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  • FIRST POST
    • dericS
    • By dericS 1st Aug 15, 2:51 PM
    • 21Posts
    • 4Thanks
    dericS
    Smart meters - what is the catch?
    • #1
    • 1st Aug 15, 2:51 PM
    Smart meters - what is the catch? 1st Aug 15 at 2:51 PM
    Hello

    I have received 3 letters from my energy provider recently urging me to install smart gas and electricity energy meters. I have done a bit of research on the pros and cons and actually think the idea is a rather good one. I like the notion of 'saving' by isolating the times when usage is heaviest and targeting ways of reducing consumption (or changing my habits to use energy at cheaper times).

    However - there are several concerning 'cons' to this which I wanted to get other views on - specifically, the notion that energy companies can save costs by being able to remotely read meters - not in itself a bad thing - but will these cost savings be passed on to the consumer? Additionally, I am disturbed by the prospect that energy companies could tailor our bills so that they could charge us more for heavy usage even when we are not using the energy at peak times.

    I'd be interested to hear what others think of smart meters, whether anybody has already installed them (and what savings have you made?!) and whether it really is a viable option to revert back to the existing meters if smart meters do not work for you?

    Thanks for your thoughts.
Page 10
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 14th Aug 17, 12:00 PM
    • 4,386 Posts
    • 2,582 Thanks
    Hengus
    The one thing that cyber experts agree on is that UK smart meters will eventually get hacked - 'not if but when' said one academic in January.

    Quote

    Before concluding I would like to revisit the issue of security. I first raised this back in 2012, highlighting the risk of connected products and the ability to hack Internet of Things devices. The design of smart meters in Britain means that if they are hacked, power could be turned off for large chunks of the country, causing massive damage to the grid. When I questioned the sense of this design in meetings at DECC I got the reply from utilities of “why would anyone ever do that”. In general, those of us who have been trying to improve the security of connected devices have the impression that we’re treated as scare mongers.

    Last month someone released the Mirai malware, which infected hundreds of thousands of routers and cameras, launching a denial of service attack which took down many major websites. It was the first indication that this could and will continue to happen. Recent experiments have shown that Mirai can infect an internet connected device within 98 seconds of it being turned on. This latest Impact Assessment talks about “streamlining security requirements” to make it more cost effective for small energy suppliers. There is still nothing to provide confidence that anyone is taking the threat to national infrastructure seriously. Unquote

    Nick Hunn - 28 Nov 16

    http://www.nickhunn.com/about/
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 15th Aug 17, 6:48 PM
    • 3,749 Posts
    • 4,624 Thanks
    zeupater
    The one thing that cyber experts agree on is that UK smart meters will eventually get hacked - 'not if but when' said one academic in January ...
    Originally posted by Hengus
    Hi

    To be fair, if someone or some country was serious about disrupting the UK power supply they would probably stand a better chance targetting the larger infrastructure nodes as opposed to individual smart-meters, and that could be done today ...

    Unless there's a major and fundamental comms layer security flaw which is inherent across considerable numbers of smart-meters in a particular area, then targetting the meters themselves would likely be more of an irritant to customers and their chosen suppliers than disruptive to the network ... much more worrying would be a successful intrusion into major centralised generating plant and/or major substations, however, anyone looking to seriously disrupt the network would be targetting both the NGCR and the DCC ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Michaelw
    • By Michaelw 22nd Aug 17, 5:03 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Michaelw
    I am disappointed with these meters.While the credits right everything else isnt.The daily readings are out on the display.Its telling me I'am using 9p a day electricity.The gas is out also.

    I've resorted to reading the meters and ignoring the display totally its all wrong.For the sake of simply inserting a card and key theres no benefit to these.Its flashing away on a wall and thats it.The top ups are working thats all thats keeping it there.

    After speaking to British Gas there appears to be a known problem with the smart meter displays not showing the correct information at least in prepayment mode.
    Last edited by Michaelw; 22-08-2017 at 11:41 PM. Reason: Update
    • Bluetobits
    • By Bluetobits 29th Sep 17, 3:36 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Bluetobits
    No one seems to have noticed this.
    I'm staying with my old dial meters for as long as I can.
    I'm a retired electrician and over the years I have had numerous calls from people who have said that their electricity bills have recently dramatically increased for no apparent reason. By looking back on previous bills, in the vast majority of cases it has been possible to trace this increase back to a meter change. It's impossible to prove after the old meter is removed and taken away, but based on my experience I suspect the following:
    Old meters are notoriously inaccurate and have an error in the readings they display. The older the style of the meter, the worse the error, and the error in any style will drift over time. On the surface, this would seem to be a very good reason to upgrade.

