Smart meters (again?)

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rjb
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby rjb » 12 Oct 2020, 11:42am

ANTONISH wrote:For most consumers being able to monitor their real time electricity consumption is a nine day wonder.
Either one needs to use the electricity or one doesn't.

I suspect that the real aim - if the system ever becomes truly "smart" will be to introduce pricing based on real time demand - of course you may be able to see the unit price go up and down - but what are you going to do about it - perhaps turn everything off at high price points and put it on again when it gets cheaper.


Someone on here posted previously about his energy supplier offering negative prices a day ahead encouraging users to consume as much electric as possible and get paid for it. All measured with smart metering. Time to put the immersion heater, electric heaters, oven and all your heaters on. Like the renewable heat incentive in NI where owners of wood burning stoves were encouraged to burn as much as possible and get paid for it.

heres the link to it viewtopic.php?f=15&t=136479&p=1464636&hilit=smart+meter+negative#p1463846 :shock:
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simonineaston
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby simonineaston » 12 Oct 2020, 12:17pm

Other than the obvious threat from an outsider carrying C19, which can be dealt with by refusing entry to all but The Bubble, I'm wondering what's not to like?
Benefits of smart meters
Smart meters bring a wide range of benefits. For example:
* smart meters give you near real time information on energy use - expressed in pounds and pence
* you will be able to better manage your energy use, save money and reduce emissions
* smart meters will bring an end to estimated billing - you will only be billed for the energy you actually use, helping you budget better
* in time smart meters will make switching supplier smoother and faster, making it easier to get the best deals
You will not be charged separately for a smart meter or for the In-Home Display. Under current arrangements you pay for the cost of your meter and its maintenance through your energy bills, and this will be the same for smart meters.
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Pastychomper
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby Pastychomper » 12 Oct 2020, 1:13pm

simonineaston wrote:Other than the obvious threat from an outsider carrying C19, which can be dealt with by refusing entry to all but The Bubble, I'm wondering what's not to like?

The part about making a household's habits available to the supplier is a potential problem, though probably not a big one. It depends on how often the meter reports, and in how much detail.

The more detailed the information, the more valuable it is to an advertiser and to a potential thief or terrorist. Even if the supplier deletes or aggregates all user data as soon as the bill has been calculated, any information transmitted by a smart meter can be seen by anyone with enough access to any of the computers in a line from the smart meter to the one that calculates the bill - and how much will an electricity company spend on security?

I for one don't mind if my neighbours notice my house is empty every second Wedturday, but I prefer not to broadcast that fact on the internet.
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simonineaston
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby simonineaston » 12 Oct 2020, 1:35pm

but I prefer not to broadcast that fact on the internet.
So, what we're saying is we'd like more information about the data that travels between us, the consumers, and the supplier. Like for example: frequency, scope, method of transfer, security measures applied, retention & sharing... interesting! I might pop my GPDR hat on and have a rootle around.
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby ANTONISH » 13 Oct 2020, 10:19am

simonineaston wrote:Other than the obvious threat from an outsider carrying C19, which can be dealt with by refusing entry to all but The Bubble, I'm wondering what's not to like?
Benefits of smart meters
Smart meters bring a wide range of benefits. For example:
* smart meters give you near real time information on energy use - expressed in pounds and pence
* you will be able to better manage your energy use, save money and reduce emissions
* smart meters will bring an end to estimated billing - you will only be billed for the energy you actually use, helping you budget better
* in time smart meters will make switching supplier smoother and faster, making it easier to get the best deals
You will not be charged separately for a smart meter or for the In-Home Display. Under current arrangements you pay for the cost of your meter and its maintenance through your energy bills, and this will be the same for smart meters.


"better able to manage your energy use, save money and reduce emissions" - obviously you can reduce use of lighting - go to bed in the dark - turn off the TV etc - cook using a microwave instead of an oven - don't use a tumble dryer ( I haven't got one).
" in time smart meters will make switching supplier smoother and faster". If and when they sort out the problem of compatibility - anyway I can ( and do) regularly change supplier now.

