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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 7
    • FOREVER21
    • By FOREVER21 17th Mar 17, 10:11 PM
    • 1,570 Posts
    • 979 Thanks
    FOREVER21
    Wait, wait and wait. BG are still rolling out SMETS1 meters which are supplier dependent. If you are keen on getting a smart meter then, from 2018 onwards, all smart meters will be SMETS2 compliant which will allow supplier switching.
    Originally posted by Hengus
    I don't think from the tone of their post MarjT, is keen on getting a smart meter.

    MarjT, I am in the similar position to you, keep getting asked if I want a smart meter. I don't, I too know how much electricity/gas is used by various appliances and submit regular meter readings and never get estimated bills.

    Do as I do just keep refusing, it is not compulsory to have smart meters.
    • MarjT
    • By MarjT 18th Mar 17, 8:13 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MarjT
    Thank you for the replies, I will wait until I they are compulsory.
    My mind is made up.
    MarjT.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 18th Mar 17, 9:25 AM
    • 3,562 Posts
    • 1,902 Thanks
    Hengus
    I don't think from the tone of their post MarjT, is keen on getting a smart meter.

    MarjT, I am in the similar position to you, keep getting asked if I want a smart meter. I don't, I too know how much electricity/gas is used by various appliances and submit regular meter readings and never get estimated bills.

    Do as I do just keep refusing, it is not compulsory to have smart meters.
    Originally posted by FOREVER21
    Smart meters will become the only option when your present meter reaches its end of life. That said, whilst you cannot refuse to have a new meter fitted in these circumstances, the present policy appears to be that consumers can elect to have the communications features disabled. Clearly, these meters will be more difficult to read as many posters have already found out.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 18th Mar 17, 10:47 AM
    • 4,231 Posts
    • 1,718 Thanks
    brewerdave
    Having just switched away from EON (Who kept chasing me re smart meters !) I'm assuming that the smaller suppliers such as IRESA and Better Energy have no obligations re the installation of smart meters ??
    • SpotlandRules
    • By SpotlandRules 18th Mar 17, 10:48 AM
    • 70 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    SpotlandRules
    I have smart meters, just got scottish power ones installed yesterday, and had them with OVO previously.

    They do not work with my tariff (Power Up), but I knew that when I asked for them to be installed. However, they had helped me cut around 2kWh a day off my usage, around £2 a week.

    The info from the IHD is really useful, and helps me keep track of my daily usage,

    I have had a water meter fitted since 2011 and have immediately reaped the benefits from this and found I have with the energy ones.

    I ignore the scare stories, they may be true, they may be not, but life has risks.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 18th Mar 17, 11:12 AM
    • 3,562 Posts
    • 1,902 Thanks
    Hengus
    Having just switched away from EON (Who kept chasing me re smart meters !) I'm assuming that the smaller suppliers such as IRESA and Better Energy have no obligations re the installation of smart meters ??
    Originally posted by brewerdave
    There will be an obligation placed on all suppliers to install smart meters when SMETS2 compliant meters are available. The aim of the stuttering start to this project was to allow the big suppliers time to update their systems etc, and to agree a final technical standard. Smaller suppliers are sitting back watching, and waiting to see which of the many variations of smart meters have the least problems.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 18th Mar 17, 11:24 AM
    • 3,562 Posts
    • 1,902 Thanks
    Hengus
    I have smart meters, just got scottish power ones installed yesterday, and had them with OVO previously.

    They do not work with my tariff (Power Up), but I knew that when I asked for them to be installed. However, they had helped me cut around 2kWh a day off my usage, around £2 a week.

    The info from the IHD is really useful, and helps me keep track of my daily usage,

    I have had a water meter fitted since 2011 and have immediately reaped the benefits from this and found I have with the energy ones.

    I ignore the scare stories, they may be true, they may be not, but life has risks.
    Originally posted by SpotlandRules
    The Government now estimates that homeowners will save an average of £11 per year when a smart meter is fitted. So, in your case, energy consumers have spent over £800 to save you £100 a year. I am not sure that this argument makes any economic sense when you could have got the same information as you are getting now from a £50 energy meter. Bear in mind that one of the reasons for the extraordinary increase in electricity prices this year is due to the £12Bn cost of this extremely poorly managed Government-led project.
    • SpotlandRules
    • By SpotlandRules 18th Mar 17, 12:16 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    SpotlandRules
    I will be honest. It was not until I started up a spreadsheet, that I realised where savings could be made. The IHD that was given to me by OVO, was really useless. It was difficult to compare monthly usage.

    Yes, spending £800 for me to save £100 is not economically sound, unless there is an ulterior motive in the years to come, either by selling off our usage data, or by having peak and off-peak rates. Anything which is Government led, is normally poorly managed, so this is of no big surprise.

    I have noticed, in the main, that prepay with smart meters, is cheaper than prepay without. I will also add that in addition to the £2 a week saving, having a prepay smart meter enabled me to come off prepay meters and onto credit meters. So in addition to the £2 a week I have saved, my unit rates are now also far less, so am also saving around the same again, by being on credit meters. I could have got cheaper rates, but being entitled to WHD, I had to move to a supplier who provided this, which then takes me down to the cheapest possible electricity unit rates.

    So for me, I have really benefited. My electricity has never been as cheap and this is down to smart meters.
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