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  • FIRST POST
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 8th Oct 16, 9:40 PM
    • 698Posts
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    JohnB47
    GB Energy says I can now have a smart meter
    • #1
    • 8th Oct 16, 9:40 PM
    GB Energy says I can now have a smart meter 8th Oct 16 at 9:40 PM
    So, an Email from GB Energy says I can now have a smart meter. I've read a bit of negative reporting about this and wonder if I should go for it. I tend to shop around for energy and I don't want to be stuck not being able to switch because a new supplier can't handle the new meter.

    There's a link in the EMail supposedly to give more info but when I click on it, there's absolutely nothing mentioned about smart meters.

    Any thoughts.
    Last edited by JohnB47; 09-10-2016 at 11:27 AM.
Page 1
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 9th Oct 16, 12:10 AM
    • 854 Posts
    • 477 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 16, 12:10 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 16, 12:10 AM
    You would not be stuck and unable to switch. Your smart meter will just not operate as a "smart meter" with many suppliers. It would operate the same as any standard "dumb" meter.

    The current smart meter, version 1, is not compatible with all suppliers. Hence the above would happen with you switched to a non-compatible supplier. Energy companies are trying to flog their stock of these before version2 comes out.

    Personally I would wait one year and get version 2 of the smart meter, as that should be compatible with all suppliers and supposedly has more future proof features.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 9th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
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    matelodave
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
    I think "flog their stock" is incorrect as they won't charge you for it.

    It will have the advantage that you wont have to send them a meter reading every month but you'll still have accurate billing.

    You need a meter so it really doesn't make a jot of difference whether it's smart, dumb, green, yellow or blue (unless you want it to match the decor).

    It wont stop you from swapping suppliers, if a new supplier can't handle it as a smart one, then it will revert to being a dumb one and it will need to be read.

    The only disadvantage that I can see is that it will make you lazy, you'll stop reading your own meter, stop checking the bills and you won't be monitoring your consumption.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • sacsquacco
    • By sacsquacco 9th Oct 16, 11:31 AM
    • 3,659 Posts
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    sacsquacco
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 16, 11:31 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 16, 11:31 AM
    Personally the only suppliers I would not use for smart meters is Ovo and Utilita. These two suppliers will virtually entrap you to stay with them without a battle to leave them with possible extra costs if you leave within the first year of the contract. They will go out of their way to fob you off and delay doing what they have to do. They use meters made by Secure ( the Liberty model ) which nearly all the others cannot support so it would require a meter exchange just to switch supplier.
    I ve had smart meters for a good few years now and been around the block switching around with EDF/EON/Sainsburys. I m now back with good old BG ( and cheapest electric tariff in the UK ) where the meter is back working smart ( as it was with Sainsburys ). I m now moving house so I m back to a pair of credit meters . It wont matter one jot whether I get SMETS1 or SMETS2 or SMETS72 , I will accept whatever smart meter they fancy fitting.Its only a half our job per meter to update and that will be done on a Saturday so I don t lose any work time or holidays.
    Last edited by sacsquacco; 09-10-2016 at 2:15 PM.
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 9th Oct 16, 11:42 AM
    • 698 Posts
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    JohnB47
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 16, 11:42 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 16, 11:42 AM
    OK Guys, thanks.

    I already monitor my usage carefully and use a spreadsheet to keep track of things. I'm happy to keep using that and to keep doing my own readings (although GB seem to ask me for readings every month, then ignore them and use an estimate anyway!).

    I think I'll wait until the next generation of meter is widely available (I'll check which one GB is intending to fit first). I've now read a separate post saying that these are called SMETS2 and should be available early next year.
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 9th Oct 16, 11:44 AM
    • 698 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    JohnB47
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 16, 11:44 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 16, 11:44 AM
    Personally the only suppliers I would not use for smart meters is Ovo and Utilita. These two suppliers will virtually entrap you to stay with them without a battle to leave them with possible extra costs if you leave within the first year of the contract. They will go out of their way to fob you off and delay doing what they have to do. They use meters made by Liberty ( the Secure model ) which nearly all the others cannot support so it would require a meter exchange just to switch supplier.
    I ve had smart meters for a good few years now and been around the block switching around with EDF/EON/Sainsburys. I m now back with good old BG ( and cheapest electric tariff in the UK ) where the meter is back working smart ( as it was with Sainsburys ). I m now moving house so I m back to a pair of credit meters . It wont matter one jot whether I get SMETS1 or SMETS2 or SMETS72 , I will accept whatever smart meter they fancy fitting.Its only a half our job per meter to update and that will be done on a Saturday so I don t lose any work time or holidays.
    Originally posted by sacsquacco
    Thanks. I was typing my post as you were doing yours. BG has the cheapest tariff in the UK? Care to share the unit and daily charge prices? Exit free, if fixed tariff?
    Last edited by JohnB47; 09-10-2016 at 11:46 AM.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 9th Oct 16, 1:02 PM
    • 854 Posts
    • 477 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 16, 1:02 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 16, 1:02 PM
    I think "flog their stock" is incorrect as they won't charge you for it.
    Originally posted by matelodave
    OK....perhaps I was embellishing it a little bit...point taken. What I was attempting to get across is that the utility companies obviously have a lot of these "version 1" smart meters in stock, which they have paid for and therefore want to pass them on to as many customers as possible before version 2 comes out.

