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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #1  
Old 23rd November 2018
Dewi9 Dewi9 is offline
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Smart Meters

I have no idea if there has been a thread on this topic before, if so then I apolgise.

Like many of our members I am being pestered to have a smart meter installed on the grounds that it will save me money.

My question, unanswered by my utility company so far, is 'What is in it for me ?'. I know the company will gain by not having to employ meter readers and thus add to their bottom line so what will I get out of it ?

An article in the Sunday Mail, Sept 2017 ( https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/...ehold-420.html ) suggests every household will fork out £420 towards the total cost (£billions) of the project.

In return each household will save around £23 off their annual bill, £13 of which would be the cost of meter readings over the year. Not a lot really then.

Other (scary) articles on the www seem to show a remote 'master switch' built into the electric meter which can shut off your power if you have not paid your bill. I do not know the truth of this.

The meters themselves appear to show gas / electric useage as it happens, well maybe updated every few seconds, the idea being that we will turn off things to save ourselves money. But who does not do that already ?

Ridiculous figures are given for savings - the latest I saw was an £80 savings per annum by turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.

The only item I have on standby is my TV, which consumes 0.5W or about 4.3kWH per annum, costing (about) 50p at 12p per kWH. Far short of the £80 I should be saving.

I read somewhere that electricity had a variable pricing over the day, which changed by the minute. IF my smart meter applied those pricings to my bill and showed me the costs by the minute then I could maybe be persuaded to get one installed.

Currently I am not convinced. What does anyone else think ?

David
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  #2  
Old 24th November 2018
TimP TimP is offline
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Re: Smart Meters

The meters in themselves won’t save you a penny. You will have to be proactive and see what’s costing you the most and adjust accordingly. They are all about saving the utility companies money by not having to employ meter readers and at some point it’s planned to introduce ‘time of use’ charging whereby it will adjust rates so that at peak times you could be charged a premium on the normal rates. If you want to save money then the only way to do this is to use less of the things that really eat up the juice, i.e. mainly anything that heats anything up. I already take regular meter readings ( and enter them into an app called ‘Meters’ on my iPad - brilliant BTW) and have got historical data from 6+ years. Yes, things like chargers and stuff on standby plus fridges and freezers will have a cost but frankly it pales into insignificance compared to leaving the tumble drier on for an hour too long. I don’t think an in home display (IHD) will make any difference as people soon forget its even there. If you care about reducing your electricity usage then you will already be reading your meters and understanding what uses the higher amounts of elec.
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  #3  
Old 24th November 2018
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Re: Smart Meters

I would hold off for the time being. Smart meters don't always work as I found to my cost when I had them fitted.

The main contact for the system is through a mobile network and, as far as I know the gas speaks to the electric to send readings. Distance and objects like thick walls etc., cause problems with the systems internal comms. Three visits from Amey didn't cure the issue. In fact the replacement meter couldn't even find a signal?

Speaking to various call centres just exacerbated the escalating issue(s). I ended up having 17 bills in two months in which readings overlapped and jumped back and forwards. and bills being backdated three months prior to the meters being fitted with differing opening / closing balance - credits becoming debits etc., on bills received prior to the meter fitting?? A total nightmare which going through the Ombudsman, just made matters worse. Apparently, my - 17 bills - were correct and totally unambiguous?

If they get fitted, you won't be able to revert back and, in essence, you have to continue to provide meter readings. Even the Mark 2 meters are having problems so, as I said, hold off for the time being. Put in a dual fuel monthly reading and job sorted.

Bottom line, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Just found this... a conspiracy theory? https://www.emfanalysis.com/smart-meter-health-effects/
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Old 24th November 2018
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Smart Meters

This is a bullshit project.

Our meter is 7 feet off the floor. To read it we would have to stand on a stool and to induce us (in our 70s) to do that would constitute a serious lack of customer care by the provider.

