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  • FIRST POST
    • picks
    • By picks 30th Jan 17, 11:04 AM
    • 77Posts
    • 19Thanks
    picks
    Smart meter incompatibility and chaos
    • #1
    • 30th Jan 17, 11:04 AM
    Smart meter incompatibility and chaos 30th Jan 17 at 11:04 AM
    I have had a smart meter with E.ON for a number of years and it works fine. When it was installed E.ON told me that, while the meter belongs to them, if I ever changed supplier, the major suppliers subscribe to an information interchange scheme and meter readings would be automatically passed to them.

    Following lobbying from them, the Cheap Energy Club is pressing me to change supplier. The good news is that I can potentially save money by switching. The bad news is that many of the suppliers recommended by Cheap Energy Club don't do smart meters at all. Even those who do, eg Scottish Power, say their smart meter technology is different from mine and I may have to wait until 2020 before I could rejoin the 21st century. So it seems if I want to switch I'd have to step back into the Flintstones era and revert to the scourge of meter readers visiting and estimated bills.

    What kind of nonsense is this where it seems every energy supplier has a different system and strategy for smart metering in a totally chaotic system of incompatible technology? Why doesn't Cheap Energy Club make any reference to the fact that switching customers possibly have to revert back to the Flintstones era?
Page 3
  • E.ON Company Representative: Malc
    E.ON Smart Energy Displays
    The funny thing is that I don't know anyone that could actually lay their hands on the information bit of their smart meters. I know that I had one somewhere but I couldn't tell you where it is now. The meter just sent its readings, never needed the other bit.

    Now I have moved away from EON I have had to figure out which tiny button to press on the display to read the meter. Which is fun as 20 different numbers flash across the screen with no reference as to which one is the damned meter reading.

    It would have been nice if they designed the meters to easily show the reading.

    Not sure if I ever find the hand held bit it will help or not. Does that show the meter reading?
    Originally posted by indesisiv
    Depends what type of display we fitted indesisiv. Earlier Chameleon displays didn't show readings but later ones, including the Ecometer type, did. If you find your display, have a chat with one of our specialist smart meter advisors (contact details are on our website). Tell them what type of display you have and they'll let you know if it shows readings and how to see them.

    Don't worry you've left us. As we fitted the meter and display, we'll still be able to give you some basic advice. We won't, though, be able to into more detail as we'll have lost control of the meter.

    There's also information about the different displays we've used on our website at the links fredandwilma posted earlier in the thread

    Hope this helps indesisiv and have a good weekend.

    Malc
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • molerat
    • By molerat 17th Feb 17, 2:01 PM
    • 15,855 Posts
    • 10,066 Thanks
    molerat
    Not sure if I ever find the hand held bit it will help or not. Does that show the meter reading?
    Originally posted by indesisiv
    Not if you are no longer with the original installing supplier
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • SnakeDoctor
    • By SnakeDoctor 19th Mar 17, 1:24 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    SnakeDoctor
    Has anyone actually had any benefits from Smart Meters, other than some of them being read automatically?
    I had my OVO ones removed because no one at OVO could tell me how to read them manually.
    • picks
    • By picks 19th Mar 17, 1:57 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    picks
    Has anyone actually had any benefits from Smart Meters, other than some of them being read automatically?
    I had my OVO ones removed because no one at OVO could tell me how to read them manually.
    Originally posted by SnakeDoctor
    Yes I've had a lot of benefit from mine. I mostly use it to monitor my instantaneous electricity usage (wattage). I know roughly how many watts I typically use at different times during the day. The display tells me my current usage. If, for example, it differs significantly from my average I can check to see if I've left an appliance on which shouldn't be. Right now, as I type this, the reading is fine and I know that neither the fridge nor any other high power device is switched on.
    • scgf
    • By scgf 19th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
    • 339 Posts
    • 122 Thanks
    scgf
    You can have a usage display without having to have a smart meter - I've had one for years. I had my smart meters removed and replaced with standard dumb meters.
    • picks
    • By picks 19th Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    picks
    You can have a usage display without having to have a smart meter - I've had one for years. I had my smart meters removed and replaced with standard dumb meters.
    Originally posted by scgf
    My display shows numerous things other than the instantaneous wattage being used (eg cost per day, week, month, year for each fuel). In addition it shows the current meter readings for each fuel which would be very difficult to read manually due to the meter locations.