    However, while publicising these "version 1" smart meters as the next best thing, they are not making clear that they have certain technical limitations which may (but probably won't) be overcome in the future.

    So, it is a bit cheeky in my opinion, hence I used the word flog to connote the sense that there was something dodgy going on.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 09-10-2016 at 1:06 PM.
    • SammenForLivet2
    • By SammenForLivet2 9th Oct 16, 1:23 PM
    • 525 Posts
    • 543 Thanks
    SammenForLivet2
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 16, 1:23 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 16, 1:23 PM
    OK....perhaps I was embellishing it a little bit...point taken. What I was attempting to get across is that the utility companies obviously have a lot of these "version 1" smart meters in stock, which they have paid for and therefore want to pass them on to as many customers as possible before version 2 comes out.

    However, while publicising these "version 1" smart meters as the next best thing, they are not making clear that they have certain technical limitations which may (but probably won't) be overcome in the future.

    So, it is a bit cheeky in my opinion, hence I used the word flog to connote the sense that there was something dodgy going on.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped
    Hello there!

    I don't work for GB Energy, but a similar set-up of energy company, so perhaps I will be able to shed some light for you.

    Meters are not owned by the energy firm on the whole, unless they are a big six energy (and even in that case it is likely that they will be sold off in time, as the big six want to be asset light). Meters are owned by independent companies, such as LBSL, Siemens, The National Grid and a number of (often offshore owned) investment firms. Energy companies then pay a rental charge for your meter - and for the upkeep/servicing of the meter.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with what GB are doing, I suspect that installing a smart meter (SMETS1) is more of a customer service initiative than anyway to do something 'dodgy'. I'm actually quite surprised they've started installing SMETS1 smart meters, but perhaps they've got a good deal from an installer, on this basis. I think it's slightly disingenuous to apply that they are doing anything 'dodgy'.

    There is nothing wrong with the meter, the only thing you'll have to bear in mind that the smart functionality will be limited if you move away from them. It won't block or delay your switch in anyway.
    Thank you all for helping me make my day by saving money!
    Although I work in the trenches for a residential energy supplier, any views, opinions or ideas are my own, and don't represent the views of my employer.
    • sacsquacco
    • By sacsquacco 9th Oct 16, 2:12 PM
    • 3,659 Posts
    • 2,422 Thanks
    sacsquacco
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 16, 2:12 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 16, 2:12 PM
    Thanks. I was typing my post as you were doing yours. BG has the cheapest tariff in the UK? Care to share the unit and daily charge prices? Exit free, if fixed tariff?
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    Cheapest electric in UK ..7.89 p kwh (inc VAT ).. Sainsburys June 2017 collective ..exit fees of 30 quid 19p a day S.C. . Closed tariff now.. sorry my mistake, not a BG deal but Sainsburys..same supplier though
    Last edited by sacsquacco; 09-10-2016 at 2:26 PM.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 9th Oct 16, 2:13 PM
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    matelodave
    OK Guys, thanks.

    I already monitor my usage carefully and use a spreadsheet to keep track of things. I'm happy to keep using that and to keep doing my own readings (although GB seem to ask me for readings every month, then ignore them and use an estimate anyway!).

    I think I'll wait until the next generation of meter is widely available (I'll check which one GB is intending to fit first). I've now read a separate post saying that these are called SMETS2 and should be available early next year.
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    I only find that they "estimate" a reading when you sent it in too early. Look at your bills and see when you are being billed from and to and send in the reading on the last day. That's the one they'll use (or they do for me)

    I find that their estimates are a bit on the generous side even though they've got a record of my previous consumption so if I'm not around to actually read the meter on the appointed day I give them my own estimate which is a lot closer to reality.