    BUT energy companies are not allowed to overcharge customers, meters are therefore set to read artificially low to allow for this error. The energy companies allow for this error when they set the price of their unit charge. Nevertheless, customers with old meters generally get a better deal than those with new meters because the inbuilt reading error is always in the customer's favour. 'Smart meters' are very accurate, so they are not set artificially low and read all of every unit used. We will never know if the allowance for meter inaccuracy in the unit charge is ever passed on to the customer, but assuming it is not, it would make a very significant increase in the energy company's profits for the life of each smart meter. It is therefore no surprise that they are keen to upgrade our meters.
    On the other hand, if they do pass on the savings to their customers, those that remain on the old meter would get even cheaper energy.

    It is possible to get a rough indication of meter accuracy using an appliance such as a radiant heater of known load in kW. Note that any CE marked appliance will be european standardised for 230 Volts. UK voltage is actually around 240V so remember to multiply the kW rating by 1.04 to get a better result, however it's unlikely that the appliance will be that accurate anyhow but it may give an indication.

    1) Use a calculator to determine 60 / kW X 1.04. This gives the test duration in minutes.
    Multiply just the figures after the decimal point by 60 to get seconds.
    e.g. For a 2.5kW appliance , 60 / 2.5 X 1.04 = 24.96. 0.96 x 60 =57.6 test time is 24m 57s
    2) Switch off or unplug everything around the house including fridges, boilers chargers etc.
    3 Check the meter wheel is not turning. if it is, something is still on.
    4) Note the meter reading. Include any red or decimal dials. Note that some dials may read backwards.
    5) Plug in and switch on the heater at full power with any thermostat at maximum and start timing
    6) When test duration has ended, switch off the heater, take a meter reading again
    7) Subtract the first reading from the second.
    8) The result should be exactly 1. If less than 1 the meter is under-reading and you are getting some free electricity. More than 1 and you may be being overcharged.
    9) Switch back on everything you unplugged. Check fridges.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 29th Sep 17, 4:19 PM
    • 515 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    House Martin
    I'm staying with my old dial meters for as long as I can.
    I'm a retired electrician and over the years I have had numerous calls from people who have said that their electricity bills have recently dramatically increased for no apparent reason. By looking back on previous bills, in the vast majority of cases it has been possible to trace this increase back to a meter change. It's impossible to prove after the old meter is removed and taken away, but based on my experience I suspect the following:
    Old meters are notoriously inaccurate and have an error in the readings they display. The older the style of the meter, the worse the error, and the error in any style will drift over time. On the surface, this would seem to be a very good reason to upgrade.

    BUT energy companies are not allowed to overcharge customers, meters are therefore set to read artificially low to allow for this error. The energy companies allow for this error when they set the price of their unit charge. Nevertheless, customers with old meters generally get a better deal than those with new meters because the inbuilt reading error is always in the customer's favour. 'Smart meters' are very accurate, so they are not set artificially low and read all of every unit used. We will never know if the allowance for meter inaccuracy in the unit charge is ever passed on to the customer, but assuming it is not, it would make a very significant increase in the energy company's profits for the life of each smart meter. It is therefore no surprise that they are keen to upgrade our meters.
    On the other hand, if they do pass on the savings to their customers, those that remain on the old meter would get even cheaper energy.

    It is possible to get a rough indication of meter accuracy using an appliance such as a radiant heater of known load in kW. Note that any CE marked appliance will be european standardised for 230 Volts. UK voltage is actually around 240V so remember to multiply the kW rating by 1.04 to get a better result, however it's unlikely that the appliance will be that accurate anyhow but it may give an indication.