In no way are suppliers interested in the best for the consumers - they want to sell electricity at the most profitable rates for themselves and their shareholders.

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simonineaston
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby simonineaston » 13 Oct 2020, 10:35am

In no way are suppliers interested in the best for the consumers - they want to sell electricity at the most profitable rates for themselves and their shareholders.
I get that, but I'm not sure I see how a smart meter necessarily promotes that aim... (and I'm also not sure that you're seeking to make that connection, to be fair! ;-) ) I think that the suppliers are under some pressure from the regulator to improve their billing performance. Smart meters are win-win for the supplier 'cos they don't have to employ meter readers, they get to find out more about our usage and they can use the data to make billing more accurate in order to get the regulator off their collective backs - fines have been levied for poor billing practices. However, I don't see how allowing a smart meter to be fitted means the supplier stands to sell more product...
Last edited by simonineaston on 13 Oct 2020, 11:32am, edited 1 time in total.
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rjb
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby rjb » 13 Oct 2020, 10:43am

I switch energy provider at the end of my contract to ensure I can keep my bills down and don't get put on the higher bulk tariff. A smart meter would enable me to do this without the faff of having to provide meter readings, then double check your bills to ensure old and new providers are using the same figures. I once found after switching that I was being billed for the same units by both providers. :shock:
On 2 occasions after switching I failed to get a refund due from the old energy provider. I had to use the ombudsman service to get them to cough up. This is a faff in itself. Hopefully smart metering will sort out these issues.
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kwackers
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 13 Oct 2020, 11:31am

The reason for smart meters is a simple one.

The hardest thing is to balance the grid.
You need to spool up enough power generation to deal with the peak demand but at low usage times those power stations are still spooled up wasting resources and costing money, you can shut them down but you have to pay fairly large amounts of cash for the privilege.

Smart meters allow users to control when and how they use electricity.
Currently you can reasonably argue you don't need that but the world is changing fast. As electric heating (heat pumps) start to replace gas and EV's take to the streets along with all the current tech we have then there's an opportunity to balance the grid by ensuring we use power when it's plentiful and cheap.

Cars are fairly obvious. Most only need charging once or twice a week and it's a no brainer to do that overnight. The use of smart chargers allows you to charge when prices are under a certain point (or if your car is below the required charge).

Heating is a less obvious example (electric obvs).
Unsurprisingly there's a mini peak in demand in the early morning as systems turn on, cookers start to run, kettles, tv's etc.
So your heating system see's that the price is (say) 12p at 7am, but at 6am it's only 4p.
It then decides to warm the house up at 6am instead of 7 and then turns itself low during the morning peak. Same in the early evening, turns on early to make use of the cheaper power then winds itself down during the peak.

Then there are all the white goods of which more and more are 'smart' and can run during the night when energy is cheap.

The idea that folk will try to save a few pence by running round turning stuff on and off is secondary, everyone does it when they first get one but then most forget almost straight away.
That changes when the savings are several hundred pounds a year though.

My average electricity rate is 6.9p since I changed in Jan, although I'm a high user (car, wife's kiln and workshop machinery).

Overall though the real idea of smart meters is to help balance the grid. Not having to turn power generation off is a huge price saving for them, shifting the use from the peak time to off peak is icing on the cake.

Of course if everyone does it then the savings will diminish but the system is self regulating since if there were no savings nobody would bother and peak time would become peak usage again.

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simonineaston
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby simonineaston » 13 Oct 2020, 11:37am

* A smart meter would enable me to do this without the faff of having to provide meter readings
* Smart meters allow users to control when and how they use electricity.
Exactly - I'm struggling to think of good reasons not to have a smart meter (I already have one as the block was recently built, which means I also benefit from the building being equipped with fibre data cable :-))
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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby pwa » 13 Oct 2020, 11:44am

simonineaston wrote:
* A smart meter would enable me to do this without the faff of having to provide meter readings
* Smart meters allow users to control when and how they use electricity.
Exactly - I'm struggling to think of good reasons not to have a smart meter (I already have one as the block was recently built, which means I also benefit from the building being equipped with fibre data cable :-))

The good reason not to have one is if they don't work in your location. As they don't here.