    I want a Smart meter and look forward to getting one although we are all electric so there seems to be less incentive for them to come and fit one.

    Likewise we can't get some of the better collective deals as most of them are dual fuel.
    Last edited by matelodave; 09-10-2016 at 6:04 PM.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 9th Oct 16, 5:35 PM
    • 698 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    JohnB47
    Cheapest electric in UK ..7.89 p kwh (inc VAT ).. Sainsburys June 2017 collective ..exit fees of 30 quid 19p a day S.C. . Closed tariff now.. sorry my mistake, not a BG deal but Sainsburys..same supplier though
    Originally posted by sacsquacco
    Yep, that's cheaper than mine, (10.03p per Kwh and 29.61p per day, no exit fee though) although we're not comparing like-for-like as I have dual fuel. Perhaps my gas is cheaper than yours and overall our costs are comparible?

    I haven't been keeping an eye on tariffs since changing to BG, so maybe I'm out of date with best offers.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 9th Oct 16, 9:02 PM
    • 854 Posts
    • 477 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    Hello there!
    I don't think there is anything wrong with what GB are doing, I suspect that installing a smart meter (SMETS1) is more of a customer service initiative than anyway to do something 'dodgy'. I'm actually quite surprised they've started installing SMETS1 smart meters, but perhaps they've got a good deal from an installer, on this basis. I think it's slightly disingenuous to apply that they are doing anything 'dodgy'.
    Originally posted by SammenForLivet2
    Dodgy or not, I do not see the point is installing a product that clearly has limited functionality in the immediate future. It is already out of date.

    My point is, someone has manufactured these products. There was a cost involved. Someone down the line paid for these and would prefer them not to be disposed of. They therefore prefer to pass them on to customers who are largely unaware of their possible limited functionality. They do not make it clear to the customer at point of swapping meter or offering the meter, of it's limited functionality. If anything is disingenuous....that is!! So that is my point. Nothing more. In fact, for "dodgy"..now read disingenuous!

    I do not think it is correct that companies, while knowing that version 2 is coming out next year are still offering these when they are not fit for purpose. Yes they may work as smart meters for some companies and that is great, but when a customer gets a great deal with a company who does not support it, the customer is going to be miffed.
    • sacsquacco
    • By sacsquacco 9th Oct 16, 10:41 PM
    • 3,659 Posts
    • 2,422 Thanks
    sacsquacco
    Dodgy or not, I do not see the point is installing a product that clearly has limited functionality in the immediate future. It is already out of date.

    My point is, someone has manufactured these products. There was a cost involved. Someone down the line paid for these and would prefer them not to be disposed of. They therefore prefer to pass them on to customers who are largely unaware of their possible limited functionality. They do not make it clear to the customer at point of swapping meter or offering the meter, of it's limited functionality. If anything is disingenuous....that is!! So that is my point. Nothing more. In fact, for "dodgy"..now read disingenuous!

    I do not think it is correct that companies, while knowing that version 2 is coming out next year are still offering these when they are not fit for purpose. Yes they may work as smart meters for some companies and that is great, but when a customer gets a great deal with a company who does not support it, the customer is going to be miffed.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped
    So far we are not aware that the meters will need upgrading. They are very advanced. It could well just be the software in the "hub " which sits alongside the smart meter can be upgraded cheaply.The earlier versions with sim cards may not be suitable.
    Last edited by sacsquacco; 10-10-2016 at 8:30 AM.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 10th Oct 16, 12:45 AM
    • 224 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    badmemory
    I was offered a smart meter last month, so I rang and asked. I was told that if I changed suppliers it would become a "dumb" meter again. What is the point of that. Sounds to me like just another tick box exercise. When I can have a truly smart smart meter then I may have one. But it won't change my fuel usage & I will still read it every month as I don't trust them & their application of the technology.

    I am on the opposite side to Sacsquacco who seems to think we all steal power, I think they will steal our money if we stop paying full attention to what they are up to.
    • sacsquacco
    • By sacsquacco 10th Oct 16, 8:36 AM
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    • 2,422 Thanks
    sacsquacco
    I was offered a smart meter last month, so I rang and asked. I was told that if I changed suppliers it would become a "dumb" meter again. What is the point of that. Sounds to me like just another tick box exercise. When I can have a truly smart smart meter then I may have one. But it won't change my fuel usage & I will still read it every month as I don't trust them & their application of the technology.