    My display cost me £0. Was yours cheaper?
    • scgf
    • By scgf 19th Mar 17, 3:04 PM
    • 339 Posts
    • 122 Thanks
    scgf
    Lol! In a sense, yes. I was pointing out that an in-home display of electricity usage is not limited to smart meters. Currently the big disadvantage of smart meters is that you have to read them manually should you change provider - and none of the suppliers offering smart meters offer the cheapest tariffs so in effect you are paying extra for the privilege - certainly much more than you'd pay for a cheap in-home display.

    Once you change supplier the smart meters have to be read manually and usually for electricity this involves pressing a button on the meter to display the reading - if your meter is in an awkward location, as mine is, it makes the job potentially more dangerous.
    Last edited by scgf; 19-03-2017 at 3:08 PM.
    • Futuristic
    • By Futuristic 19th Mar 17, 3:06 PM
    • 706 Posts
    • 354 Thanks
    Futuristic
    I have never used any smart functionality from my Eon smart meter, don't know where the little device is either. I've moved to British Gas last year after years with Eon and saving hundreds of pounds to take a minute out every 2-3 months to read the metre is fine by me.
    • mac.d
    • By mac.d 19th Mar 17, 3:12 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    mac.d
    Right now, as I type this, the reading is fine and I know that neither the fridge nor any other high power device is switched on.
    Originally posted by picks
    You switch your fridge off to save electricity?!
    • picks
    • By picks 19th Mar 17, 3:29 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    picks
    You switch your fridge off to save electricity?!
    Originally posted by mac.d
    No, I monitor my fridge (as with my other domestic appliances) to get an idea how fuel efficient it is. As it's a few years old, the results of my monitoring could be to consider turning it down a little or purchasing a new more energy-efficient fridge.
    Last edited by picks; 19-03-2017 at 3:31 PM. Reason: spelling
    • picks
    • By picks 19th Mar 17, 3:57 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    picks
    Currently the big disadvantage of smart meters is that you have to read them manually should you change provider - and none of the suppliers offering smart meters offer the cheapest tariffs so in effect you are paying extra for the privilege - certainly much more than you'd pay for a cheap in-home display.
    Originally posted by scgf
    It's perfectly true that the current chaotic incompatibility between the different smart meters is an absolute pain. However, once a supplier has installed a smart meter at your premises together with a display (total cost to you £0), what's there to stop you switching to another energy supplier? Your smart meter and associated display remain in situ. Sure, the current chaotic incompatibility regime means that the new supplier won't be able to take smart meter readings, but, since you have the use of a display (at an up front cost of £0) you can use it to provide meter readings. This avoids (in my case at least) risking breaking my neck to scale a wall to manually read inconveniently sited meters. I don't understand the logic behind replacing smart meters with dumb ones and risk breaking my neck trying to read them (or paying for a home energy display when mine cost me all of £0).
    • scgf
    • By scgf 19th Mar 17, 5:53 PM
    • 339 Posts
    • 122 Thanks
    scgf
    I had smart meters installed by British gas when I had the Cheap Energy Club fix which finished in Feb 2017. As soon as my account was switched to a new supplier the in-home display stopped working. British Gas confirmed this is the case. Like you, I thought that when I changed to another provider the only thing which would cease would be the auto reading of the meters. I assumed the in home display would carry on working and I could simply read my meters from it.

    Since this didn't happen it put me in a difficult situation. My meters are outside and high up so I needed to climb a small ladder and press the button to see the meter reading display. With my previous dumb meters I could read from ground level. Now I have dumb meters again it is so much easier to read them. I'm not having smart meters again until they work with all providers.