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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 13 Oct 2020, 11:50am

pwa wrote:The good reason not to have one is if they don't work in your location. As they don't here.

They do work, they're just not smart.

At some point presumably the comms will be sorted out and then you'd be golden.

Worth having one fitted and keeping your fingers crossed for such an eventuality I think...

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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby pwa » 13 Oct 2020, 12:02pm

kwackers wrote:
pwa wrote:The good reason not to have one is if they don't work in your location. As they don't here.

They do work, they're just not smart.

At some point presumably the comms will be sorted out and then you'd be golden.

Worth having one fitted and keeping your fingers crossed for such an eventuality I think...

We have tried twice, with smart meters being fitted then removed when it turns out that we don't have a strong enough phone signal. I think we will get one if and when the local phone signal is improved.

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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby sjs » 13 Oct 2020, 12:33pm

pwa wrote:
kwackers wrote:
pwa wrote:The good reason not to have one is if they don't work in your location. As they don't here.

They do work, they're just not smart.

At some point presumably the comms will be sorted out and then you'd be golden.

Worth having one fitted and keeping your fingers crossed for such an eventuality I think...

We have tried twice, with smart meters being fitted then removed when it turns out that we don't have a strong enough phone signal. I think we will get one if and when the local phone signal is improved.


Since I changed supplier my meters are no longer smart. But at least I can take a meter reading from inside the house rather than faffing around in a meter cupboard outside.

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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby GranvilleThomas » 13 Oct 2020, 1:49pm

There are 2 types of smart meters SMETS1 and SMETS2.

The first smart meters were SMETS1 and if you changed suppliers they were no longer ‘smart’ as the meter was ‘linked’ to an individual supplier and you required a meter change for each supplier if you still wanted the ‘smart’ option.

In theory no SMETS1 meter were supposed to have been installed after 15th March 2019, at least OFGEM have instructed energy companies not too, if at all possible, but it has been reported that some energy suppliers still have stocks of SMETS1 meters left over and obviously want to get rid of them in some way.

SMETS2 meters on the other hand are the most modern version and will continue to work as a smart meter if you change supplier.

SMETS1 meters use the mobile phone network to send data back to the energy company.

The more up to date, SMETS2 meters do not use the mobile phone network and use a purpose built communication network and so if people could not previously get a signal with the old meters, (SMETS1) then they may have more luck with the purpose built network being used with the SMETS2 meters, but not necessarily.

As previously stated, in theory energy companies should not be installing the old SMETS1 meters any longer, but there have been reports of this happening, so insist that you will only accept a SMETS2 METER.

Eventually we will all have smart meters, because by law, all meter have to be replaced every 10 to 20 years (depending on the type of meter) and there will soon only be smart meters being manufactured.

The official line is that you may as well have a smart meter because they are free of charge.
However in November 2018 the Advertising Standards Authority told SmartEnergyGB to stop claiming smart meters were free as we were all paying for them - over £400 per household (the exact figure is not known) - through higher bills.

And in March 2019 it ruled that a claim smart meters saved people money was false and should be withdrawn. They only save money if we change our habits to use less.

We regularly get cards through the door from SSE suggesting that we arrange an installation date, but there is no rush as far as I can see and I don't thing it will save us any money, as we do everything to make savings as it is.

At the moment you cannot be forced to have a smart meter installed, so do not let your energy company pressure you, and if they do contact OFGEM and complain.

But as previously stated we will all have one eventually.

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Re: Smart meters (again?)

Postby kwackers » 13 Oct 2020, 3:25pm

GranvilleThomas wrote:They only save money if we change our habits to use less.

Just as a point of note, I now have an EV and use more but my overall bill is less...

So technically that statement isn't quite correct... ;)