    I am on the opposite side to Sacsquacco who seems to think we all steal power, I think they will steal our money if we stop paying full attention to what they are up to.
    Originally posted by badmemory
    I take exception at that remark that I think "we all steal power ". Energy theft in my experience is mostly amongst the people who can least afford it and are mostly on prepayment meters. I work in towns such as Howden and Epworth where I have never found a fiddled meter in the 15 years I ve been working there but the central terraces of Doncaster are awash with fiddlers. Some streets in Hexthorpe (close to the town centre ) it is rare to be admitted to examine the meters nowadays.
    • azzadle
    • By azzadle 10th Oct 16, 2:19 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    azzadle
    Personally the only suppliers I would not use for smart meters is Ovo and Utilita. These two suppliers will virtually entrap you to stay with them without a battle to leave them with possible extra costs if you leave within the first year of the contract. They will go out of their way to fob you off and delay doing what they have to do. They use meters made by Secure ( the Liberty model ) which nearly all the others cannot support so it would require a meter exchange just to switch supplier.
    I ve had smart meters for a good few years now and been around the block switching around with EDF/EON/Sainsburys. I m now back with good old BG ( and cheapest electric tariff in the UK ) where the meter is back working smart ( as it was with Sainsburys ). I m now moving house so I m back to a pair of credit meters . It wont matter one jot whether I get SMETS1 or SMETS2 or SMETS72 , I will accept whatever smart meter they fancy fitting.Its only a half our job per meter to update and that will be done on a Saturday so I don t lose any work time or holidays.
    Originally posted by sacsquacco
    Utilita do not charge exit fees, not sure where you got that from? What 'extra charges' are you referring to?

    Quite a few suppliers now support S1 meters too - Utilita, OVO, Utility Warehouse, E and Economy Energy are the ones that spring to mind. Even if a customer did change to a non-supported S1 supplier the new supplier can't forcibly remove the meters, what's the point in sticking an old meter in when they can still provide readings, albeit not remotely which is what you'd have to do with an old meter anyway...
    • Rubidium
    • By Rubidium 10th Oct 16, 2:49 PM
    • 478 Posts
    • 270 Thanks
    Rubidium

    I do not think it is correct that companies, while knowing that version 2 is coming out next year are still offering these when they are not fit for purpose. Yes they may work as smart meters for some companies and that is great, but when a customer gets a great deal with a company who does not support it, the customer is going to be miffed.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped
    I totally agree and customers currently being fitted the SMETS1 meters will be at the back of the queue when the later SMETS2 meters start to get installed when they finally get their act together and stop this silly meeting their allotted quota farce!
    • sacsquacco
    • By sacsquacco 10th Oct 16, 2:55 PM
    • 3,659 Posts
    • 2,422 Thanks
    sacsquacco
    Utilita do not charge exit fees, not sure where you got that from? What 'extra charges' are you referring to?

    Quite a few suppliers now support S1 meters too - Utilita, OVO, Utility Warehouse, E and Economy Energy are the ones that spring to mind. Even if a customer did change to a non-supported S1 supplier the new supplier can't forcibly remove the meters, what's the point in sticking an old meter in when they can still provide readings, albeit not remotely which is what you'd have to do with an old meter anyway...
    Originally posted by azzadle
    A few micro suppliers may support the Liberty meters, but none of the big six do.The extra charges are what Ovo try to get out of the customer when they switch supplier as costs towards the meter removal. They use this as a bargaining chip to keep the customer from switching amongst other delay tactics. The customers I have personally met on my rounds who have had this problem are on prepayment meters. One customer was so sick of them she wanted to go back to BG and not be bothered with a stupid meter which could nt automatically add credit.She had to do it manually by imputing a 40 digit code at the correct speed, not slow or fast.Ridiculous..Try that if your eyesight is poor and you re 85 !
    • azzadle
    • By azzadle 10th Oct 16, 4:48 PM
    • 37 Posts
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    azzadle
    Didn't know OVO charged anything for leaving unless the customer's in a fixed term deal. I know simpler energy / payg energy and any smart tariffs have no exit fees but standing charge is abominable.

    Yeah, they're not flawless by any means. Parts of the country will never have a hope in hell of getting one fitted due to communications - get someone in a tower block whose meter is on the bottom floor and they're 20 flights of stairs away and they've got no chance.
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