    1) Use a calculator to determine 60 / kW X 1.04. This gives the test duration in minutes.
    Multiply just the figures after the decimal point by 60 to get seconds.
    e.g. For a 2.5kW appliance , 60 / 2.5 X 1.04 = 24.96. 0.96 x 60 =57.6 test time is 24m 57s
    2) Switch off or unplug everything around the house including fridges, boilers chargers etc.
    3 Check the meter wheel is not turning. if it is, something is still on.
    4) Note the meter reading. Include any red or decimal dials. Note that some dials may read backwards.
    5) Plug in and switch on the heater at full power with any thermostat at maximum and start timing
    6) When test duration has ended, switch off the heater, take a meter reading again
    7) Subtract the first reading from the second.
    8) The result should be exactly 1. If less than 1 the meter is under-reading and you are getting some free electricity. More than 1 and you may be being overcharged.
    9) Switch back on everything you unplugged. Check fridges.
    Originally posted by Bluetobits
    I have noticed it !, not only is your old dial meter possibly slightly recording on the low side but it will certainly run backwards if you have solar panels fitted.This is the biggest loss to suppliers by much more than fractions of a kwh.
    The rotating ring will start to spin backwards at a high speed on a hot day when occupiers are nt in, or at work deducting all last nights usage and presenting the occupiers with a virtually zero bill. This dishonesty by the occupiers has been allowed to continue because its few and far between when they will report this to the suppliers.
    Legally they should be reporting a faulty meter. It is in the T and C s of everyone to report asap any faulty meters and these blatant dishonest users should face back billing up to 6 years when they are finally caught.
    I ve just come from a property where the owner admitted to burning off many kwh s often to avoid the meter registering a negative reading from the last quarterly reading which he has been doing for years .I might add. Just one of many. collecting up to 50 p a unit at the same time from the FIT meter..a double whammy.
    Yet again I have reported this to both RPU at British Gas and OFGEM this week hoping to get all occupiers who have solar panels and one of these old analogue meters changed asap.They have all the serial numbers of the meters and can easily get them changed to digital meters ( not necessarily smart meters.
    Suppliers are just plain stupid !
    Last edited by House Martin; 29-09-2017 at 8:01 PM.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 30th Sep 17, 3:18 PM
    • 3,749 Posts
    • 4,624 Thanks
    zeupater
    I have noticed it !, not only is your old dial meter possibly slightly recording on the low side but it will certainly run backwards if you have solar panels fitted.This is the biggest loss to suppliers by much more than fractions of a kwh.
    The rotating ring will start to spin backwards at a high speed on a hot day when occupiers are nt in, or at work deducting all last nights usage and presenting the occupiers with a virtually zero bill. This dishonesty by the occupiers has been allowed to continue because its few and far between when they will report this to the suppliers.
    Legally they should be reporting a faulty meter. It is in the T and C s of everyone to report asap any faulty meters and these blatant dishonest users should face back billing up to 6 years when they are finally caught.
    I ve just come from a property where the owner admitted to burning off many kwh s often to avoid the meter registering a negative reading from the last quarterly reading which he has been doing for years .I might add. Just one of many. collecting up to 50 p a unit at the same time from the FIT meter..a double whammy.
    Yet again I have reported this to both RPU at British Gas and OFGEM this week hoping to get all occupiers who have solar panels and one of these old analogue meters changed asap.They have all the serial numbers of the meters and can easily get them changed to digital meters ( not necessarily smart meters.
    Suppliers are just plain stupid !
    Originally posted by House Martin
    Hi

    ... Although this may happen, it's relevant to mention that it doesn't apply to all, the majority of, or even a significant proportion of analogue meters due to having a ratchet mechanism to stop the meter running backwards.

    It's also quite useful to note that the high initial FiT rated raised applied when installed systems cost approx 4x more than current prices and that vast majority of people with solar panels had them installed after various rounds of FiT scheme reductions ... additionally, the vast majority of systems export considerably more than the deemed 50% for which they are being paid.

    It's relevant to note that meters which actually do run backwards aren't faulty, they're simply not fit for purpose where microgeneration is installed. If they were considered 'faulty' then the industry would be failing in their duty to safety inspect installations for faults on a pre-determined basis!

    As you rightly note, the make, model & serial numbers of meters are known to the industry & the capabilities of all installed meters was verified by DECC, manufacturers & the energy industry before the FiT scheme was released in 2010, so there's been plenty of time for the industry to react.

    On these boards there have been a number of queries related to reversing analogue meters, the majority of which actually had a ratchet on the meter (as denoted by a symbol printed on the meter), but occasionally there have been meters which actually run backwards ... In these cases system owners have been informed that it's almost certain that they've seen/signed that in cases of the meter reversing they'd have a duty to inform their supplier and that the supplier would have a right to recover lost income ... although in many (/most?) cases it seems that they've been content to simply change the meter because of the complexities & cost involved in estimating net consumption & arguing responsibilities ...

    Regarding back billing 6 years ... are you sure that the industry is legally allowed to back bill ? ... Effectively, as already mentioned, the industry already know the type of meter installed, therefore in allowing the meter to reverse they are at fault, so are limited to recover only up to 12 months of lost revenue ... however, in a number of cases raised on these boards, consumers have informed their suppliers of reversing meters and they've not replaced the meter .. in these cases they (the supplier) failed Ofgem's requirement 'to do anything about a query or fault you have raised regarding your account or meter' and therefore forfeit all or part of the 'up to 12 months' lost revenue which Ofgem allow ...

