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Smart Meters.....Again

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by ptarmigan, 4 Aug 2021.

  1. ptarmigan

    ptarmigan

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    Just got this from octopus,
    Your meters are approaching the end of their operational use and need to be replaced, you can read more about this.



    The good news is, we'll upgrade your meters to the latest generation of smart meters at no extra cost to you (we can’t replace your meters like for like as traditional meters are becoming increasingly difficult to get hold of). Book your appointment now:
    Now we all know that if you or the kids are leaving lights, tv's and Christ knows what turned on you will get a bigger bill, But then then have the nerve to come out with this,
    • Automatically send us regular meter readings, so you can rest easy knowing you'll only pay for the energy you use.
    • Help you track your energy usage in pounds and pence, meaning you can keep an eye on how much you're spending every day, week or month.
    • Unlock a world of smart tariffs where you could get electricity for less! Why not check out Agile Octopus or Octopus Go? So if i bend over and have one you MAY get a cheaper tarrif which to me is arm twisting and i am surprised no one has looked into this, So can you still get dumb meters not that it really matters as i will tell them to do one.

     
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  3. BS3036

    BS3036

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    It's annoying when they imply that you have no option. My response so far has been to shred such communications. I guess they will win eventually but I won't make it easy for them. Having said that there are also people trying desperately to get a smart meter and get on these tariffs and not succeeding even after a year. It's a strange world.
     
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  4. johnny2007

    johnny2007

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    Don't give in, unless you have unlimited funds for electricity
     
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  5. crystal ball

    crystal ball

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    I had a call from Eon about swapping MILs to a smart meter, I explained she is a vulnerable adult who would find the disruption distressing, they accepted that and said there would be no more calls....... unless legislation changed
     
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  6. milgo123

    milgo123

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    What's wrong with having smart meters? I've had them since 2016 (Smets1) they've been smart, dumb and now smart again having changed supplier each year. My bills have remained constant. Since having them I certainly don't miss being out in the cold and wet to read them.
     
  7. ptarmigan

    ptarmigan

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    3036,That is the same as us it's the fact they are coercing you to have them like it or not and i will just ignore all the so called offers.
    Crystal ball, That has given me some ideas perhaps my frau could have some anxiety problem with strangers in the house and no offence to anybody that does suffer from it.
    Milgo, When everyone is driving a Duracell car where do you think the generation capacity is coming from? as far as i can see we can only generate enough now when we have a bad winter and that is before they do away with gas boilers, Bet your life they will bring in peak period pricing and we will end up paying more as it's not about saving us the consumer money more about bigger profits for the companies and shareholders in the long term.
     
  8. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    I'm not sure what alternatives you're contemplating, since this really hasn't got much to do with smart meters or complex tariffs.

    As you say, it's all about the suppliers profits, hence keeping their shareholders happy. If the supplier's costs rise (because of increaswd charges by the generators due to them having to invest to service an increasing demand), then the supplier will charge there customers more, so as to at least maintain their profit level.

    If their costs rise, it doesn't really make any difference to the supplier (or their shareholders) whether all their customers pay more for a single-rate tariff or whether some (or all) are on tariffs that enable them to take advantage of cheaper (lower demand) periods (which may end up as 'daytime', if the peak demand period becomes the night, when everyone is charging their EVs) - all that matters to the supplier is that the average (hence total) amount paid by their customers increases if/when their costs increase.

    Although, as I've said, not really something which makes a lot of difference to suppliers, the concept of having to pay a premium for something at times of high demand is not unusual and is generally 'accepted' - or would you expect to pay the same for a holiday in July/|August as you would have to pay for the same holiday in March or November?

    Kind Regards, John
     
  9. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Pre-war from what I understand we had duel tariffs, one for lighting and one for power, and it was illegal to run the smoothing iron from the lights. The government wanted to encourage people to light their homes with electric, as so many house fires caused by candles, oil lamps and gas lamps. With duel supplies it would be possible to have lights and freezers on an uninterrupted supply, and other thinks on a supply which the supplier could switch off, this is already happening to an extent with EV charge points which the supplier can turn off when there is a problem with the supply.

    But clearly the consumer unit will need designing to use a duel supply, the one point isolator will need to have more that two poles, and in real terms the whole house will need to be wired to allow for the duel supply.

    So in real terms two high usage devices are likely to have DNO switching, the heating, and the EV charging, this will allow load shedding while extra generators are put on line.

    So in real terms the smart meter is useless, we know how much items use, it's written on them, there are exceptions like the washing machine, however I have tried using an energy monitor on the washing machine, and using the same cycle each time, the energy used to complete a wash varies, even more so with a washer/drier as the machine varies the water used, and cycle times depending on the weight of the load and humidity of drying air. So even if you know what has been used each wash, there is little you can do.

