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  • FIRST POST
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 6th Jul 17, 9:35 AM
    • 2,212Posts
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    trailingspouse
    Smart meter questions
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:35 AM
    Smart meter questions 6th Jul 17 at 9:35 AM
    I'm sure these questions have been asked on here before, so my apologies - I've looked and not been able to find.

    Utility Warehouse are offering us smart meters for our gas and electric free of charge. So, obviously, I'm thinking about it - what I need to know is -

    At the top of their letter they say 'Your electricity and gas meters have expired'. Really? Is that even a thing? Apparently if they don't replace our meters as soon as possible, they may stop working or our service may be interrupted. I smell a rat - surely this can't actually happen??

    How does the smart meter actually help you to save money? We're already good at switching lights off when the room's not in use, putting a jumper on before putting the heating on, washing at low temperatures, drying outside rather than using the tumble dryer etc etc etc. I'm struggling to see how a smart meter can help us use less. The woman I spoke to on the phone told me I'd be 'able to see how much it costs to boil the kettle' - which would be interesting, I'm sure, but a) it's not going to stop me making my morning cuppa, and b) I would only need to be told once - I'm not going to be checking my smart meter every time I brew up.

    Security - if readings are being taken daily, it will become very obvious very quickly if, for example, we're not at home. There will be patterns of usage which would be very obvious. I'm guessing they really can't guarantee information like that won't be misused?

    So basically I'm trying to decide whether to bite the bullet, accept that smart meters are the way forward, and get one fitted. Or put it off for as long as possible.
Page 1
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 6th Jul 17, 9:46 AM
    • 2,986 Posts
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    matelodave
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:46 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:46 AM
    The same questions have been asked a million times and you'll get the same answers from the same people.

    The nay sayers will tell you all the horror stories, not that I can see any except paranoia and those who are in favour will sing their praises.

    You need a meter of some sort whether is smart or dumb. A smart one should ensure that all your bill sare accurate so you shouldn't need to get estimated bills or send in your own readings.

    They wont really save you money, turning stuff off does that. What they can do is help you see what's on and let you know when stuff is on when it shouldn't be.

    It would need a very clever burglar to work out when you weren't around from you meter readings. Our local scrotes just need to see if the car is in the drive or the curtains not being pulled to work it out.

    It's up to you
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • mac.d
    • By mac.d 6th Jul 17, 10:06 AM
    • 457 Posts
    • 370 Thanks
    mac.d
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:06 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:06 AM
    If you are happy submitting your own meter readings regularly online (and giving access to meter readers once a year), are already quite energy efficient, don't really see the need to monitor your useage on a daily basis (or every time you boil the kettle), and are likely to change suppliers at some point, then no, don't bother.

    At least for now. Wait until they are installing the SMETS2 smart meters so that when you switch supplier, they will stay smart and not revert to a dumb meter.
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 6th Jul 17, 10:38 AM
    • 1,875 Posts
    • 6,439 Thanks
    Ilona
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:38 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:38 AM
    I'm sure these questions have been asked on here before, so my apologies - I've looked and not been able to find.

    Utility Warehouse are offering us smart meters for our gas and electric free of charge. So, obviously, I'm thinking about it - what I need to know is -

    How does the smart meter actually help you to save money? We're already good at switching lights off when the room's not in use, putting a jumper on before putting the heating on, washing at low temperatures, drying outside rather than using the tumble dryer etc etc etc. I'm struggling to see how a smart meter can help us use less. The woman I spoke to on the phone told me I'd be 'able to see how much it costs to boil the kettle' - which would be interesting, I'm sure, but a) it's not going to stop me making my morning cuppa, and b) I would only need to be told once - I'm not going to be checking my smart meter every time I brew up.
    Originally posted by trailingspouse
    I can imagine that if you have a houseful of people, mainly youngsters who switch things on and leave them on, which will escalate the numbers, you will be able to give them a good telling off and show them how much it is costing you, and ask them to start paying for what they use.