    Yes, there may be dishonesty involved with some non-disclosure, but considering that it would almost certainly impact on system certification and access to FiT payments (whatever they may be) it's probably at a level which is far less significant than portrayed.

    I have a solar PV system with an analogue meter. The meter has a non-reverse mechanism as denoted by the ratchet symbol on the front face and it does not run backwards ... if it did then I would hope that the industry would have noticed over 20MWh of reversal by now!

    HTH
    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 30-09-2017 at 3:22 PM. Reason: +(the supplier)
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 1st Oct 17, 8:59 PM
    • 515 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    House Martin
    Hi

    ... Although this may happen, it's relevant to mention that it doesn't apply to all, the majority of, or even a significant proportion of analogue meters due to having a ratchet mechanism to stop the meter running backwards.

    It's also quite useful to note that the high initial FiT rated raised applied when installed systems cost approx 4x more than current prices and that vast majority of people with solar panels had them installed after various rounds of FiT scheme reductions ... additionally, the vast majority of systems export considerably more than the deemed 50% for which they are being paid.

    It's relevant to note that meters which actually do run backwards aren't faulty, they're simply not fit for purpose where microgeneration is installed. If they were considered 'faulty' then the industry would be failing in their duty to safety inspect installations for faults on a pre-determined basis!

    As you rightly note, the make, model & serial numbers of meters are known to the industry & the capabilities of all installed meters was verified by DECC, manufacturers & the energy industry before the FiT scheme was released in 2010, so there's been plenty of time for the industry to react.

    On these boards there have been a number of queries related to reversing analogue meters, the majority of which actually had a ratchet on the meter (as denoted by a symbol printed on the meter), but occasionally there have been meters which actually run backwards ... In these cases system owners have been informed that it's almost certain that they've seen/signed that in cases of the meter reversing they'd have a duty to inform their supplier and that the supplier would have a right to recover lost income ... although in many (/most?) cases it seems that they've been content to simply change the meter because of the complexities & cost involved in estimating net consumption & arguing responsibilities ...

    Regarding back billing 6 years ... are you sure that the industry is legally allowed to back bill ? ... Effectively, as already mentioned, the industry already know the type of meter installed, therefore in allowing the meter to reverse they are at fault, so are limited to recover only up to 12 months of lost revenue ... however, in a number of cases raised on these boards, consumers have informed their suppliers of reversing meters and they've not replaced the meter .. in these cases they (the supplier) failed Ofgem's requirement 'to do anything about a query or fault you have raised regarding your account or meter' and therefore forfeit all or part of the 'up to 12 months' lost revenue which Ofgem allow ...

    Yes, there may be dishonesty involved with some non-disclosure, but considering that it would almost certainly impact on system certification and access to FiT payments (whatever they may be) it's probably at a level which is far less significant than portrayed.

    I have a solar PV system with an analogue meter. The meter has a non-reverse mechanism as denoted by the ratchet symbol on the front face and it does not run backwards ... if it did then I would hope that the industry would have noticed over 20MWh of reversal by now!

