

............. and that's another thing.
If and when the majority of vehicles are free VED, they'll have to re-instate it. Enjoy the holiday whilst we can! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

kwackers
Posts: 15318
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 27 Oct 2020, 9:56am

PDQ Mobile wrote:I get the Economy 7 stuff, it was at the time when the nuclear industry was going to give us "energy too cheap to meter" and those stations WERE hard to shut down.
Many are shut down now alright not a single watt emerges and still costing us all a lot of money.

If you get the Economy 7 thing then you get the idea of selling energy cheaper to encourage its use when there's an excess.
Doesn't matter where the energy is coming from, sometimes there's too much and it costs not to use it.

This whole concept is fundamental to how everything works.
Things are cheaper when there's lots of them and dearer when there isn't.

You can rent a van cheaper at the weekend when all the trades folks aren't using them - yet in your world the price should be constant all the time.
All that would do is increase demand during the week when folk who would normally wait until weekend to hire one simply hire it during the week because it costs the same.

It's a very simple idea.
Potentially there are 20 million EV's required to electrify the fleet.
At night the dip in demand is such that it could provide those 20 million EV's with energy.
But why would someone bother charging at night if it costs the same as during the day? May as well just plug it in when you get home at 6 O'clock.
And then you *will* get the blackouts the anit-EV group keep banging on about.

< SNIP - unnecessary > . . . people getting very cheap electricity but you don't want to use that electricity, nor are you that concerned about the cost since you're apparently happy paying over the odds.
So why is it a problem for you that other people are getting cheaper electricity than you?

It sounds like the politics of envy to me, same reason car drivers whinge about cyclists using the roads for free. They *could* also use the roads for free but they don't want to, they'd rather just whinge about other people doing it.

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3988
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby PDQ Mobile » 27 Oct 2020, 11:17am

^^
I have merely politely questioned the economics of PAYING folk to use leccy. Rather than just give it to everyone cheaper.
It amounts to the same thing, if I understand what you have tried to explain to me, so why not just simplify the whole thing for those of us with little interest in the complexities of the wholesale leccy business?
I would advocate a Nationalization of the grid. No shareholders, but a public ownership. Ditto rail.
Economy 7 was a simple to understand offpeak tariff, primarily because of the difficulty of reduction nuclear output quickly.

It is a bit of a jump to say that I am in the same boat as those who accuse cyclists of freeloading on the roads.
I am a passionate advocate of cycling. And I have never taken that view.

There are unfair discrepancies in VED though.
Pointing them out is not a hypocritical "crime".
My persistence with an old vehicle with a CC under 1700 costs me around £250 per annum VED. Yet it's emissions are very reasonable and its economy good.
It has been a fine vehicle and taken me unfailingly though some pretty tough times.
I keep it because I trust it and know it, and can repair it myself. Even with the high VED, for me, the economics still add up.
And bulbs are childsplay to change!

There are issues with EVs. Just as there are with ICE powered stuff.
I have simply sought to point out some of what I see as unresolved issues.
I understand that as a new EV owner and passionate and eloquent advocate of things "leccy", you see only the good side.
From my old fashioned position, I am a lover of low tech, there remain unanswered questions and problems.
So not so much the the "politics of envy" but rather a turning on it's head of a "low consumption of leccy mindset" that I have had for a great deal of my adult life.
I advocate small ICE vehicles too.

EVs are good. Maybe your vision WILL come good.
But there may be unforeseen hitches too.
To see them in advance will help avoid them IMV.

Wind's blowing!

kwackers
Posts: 15318
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 27 Oct 2020, 11:30am

PDQ Mobile wrote:^^
Get out of the wrong side of bed?
Battery flat?

I have merely politely questioned the economics of PAYING folk to use leccy. Rather than just give it to everyone cheaper.

Not at all, but you simply aren't getting it.

Firstly you already get it cheaper - you're often subsided during the day by profit made during the night.
(It's not like no energy companies go out of business is it? Because it's not as easy to make a profit as us consumers think)

But we've already established you're not interested in getting it cheaper so exactly what is your gripe?

The second point is we *need* EV's and other high power users to use power at night in order to balance the grid - how does your scheme make that happen?
Answer is that it doesn't.

So you advocate a scheme that you're already using, don't actually care about and doesn't provide the required consumer behaviour.
In what world does that work?

The reality is you want me to pay 8 or 9 times what the cost of the electricity is to subsidise you when you're not even that bothered about cheap power anyway.
This is *exactly* the mentality of the "you don't pay road tax" anti cycling brigade.
Last edited by kwackers on 27 Oct 2020, 11:37am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
squeaker
Posts: 3746
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43pm
Location: Sussex

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby squeaker » 27 Oct 2020, 11:36am

[quote="[XAP]Bob"]
You are also no doubt thinking about the battery in an EV as a monolithic giant AA battery, which isn't the case.



[quote]Nice video :D

PS: the attached (from a 2019 paper by one of the leading global I/C engine design consulting companies) might be relevant - and do read the small print :roll:
Image Attachments
NSJ19Slide7.jpg
"42"

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50688
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby Mick F » 27 Oct 2020, 1:39pm

Mick F wrote:Enjoy the holiday whilst we can! :D

When we stop using petrol, we'll all be using electricity.
That's fine, except profits and monies have to come from somewhere.

Give it ten years or so and petrol cars will be dead and buried and we'll all be driving EVs.
Where's the money going to come from?
Mick F. Cornwall

Jdsk
Posts: 5330
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby Jdsk » 27 Oct 2020, 1:43pm

Do you mean the taxation needed to run the state?

It's going to be very hard to increase most of the major sources and this is yet another pressure. Many of us are in favour of a wealth tax of some sort.

The best analysis of motoring taxation that I know is by the IFS:
"A road map for motoring taxation"
https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/14407

Jonathan