    I use energy meters on my smart chargers, so from my PC I can see when the charge is complete, also when brewing beer, if the heater has switched on every so often I know brew was cool enough, even used a combined monitor and wifi switch to turn on my air conditioning unit, I can see remotely if cooling has switched on, showing room was too warm, if only fan turns on then room cool enough.

    But all this needs individually measurement, one could I am sure fit a unit on the lights to see if any left on, but the big question is with LED lights is it worth it. Outside light uses 15 watt, I paid £8 for a device to switch it on at set times, and allow me to set those times on the phone, but a second light charged by sun light, with a PIR also lights route to back door, so in the main that light off the wifi switch is redundant. So we have less and less devices that we can leave on, and even if left on, does 15 watt matter.

    So grouping all power together, I can see no point in taking a reading, I have a clamp-on current transformer, and a remote meter to show total usage, total waste of time and batteries to run it, yes we see it jump up when the kettle is put on, but the kettle only boils a cup at a time, so knowing how much it uses can't save power.

    As there are today there is no real point in the smart meter, that clamp-on current transformer came from Scottish power, and was used to work out my bills, and the bills when corrected one a year were never more than £5 out, and no need for me to read meter, there is simply no need for a smart meter unless you have micro generation, the only thing the smart meter can do which the old meter did not is work out the direction the power is flowing. OK it has a built in isolator, which the supply companies say they will not use, the only advantage is if it could be used in the event of fire, or request from owner.

    So if while on holiday you see home using 3 kW and you realise there is a room heater or immersion heater left on, you could switch off power remotely, in fact it would be handy to be able to turn off immersion heater remotely, although it would also turn off freezer, so of limited use. But your not given access to the remote control isolator so it is of no benefit.
     
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  11. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Smart or dumb meters, you will be charged more if the supply costs more.
     
  12. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Exactly my point.

    As I said, if the supplier's costs rise, all that matters to them is that their total income from customers (hence the average charge per customer) rises by at least as much.

    As I said, if all the customers were on the same single-rate tariff, then they would all experience the same increase. If some/all customers were on more complicated tariffs, then the increases might vary between customers, but that's not because of 'smart' meters - exactly the same would be true with some people having E7/E10/whatever tariffs without having a 'smart' meter.

    'Smart' meters alone appear to be pretty useless, apart from avoiding the need/cost of meter readings. As I see it, they could only have a significant impact on electricity usage (amount and 'pattern') if/when 'smart appliances' which could be controlled by a 'smart meter' appeared and were widely deployed - but I don't see that happening during my lifetime!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  13. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    It seems to have been forgotten that the smart meter roll out is driven by Government orders and everyone is already paying higher than necessary electricity charges (a tax) to cover the cost - whether you have one or not, although obviously everyone will have one one day.

    The suppliers are supposed to meet targets for the number of installations and are paid for doing so - hence the coercion.

    It will not be the suppliers who decide on higher charges during increased demand (rather than lower charges during low demand) but the Government compensating the suppliers for having to reduce supply for the supposed sake of the planet.
     
  14. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    I can't speak for others, but I personally have certainly not forgotten that. I was merely responding to the suggestion that smart meters would result in costs rising for some/all customers if/when electricity (particularly at 'peak demand' times, whenever they come to be) costs increase due to increased demand. As I said, in terms of the average cost to customers, that is nonsense - if the whole cost of electricity increased, prices would rise to the same extent with or without 'smart' meters.
    I'm not so sure about that. As has been said, the current situation is primarily one of maintaining suppliers' profits - so their charges will simply reflect changes in what they are having to pay the generators (during various periods of the day).

    Particularly as EVs are phased in, and with the threat of gas being phased out, most people are probably not going to be able to do a lot to reduce 'peak demand time' electricity usage, other than by measures such as insulation etc. to reduce heating requirements - so it's not clear (at least to me) how charging a premium price for electricity at 'high demand' times will be able to have a lot of effect in reducing that 'high demand'.

    Perhaps one slight 'saving grace' is that demand over the 24 hours may 'even out' - as nocturnal EV charging (and maybe a resurgence of storage heaters if/when gas is phased out) increase demand during what traditionally were 'low demand' times of the day. If that happens, there will be no need/scope/point in having differential charges for different times of the day.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  15. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Many suppliers are offering a reduced tariff as an incentive for customers to accept a Smart Meter. Apart from that, I personally found knowing what I consumed initially quite useful and it certainly enabled me more easily to tackle my own consumption.

    I appreciate I could have checked my consumption by other means, but the SM's 30 minute log, made it especially easy.
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2021
  16. winston1

    winston1

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    You didn't need a smart meter for that.
     
  17. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    They are, but only in order to achieve the government 'targets' (failing to achieve which can be costly for them), not anything to do with their running costs or profits.
    As winston has said, you don't need a 'smart' meter for that.

    I have extensive consumption monitoring of my own, but do not have a 'smart' meter. In fact, what I have is actually 'smarter' than those meters, since it gives me the ability to monitor consumption of individual circuits, or groups of circuits.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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