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    No "may happen " its a cast iron certainty it happens, in large numbers too.
    Which magazine did a survey of 1300 solar panel users and 25% admitted up front that their meters reversed. Which magazine also estimated that the true figure was much much higher to take into account the liars..
    I have much more experience than you as a an electrician with a limited knowledge of the subject.As a meter reader for almost 20 years with BG, Scot Power, EDF and many other smaller suppliers, I have seen umpteen thousands of these old Sangamo Weston meters, probably the commonest old analogue meter, both dial and mechanical models and everyone will reverse.
    Everyone nearly is on the internet nowadays to google "my electric meter go s backwards " and there is no excuse for bare faced thievery when occupants know whats going off and do naff all about it, pleading ignorance of course, as you would. Its something for nothing so they go for it most of the time, with maybe one in ten coming clean and informing their supplier.
    The solar panel fitters are supposed to inform the householder that their meters are not fit for purpose. Maybe in the early days they were too thick to know about it , but not in the last 8 years . They do inform the customer, the customer ignores it of course and does not pick up the phone to the supplier.
    I have met and seen too many dodgy occupiers and listened to their pleas of ignorance when I ve informed them that their meters are faulty.The usual reply is "its nothing to do with me , its their meter"..
    That is why the deliberately burn off excess electricity units in the middle of summer to avoid the meter register going negative from the last reading.. Bent solar panel users are all over the place and have been for many years.
    Like I say, the suppliers are just plain stupid.
    Last edited by House Martin; 01-10-2017 at 9:03 PM.
    • Phil&Michelle
    • By Phil&Michelle 1st Oct 17, 10:29 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    Phil&Michelle
    The whole smart meters thing is all a bit daft. Problem is all the energy companies are using different meters and different software so if you switch supplier the meter smart might now work.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 2nd Oct 17, 12:12 AM
    • 3,749 Posts
    • 4,624 Thanks
    zeupater
    No "may happen " its a cast iron certainty it happens, in large numbers too.
    Which magazine did a survey of 1300 solar panel users and 25% admitted up front that their meters reversed. Which magazine also estimated that the true figure was much much higher to take into account the liars..
    I have much more experience than you as a an electrician with a limited knowledge of the subject.As a meter reader for almost 20 years with BG, Scot Power, EDF and many other smaller suppliers, I have seen umpteen thousands of these old Sangamo Weston meters, probably the commonest old analogue meter, both dial and mechanical models and everyone will reverse.
    Everyone nearly is on the internet nowadays to google "my electric meter go s backwards " and there is no excuse for bare faced thievery when occupants know whats going off and do naff all about it, pleading ignorance of course, as you would. Its something for nothing so they go for it most of the time, with maybe one in ten coming clean and informing their supplier.
    The solar panel fitters are supposed to inform the householder that their meters are not fit for purpose. Maybe in the early days they were too thick to know about it , but not in the last 8 years . They do inform the customer, the customer ignores it of course and does not pick up the phone to the supplier.
    I have met and seen too many dodgy occupiers and listened to their pleas of ignorance when I ve informed them that their meters are faulty.The usual reply is "its nothing to do with me , its their meter"..
    That is why the deliberately burn off excess electricity units in the middle of summer to avoid the meter register going negative from the last reading.. Bent solar panel users are all over the place and have been for many years.
    Like I say, the suppliers are just plain stupid.
    Originally posted by House Martin
    Hi

    Okay, lets put qualifications on that ... the sample survey of 1300 installations was over 4 years ago, of the 25% who believed their meters ran backwards, 80% had already had their meters changed or were awaiting a change on a FOC basis, with 'a few' more having been charged for the change ... leaving about 60 (or 4%-5%) outstanding ...

    The article itself makes little timeline sense either ... the survey was 2013, however 700k installations are mentioned, which wasn't achieved until almost 3 years later ....

    The possibility of reversing meters was flagged to the industry in 2004 ...
    3, Meter Operators should publish advice on which types of meters may run backwards, and how many are installed.Reason: This will help suppliers and micro-generator installers to identify meters that are unsuitable if export may occur.
    Microgeneration Preparation Report 19/05/2004

    And all existing meters were flagged as suitable or not by the industry & manufacturers through a consultation/questionnaire leading to Regulatory Delivery and Ofgem issuing ....
    Appropriate meter

    It is also a requirement of the Electricity Act 1989 that customers of electricity suppliers who are charged by reference to the quantity of electricity supplied to them must have their supply provided through an appropriate meter.


    RD does not consider meters affected by onsite generation to be appropriate, as required by the Electricity Act 1989, because of the negative impact on consumer billing and electricity settlement. Those meters that are deemed inappropriate for the purposes of the Electricity Act 1989 should be exchanged. If the supplier is aware the meter is inappropriate and does not take steps to change the meter it will not be meeting the obligations it has under the Electricity Act 1989. A list of meters with known issues has been produced by the Association of Meter Operators (AMO). This list can be found on its Stakeholder Information page under the heading ‘Reverse Running Meters’. (Please note the caveats as to the accuracy of this information.)
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/electricity-meters-feed-in-tariff-fit-scheme#approved-meters

    So we effectively have a report which may be inaccurate due to both elapsed time and technical abilities of those questioned. I've seen plenty of examples of people thinking their meters reverse, only to find that they only do until the backstop is reached ... Add to this the potential of a little journalistic sensationalism brought about by mixing data from different periods in order to paint a picture and we start to see a theme ...