Harold
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Old 24th November 2018
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Re: Smart Meters

I'm an analogue person, can't be doing with all this digital stuff. I prefer analogue banks and building societies, etc, so analogue elec and gas meters will stay for as long as I can hold out.
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Old 24th November 2018
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Re: Smart Meters

I spent (a horrible) 18 months working on the SMETS2 project (network side). It was obvious to all of us that the roll-out would be way over budget, late and the savings that were being put about were over optimistic. To answer David's question about remote disconnection the answer is yes they can (be it an individual property or a whole area). I saw that particular piece of functionality being tested in a Faraday cage.

I've not got them fitted and don't want them. I did have to cancel an appointment to get them fitted as our supplier told my wife we had to get them fitted (which was a straight lie).
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Old 24th November 2018
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Re: Smart Meters

Waste of time in my opinion. British Gas wanted to install one here a few years ago but once they discovered there's no Vodafone signal here they abandoned the idea. Two energy companies later I have received no further requests to install one. I too shall resist as long as possible. I've no objection in principle to digital - my existing electricity meter has a digital readout and I submit readings to my energy company on line. My water meter is read remotely but has no "smart" features. I don't believe a smart meter would save me any money, I'm well aware of which appliances use significant amounts of power.
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Old 24th November 2018
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Smart Meters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
I'm an analogue person, can't be doing with all this digital stuff. I prefer analogue banks and building societies, etc, so analogue elec and gas meters will stay for as long as I can hold out.
Quite right, as the digital reading would be two seconds out of date reducing the savings we could make by turning appliances off.

Harold
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Old 24th November 2018
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Re: Smart Meters

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Originally Posted by skids View Post
I spent (a horrible) 18 months working on the SMETS2 project (network side). It was obvious to all of us that the roll-out would be way over budget, late and the savings that were being put about were over optimistic. To answer David's question about remote disconnection the answer is yes they can (be it an individual property or a whole area). I saw that particular piece of functionality being tested in a Faraday cage.
So presumably they have 100A contactors (or electronic equivalent) built into the small package then?
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Old 24th November 2018
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Re: Smart Meters

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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
Waste of time in my opinion.........I don't believe a smart meter would save me any money, I'm well aware of which appliances use significant amounts of power.
And a waste of huge amounts of money, it makes one wonder if someone pushing this has a vested interest in getting it out there.

The device in itself canít save a penny, you have to be proactive and do something to save any money and if you care enough you will probably be doing it already.
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  #11  
Old 24th November 2018
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Bikie John Bikie John is online now
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Re: Smart Meters

I asked a friend who until very recently worked in the biz (installing, reading and maintaining electricity meters). He said steer well clear of them for the moment - they don't work, mainly because the infrastructure is not yet in place. There is a standard script for the installers to feign surprise when they can't get a signal. It might be OK if they could just install the meters and then they start working when the rest of the system is ready, but it is not so simple. Apparently they are still installing first-generation meters which lose all their "smart" capabilities when you switch suppliers, so you would still need a new one.

All in all it looks like a monumental cock-up, and because of its scale it's not going to be resolved any time soon.

John
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Old 24th November 2018
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Re: Smart Meters

I have some friends who have one, and it has a fancy illuminated LCD display which itself (along with the rest of the electronics) consumes power and it's a fair bet that that power is downstream of the actual metering bit so gets added to the victim's bill .
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Old 24th November 2018
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Re: Smart Meters

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimP View Post
So presumably they have 100A contactors (or electronic equivalent) built into the small package then?
I don't know the mechanics of the meters themselves, all I remember is there was a mandatory requirement that all types of meters had to support 'Disable Supply'. All the requirements and test documentation are up on the Smart DCC website so quite why they try not to let this ability be widely known I don't understand.
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Old 24th November 2018
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Re: Smart Meters

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimP View Post
So presumably they have 100A contactors (or electronic equivalent) built into the small package then?
Solid state relays have been available for ages, viz

https://uk.farnell.com/crydom/841371...-in/dp/1936403
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Old 24th November 2018
Internaut Internaut is offline
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Re: Smart Meters

They are utterly rubbish. We have two, and one has never successfully established a connection to the mobile network. Forget connecting to household WiFi; the design of the things is over a decade old, and they’ve been put in for the usual reason: so the gas and leccy suppliers can sack a few people and deliver more shareholder value.
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