Smart meters.

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by winston1, 22 Jan 2014.

  1. winston1

    winston1

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    My supplier First Utility has offered me a free smart meter (note meter, not meters, so don't know if it is gas or electricity) if I sign a new fixed rate deal till Jan 16. They claim I will never need to submit a reading again.

    Obviously the free of charge bit is misleading, meters are always free. Also as it is only one meter I will presumably still have to submit readings for the other.

    Been reading up on smart meters and it seem the only other benefit for the consumer is an energy monitor (presumably this will be accurate unlike the one using a clip on current transformer). Of course I can monitor my energy anyway by looking at my anyway.

    Anyone got any other thoughts on the pros and cons of having a smart meter.
     
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  3. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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  4. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    That is particularly amusing given the name of the key character in 1984! ;)

    I thought this quote from 1984 was especially appropriate:
    Winston does not understand the ultimate motive behind the Party’s control and falsification of records.
     
  5. ricicle

    ricicle

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    All good as far as I am concerned. You don't have to read your meter, the energy company don't have to send someone round either. Also energy usage can be monitored to enable theft to be able to be suspected (if appropriate).
    And I'm not sure if smart meters have a big enough relay or solid state device for them to be able to switch the supply on and off !!
    As with all modern technology, if you're a law abiding citizen you have nothing to worry about !
     
  6. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    That is always the get out excuse.

    On the other hand, if you are a law abiding citizen (bear in mind we are 'subjects', not citizens) then there is no reason to monitor you.

    However, because they can they will and I don't trust them because they, generally, are not as law abiding .
     
  7. cozycats

    cozycats

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    Google "smart meters" california..
    I read somewhere it is cheaper to run a diesel genny for the air-con than buying from the grid at peak times :eek:
     
  8. plugwash

    plugwash

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    IIRC smart meters do have the ability to do a remote disconnect. There are SUPPOSED to be legal protections to make sure that all reasonable steps are taken to contact the householder before resorting to disconnection.

    There is also the whole issue of time of use pricing that cozy alludes to.
     
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  10. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    True - but that, in itself, does not necessarily require remote metering (although remote metering undoubtedly makes it easier to implement).

    Kind Regards, John
     
  11. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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  12. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Is that directed at me? If so, I was not commenting on the presence or absence of a 'conspiracy'!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  13. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    No, just a general post.
     
  14. Monkeh

    Monkeh

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  15. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    Well I'll be resisting the installation of smart meters on any of my properties as long and hard as I can.

    Remember that there is no benefit for the user - regardless of how much spin they put on it.

    Reading the meter and submitting the readings online every few months isn't normally a big deal. So remote reading isn't really any benefit.

    The downsides are :
    They collect and store your consumption (48 half hourly time slots per day) for some time period I don't think has been specified. All this is stored in a big database that we are expected to believe will be 100% secure, and we are also expected to believe won't suddenly be made available to commercial outfits (ie people who want better ways to sell stuff to us) once we've got used to it being collected and stored. Note that there is absolutely no technical reason why this information needs to be collected or stored.

    The primary reason for installing them is to allow "demand side load management". In short, when the windmills stop and demand is high, electricity is price rationed - ie hike the price and people without money to burn will cut back on consumption.
    If this price rationing fails, then they all have remote disconnect built in as standard - and they can turn people off remotely to reduce demand. Of course, this too will be 100% secure (ie won't be hacked for mischief or malice) and no supplier will ever make a mistake and turn someone off without proper cause :rolleyes:

    If you think tariffs are complicated now, just wait. They can do tariffs with 48 time of day rates - ie a different rate for every 1/2 hour - if they decide. They can also do various day of week/day of month tariffs in combination with this. And then there's the over-rides where they can just change the rate for the next half hour - just put the roast in the oven, tough it's now going to cost you 10 times the lecky cost.

    The accurate consumption readout is possibly a bonus - but you can get then with add on monitors, just not the rubbish ones (eg Owl) with no voltage reference.
     
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