    So, on the industry side .... your position as "a meter reader for almost 20 years with BG, Scot Power, EDF and many other smaller suppliers, I have seen umpteen thousands of these old Sangamo Weston meters, probably the commonest old analogue meter, both dial and mechanical models and everyone will reverse." simply suggests that the companies named in knowing that there is an issue have been & continue to be neglecting their obligations as defined by the appropriate legislation which covers this very situation 'because of the negative impact on consumer billing and electricity' ... I would hope that appropriate formal feedback loops have been & continue to be available to meter readers to raise the profile of meters capable of reversing within their respective organisation and that those organisations have taken their obligations seriously considering that microgeneration schemes have been running since 2010 ....

    Maybe if there is such a substantial issue, Ofgem should take the appropriate action that their regulatory powers enable them to ... which of course includes the withdrawal of supply license where serious failings have occurred.

    Regarding the remark ... " the suppliers are just plain stupid" - I'd tend to agree considering what we've been discussing. However, the subject of this thread is 'Smart-Meters', a piece of kit where the industry believes that it's the consumer who is 'plain stupid' and is taking all measures possible to charge an extortionate £500/household for a meter which could & should be supplied within existing obligations, timescales & costs without impacting customer bills in any way ....

    HTH
    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 02-10-2017 at 12:17 AM.
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 2nd Oct 17, 8:44 AM
    • 515 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    House Martin
    The current Tory government, or one of its Ministers, has deemed it suitable for the citizens of the UK to refuse a smart meter if they fancy.
    So that follows that all these dodgy solar power and old analogue meter users will want to keep the status quo for as long as possible and of course they will refuse a smart meter and make it very hard for their meters to be updated.
    A typical conversation took place the other week with one happy customer with a reversing meter ( thief ), who made it clear that not only would he refuse a smart meter he was nt going to open the door to any meter fitters who come to change the meter to a digital meter which will not reverse.
    When this sort of thing happens the suppliers will use the meter fitter to attempt a visit and just file it and come back in three months for another try , and another, and another etc and the years will tick by because no supplier will deem it appropriate to take out a warrant of entry merely to update a meter. No Magistrate would sign this warrant.
    Suppliers like Scottish Power and EDF are loath to spend money on warrants (at least £250 with a locksmith costs ) on straight bypassing and tampering of meters so a backward spinning meter will just be forgotten.This is how the "easy touch " UK operates.
    Suppliers are lax and stupid, and so is the Tory minister who bowed to the public and thereby inferred " If you don t want a smart meter and want to keep tampering your electric and gas and retain your reversing meter thats fine by me ".
    Last edited by House Martin; 04-10-2017 at 1:31 PM.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 2nd Oct 17, 10:07 AM
    • 812 Posts
    • 792 Thanks
    badmemory
    I still don't see the point in forcing someone to have a smart meter, which the muggins general public are paying for (ie me), when all that person has to do is change supplier. A complete waste of everybodies time and MY money. Of course it does keep a lot of meter fitters off the dole!
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 3rd Oct 17, 12:27 AM
    • 3,749 Posts
    • 4,624 Thanks
    zeupater
    The current Tory government, or one of its Ministers, has deemed it suitable for the citizens of the UK to refuse a smart meter if they fancy.
    So that follows that all these dodgy solar power and old analogue meter users will want to keep the status quo for as long as possible and of course they will refuse a smart meter and make it very hard for their meters to be updated.
    A typical conversation took place the other week with one happy customer with a reversing meter ( thief ), who made it clear that not only would he refuse a smart meter he was nt going to open the door to any meter fitters who come to change the meter to a digital meter which will not reverse.
    When this sort of thing happens the suppliers will use the meter fitter to attempt a visit and just file it and come back in three months for another try , and another, and another etc and the years will tick by because no supplier will deem it appropriate to take out a warrant of entry merely to update a meter. No Magistrate would sign this warrant.
    Suppliers like Scottish Power and EDF are loath to spend money on warrants (at least £250 with a locksmith costs ) on straight bypassing and tampering of meters so a backward spinning meter will just be forgotten.This is how the "easy touch " UK operates.
    Suppliers are lax and stupid, and so is the Tory minister who bowed to the public and said "if you don t want a smart meter and want to keep tampering your electric and gas and retain your reversing meter thats fine by me.
    Originally posted by House Martin
    Hi

    If the meter reverses then it has been deemed as unsuitable for connection to the grid by Ofgem (see earlier reference) & in allowing the continuance of connection the supplier is in breach of it's operating requirements. Upon discovering a new meter type which breaches requirements, the industry should have this added to the list of unapproved meters (see previous reference).

    In a case of occupier refusal to have a non-compliant meter replaced, the supplier would be obliged, if for nothing other than safety/conformance reasons, to disconnect the supply to that meter by any means and then, if necessary, recover the cost through court action later.