    I installed an app on my phone (Pixometer) which lets me hold my phone up to the display and takes a reading for me and photographs it for reference.
    Last edited by scgf; 19-03-2017 at 8:30 PM.
    • picks
    • By picks 21st Mar 17, 10:46 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    picks
    I had smart meters installed by British gas when I had the Cheap Energy Club fix which finished in Feb 2017. As soon as my account was switched to a new supplier the in-home display stopped working. British Gas confirmed this is the case. Like you, I thought that when I changed to another provider the only thing which would cease would be the auto reading of the meters. I assumed the in home display would carry on working and I could simply read my meters from it.
    Originally posted by scgf
    When you say the in-home display stopped working what exactly do you mean? Do you mean the display went blank and showed nothing, or what? The information from my supplier is that the display will not only lose the remote reading but also the financial information like unit cost for gas and electricity because this depends on the contract with your provider. So anything £ dependant will not appear. However, they assure me that information like kWh and other non financial data will continue to be monitored because it's supplier-independent. They also assure me that meter readings will still appear on the display. So are they correct or is the display left void of any information at all?
    Last edited by picks; 21-03-2017 at 10:48 PM. Reason: spelling
    • scgf
    • By scgf 22nd Mar 17, 6:24 AM
    • 339 Posts
    • 122 Thanks
    scgf
    The display went into search mode, looking for a connection. Naturally at this point no information from the meter is available. British Gas confirmed that when a customer leaves, all wireless functionality on the smart meter ceases and therefore there is no longer anything for the in-home display to connect to.

    This is what a British Gas representative said in response to my query:

    "The Smart monitor at your property is a British Gas monitor which is connected to the British Gas meters. As you've switched to new suppliers, the meters are now working as credit meters without the Smart features. Hence, the Smart monitor will not display any information as it gets the details from the communication hub fixed next to the electricity Smart meter."
    • molerat
    • By molerat 22nd Mar 17, 7:32 AM
    • 15,855 Posts
    • 10,066 Thanks
    molerat
    When you say the in-home display stopped working what exactly do you mean? Do you mean the display went blank and showed nothing, or what? The information from my supplier is that the display will not only lose the remote reading but also the financial information like unit cost for gas and electricity because this depends on the contract with your provider. So anything £ dependant will not appear. However, they assure me that information like kWh and other non financial data will continue to be monitored because it's supplier-independent. They also assure me that meter readings will still appear on the display. So are they correct or is the display left void of any information at all?
    Originally posted by picks
    Your supplier speak with forked tongue. Some will and some will not continue working, there is no guarantee.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • picks
    • By picks 22nd Mar 17, 7:39 AM
    • 77 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    picks
    Your supplier speak with forked tongue. Some will and some will not continue working, there is no guarantee.
    Originally posted by molerat
    So, if I can't trust my supplier, is there some place or organisation that will give me information about what happens to in-home energy displays when you switch? Rather than give me vague words suggesting some or all of the display may or may not work when you switch supplier, does anyone actually know the facts rather than just spread rumours?
    • scgf
    • By scgf 22nd Mar 17, 8:04 AM
    • 339 Posts
    • 122 Thanks
    scgf
    Well British Gas confirmed their in-home display will stop working and it has been the case for me. So that's a definite and not 'vague words'. The communication hub connected to the the smart meters shuts down when you switch provider.
    • picks
    • By picks 22nd Mar 17, 8:40 AM
    • 77 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    picks
    Well British Gas confirmed their in-home display will stop working and it has been the case for me. So that's a definite and not 'vague words'. The communication hub connected to the the smart meters shuts down when you switch provider.
    Originally posted by scgf
    Could you please define stop working? Does it mean
    - the display is totally blank and displays nothing at all
    - the display gives only a message saying something to the effect "I've stopped working"
    - if something else what exactly does the display show when you press the various buttons

    Could you be specific as to what, if anything, your in-home display shows (or showed) to the customer after switching supplier?
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 22nd Mar 17, 8:50 AM
    • 2,741 Posts
    • 1,509 Thanks
    matelodave
    This is what was said in post #54

    The display went into search mode, looking for a connection. Naturally at this point no information from the meter is available. British Gas confirmed that when a customer leaves, all wireless functionality on the smart meter ceases and therefore there is no longer anything for the in-home display to connect to.

    Which seems pretty clear to me. Different meters, made by different manufacturers and configured to suit different supplier's networks and protocols will probably either lose or retain different functionality. So you would have to either ask your provider what it will do when it's a dumb meter or try it out for youself
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 22nd Mar 17, 9:47 AM
    • 6,279 Posts
    • 2,364 Thanks
    Pincher
    I get a meter reader in January, once a year.
    Is that so hard?

    If I cared, which I do, I submit the readings once a month.

    What's so smart about having a smart meter?

    If it works, don't fix it.

    By the looks of things, it doesn't work yet, and they install it.

    What if we make Science A Levels a compulsory job requirement at Ofgem?
    Last edited by Pincher; 22-03-2017 at 9:52 AM.
    What happens if you push this button?
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