    Over 13 years have passed since the industry was made aware of the issue & 7 years have passed since the first microgeneration systems were installed under the FiT scheme, therefore regulatory obligations dictate that the oldest systems should have been inspected by the industry at least 3 times over that period & each time the industry had the obligation to replace the meters which they knew would reverse or were reversing .....

    As such this has absolutely no relation to the question of smart-metering ... the industry is and has always been obliged to replace meters which do not conform and have failed in that obligation. The only logical explanation for this course of action (or lack of) would be that a decision has been made to save the cost of replacing a reversing analogue meter with an analogue or digital meter which doesn't reverse (for which the supplier is already charging within the bill and is responsible for the cost) in anticipation of installing a smart-meter which will boost their revenue by a project allowable additional charge of around £500 over time ... that's effectively almost £500 of pure additional profit to distribute to the shareholder base ...

    Oh, by the way ... the legislation to enable FiT microgeneration within the UK was drawn-up and consultation concluded prior to the 2010 general election which saw the change of UK government from Labour to a Conservative/Liberal coalition ... if there is a political point to be scored, then as it looks like everyone has had their fingers in this crock-pot, all political parties need to receive an equal level of abuse ..

    Now then, there are a number of reasons why people don't want smart-meters - mine is based on the technology not offering the information that I need and what would be classified as being 'smart' ... import, export, generation, diversion, net, accessibility, EMS, etc ... and, of course, being charged £12bn to £15bn extra for a project which the industry is obliged by license and charges for within the current tariffs anyway ... as such I believe the project borders on being an official scam ... then again there's the loss of tariff transparency which HHM registers and HHB/TOU tariffs creates ... how on earth can I look at a competitive offer and calculate how that would likely apply in my household with it's unique usage pattern without trawling through shedloads of data or trusting the 'industry' to guess the results for me ? ...

    As stated, my meter doesn't reverse & I actually doubt that a significant percentage do either ... even if they did, the likelihood of the industry publishing data on how many would be affected would be pretty low considering that it would be admitting that they had been failing in their obligations in open view of the regulator ....

    If there is an issue, it's one of greed and of the industry's own making ... If I was running Ofgem I'd certainly have recovered at least a couple of years of departmental running costs through issuing fines for failing to meet stipulated obligations.

    HTH
    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 03-10-2017 at 12:40 AM.
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 3rd Oct 17, 12:12 PM
    • 4,386 Posts
    • 2,582 Thanks
    Hengus
    From the 2003 Ofgem consultation:

    1. What impact does reverse energy flow have on the meter’s register (e.g. if the meter is mechanical in nature, does it have a back stop device to prevent the register decrementing)?
    Manufacturer

    Notes

    Elster
    Depends on the meter – all electromechanical meters are fitted with a backstop device. All electronic meters can be configured to deal with reverse energy flow. One in particular can be configured in an “Import/Export mode”.
    All meters can be configured to an “Imp/Rev flagging mode” – in this configuration the meter stores reverse energy flow in a separate (non-TOU) register. The main import register does not decrement in this mode.
    All meters can be configured to “Power flow insensitive” mode. In this configuration the import register will increment irrespective of the direction of power flow. Reverse energy flow is also stored in a separate (non-Time Of Use) register.

    PRI1
    Reverse energy flow does not cause the import register to decrement.

    ISKRA
    There is no impact on the register under reverse flow conditions

    KAMSTRUP
    No currently certified single phase meters – one is pending pattern approval, but this meter will be subject to reverse energy flow testing.

    Horstmann
    Forward energy registers do not decrement if reverse energy is passed through the meter (for all Horstmann models).

    Actaris
    There is no impact on any of Actaris’ certified meters’ registers under reverse energy conditions.

    Landis + Gyr
    Ferraris meters:
    Most Ferraris meters registers will decrement under reverse energy conditions. However, many meters can be fitted with a “Reverse-running Stop Option”. For those meters with this option, or those with built in back stop’s there is some form of indication on the face plate (see response to Q2).
    Static meters:
    Reverse energy flow has no impact on import registers. However, some meters have a reverse energy register, which can be read with customised hardware.

    Ampy
    Reverse energy will not affect the operation of the import register. The register will stop at the point that forward energy is no longer being consumed.

    I have PVSolar and an ISKRA meter which doesn't run backwards when energy is being generated.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 3rd Oct 17, 9:37 PM
    • 3,749 Posts
    • 4,624 Thanks
    zeupater
    From the 2003 Ofgem consultation: ...

    ....ISKRA
    There is no impact on the register under reverse flow conditions ...

    ...I have PVSolar and an ISKRA meter which doesn't run backwards when energy is being generated.
    Originally posted by Hengus
    Hi

    Same make as ours then ... (model E89E2) ... to the right of the wording "1 Phase 2 Wire" the first symbol (above '20-80A') represents that a ratchet based non-reversing mechanism is installed !

    Note: I've just checked a random supplier on-line & they're £11.99/unit in non-volume sales .... so where does a £12-£15billion smart-meter replacement budget cost come from ? ... I suppose that's technically possible if each meter took around 3 man-days to install ... but the thing is - they don't !!

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 4th Oct 17, 12:04 AM
    • 2,478 Posts
    • 4,116 Thanks
    EachPenny
    ...Suppliers are lax and stupid, and so is the Tory minister who bowed to the public and said "if you don t want a smart meter and want to keep tampering your electric and gas and retain your reversing meter thats fine by me.
    Originally posted by House Martin
    You've quoted this unnamed Tory Minister - any chance of providing the name of the Minister and the date on which the statement was made (unless you can provide a link to it of course).

    Seems a bit unlikely that any Minister (regardless of party) would condone or authorise meter tampering... but if one has then I guess all us non-Smart meter customers can lawfully start tampering to our heart's content.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 4th Oct 17, 8:55 AM
    • 515 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    House Martin
    Hi

    Same make as ours then ... (model E89E2) ... to the right of the wording "1 Phase 2 Wire" the first symbol (above '20-80A') represents that a ratchet based non-reversing mechanism is installed !

    Note: I've just checked a random supplier on-line & they're £11.99/unit in non-volume sales .... so where does a £12-£15billion smart-meter replacement budget cost come from ? ... I suppose that's technically possible if each meter took around 3 man-days to install ... but the thing is - they don't !!

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    You have one of the nasty cheap Slovakian rubbish old electromagnetic meters that are floating around the UK in small numbers. They came a lot later than analogue only electric meters and do have a backstop.
    Iskra had the cheek and stupidity to sell their digital electric meters for residential use with SEVEN dials.6 main dials with one for tenths leading to absolute mayhem in billing when meter readers translated the numbers on the meter to fit the five dials needed for all residential users.
    We had bills sent out of huge amounts (auto billing mess up again ) which made the local and national press.
    Like I said, the suppliers are just plain stupid.They have taken out a sensible human in the billing process to save money and have forgot to sensibly program their damn computer.
    Google "Sangamo Weston " which are extremely common around all of the UK even now.I have one in my outside box now and three of my close meter reading mates also have these meters .Every one will run backwards if given a chance providing the lucky occupier with a real money pot on top of his (usually free rent a roof installs ) solar panel eyesores.
    Sangamo Weston are a British company and their clockwork dial meters are made like a Swiss watch.Brilliant meters actually unlike the Slovakian tat from Iskra... Sangamo Weston meters are super common throughout the whole of the UK..See one reversing at a fast rate on Youtube if you google "Sangamo Weston running backwards "
    These Sangamo Westons also have another party trick which is also very common.They will stick and stop completely when a "blank " black digit drops down from somewhere on the 5 th digit (single kwh dial ), usually when two 9s are on the 3 rd and 4 th digits.
    I once found three stopped Sangamo Westons on one street alone. A sharp thump to the side will dislodge the sticking meter and restart it, much to the dislike of the happy occupiers who have been heating the house with heavy using electric fires over the winter months free of charge.
    Meter readers with no savvy will simply record the blank digit reading of a stuck Sangamo as a zero and the auto billing systems will bill a zero usage of electricity for years , even though they have a dual fuel account with normal gas usage with central heating.
    Suppliers are stupid .
    Smart Landis and Gyr electric meters cost over £100 each at least, similar price for the smart gas meters.
    The £11 billion is mostly taken up by unbelievably inefficient fitting teams and their infrastructure sauntering around the UK at a snails pace doing 1or 2 meters a day on a bad day..3 or 4 on a good day.No hurry for them, no bonus, may as well drag out the job because they will be on the dole when roll out complete in 2035 or later.
    Zeupater I think you are just envious of all the hundreds of thousands of happy users of Sangamo Westons and other popular analogue meters and their rent a roof solar panels, happily watching last nights electric use reverse backwards and give them a virtually zero electric bill over the full year.
    Last edited by House Martin; 05-10-2017 at 8:57 AM.
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