    Other than that, I can't see how a SM will save you money.

    ilona
    I love skip diving
    • r2015
    • By r2015 6th Jul 17, 10:44 AM
    • 882 Posts
    • 252 Thanks
    r2015
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:44 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:44 AM
    I can't see how a SM will save you money
    They don't, but I know how much gas I use to have a shower.
    Also my tumble dryer is in the garage and when it is on my IHD has a red light showing.
    When it goes off I know the tumble dryer is finished.
    Another year, past 71 now and getting even more forgetful and tending to ramble more.
    If you think I've asked this before I probably have.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 6th Jul 17, 2:13 PM
    • 2,212 Posts
    • 3,098 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 2:13 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 2:13 PM
    Switch suppliers?? Is that an issue? I generally think about it every couple of years - we've been with Utility Warehouse for a while, but only because there isn't enough of a difference to make switching worthwhile, not because I don't ever consider it.
    • mac.d
    • By mac.d 7th Jul 17, 3:20 PM
    • 457 Posts
    • 370 Thanks
    mac.d
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 3:20 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 3:20 PM
    Switch suppliers?? Is that an issue?
    Originally posted by trailingspouse
    Yes, do a search for SMETS2 in this forum. The smart meters energy suppliers are currently installing are only guaranteed to work as smart meters (can be read remotely, and work with the IHD to show you usage, costs etc) if you stay with the supplier who installed them.

    SMETS2 meters are supposed to be going to work with all suppliers. So if the ability to retain smart functionality is important to you, wait until SMETS2 meters are being installed.
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 7th Jul 17, 4:48 PM
    • 11,230 Posts
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    MothballsWallet
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:48 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:48 PM
    I agree with mac.d, but there are supposed to be some of the SMETS1 meters that can be updated to SMETS2 using an update system.

    However, imo, the SMETS1 standard was/is a complete piece of crap and should have been kept for the initial piloting stage and SMETS2 made the mandatory required standard for the actual rollout.

    However, the industry and the government (who I'm sure knew that SMETS2 was coming as soon as the SMETS1 document was released) seem to not give a flying monkey's bum about consumers and the right to switch.
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?
    Married to an immigrant.
    • jelliot
    • By jelliot 7th Jul 17, 5:55 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    jelliot
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:55 PM
    SMETS1 or SMETS2
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:55 PM
    How can I tell if my British Gas smart meters are SMETS1 or SMETS2 meters?
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 7th Jul 17, 6:48 PM
    • 11,230 Posts
    • 14,755 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    I think a lot of the British Gas ones are SMETS1 - SMETS2 isn't due to become available properly until 2018 at the earliest (provided the industry doesn't screw it up even more than they already have).
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?
    Married to an immigrant.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 7th Jul 17, 7:53 PM
    • 463 Posts
    • 444 Thanks
    House Martin
    The Landis and Gyr G370 zigbee gas meter and the L and G e470 zigbee electric meter work in both SMETS1 and SMETS2 .. British gas install Landis and Gyr smart meters. They should be installing these meters now.
    To be fair its not the industry which has screwed it up but Government decision to make the 40 different suppliers individually fit smart meters in order to "sell " the product better than the DNOs who would have been fitting them down the streets in one go, just like they did when token prepayment meters were all changed to slightly more efficient card /key meters..All done in a two or three years ..No complaints about the costs neither..Now we have all these suppliers with their teams of fitters driving around all day doing at the most 5/6 exchanges a day and according to my meter fitting mate, as low as 1 a day. There does `nt appear to be any hurry with no apparent bonus scheme in operation..
    When I first saw smart meters being fitted over 10 years ago I applied to join the fitting teams because they were on a cracking bonus system and the fitters I spoke too were "going for it " and making the most of it , fitting as many as possible to earn the big bucks..Now I have nt seen any bonus schemes at G4S (now MDS ) and Eon and BG teams..The BG guy who fitted mine was taking it easy and not concerned at all in speed and efficiency, dragging it out because after all once the roll out is completed hes on the Dole..No wonder its costing £11 billion and counting.I wonder how suppliers such as Spark Energy and First Utility are managing their smart roll out program...probably poorly and super slow and costly
    Last edited by House Martin; 08-07-2017 at 10:07 AM.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 8th Jul 17, 8:17 PM
    • 2,212 Posts
    • 3,098 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    Many thanks all - I'll think I'll put it off as long as I can.

    Final question - as I said in my OP, apparently our existing meters have 'expired' and if we don't get a smart meter our supply 'might be interrupted'. That's quite a threat, but I'm assuming they can't actually interrupt our supply. Can they?
    • anniecave
    • By anniecave 8th Jul 17, 8:51 PM
    • 2,146 Posts
    • 685 Thanks
    anniecave
    I would say your supplier is wring to you saying your meters are "expired" as they have a target to install smart meters so they're trying to encourage you to agree.

    Gas and electricity meters don't last forever, but I would treat any suggestion of an "expiry date" in the same way as you might treat the "best before" date on a store-cupboad food item such as a bag of sugar.
    Indecision is the key to flexibility.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 8th Jul 17, 9:24 PM
    • 4,207 Posts
    • 2,452 Thanks
    Hengus
    In today’s Daily Telegraph:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/bills-and-utilities/gas-electric/smart-meter-roll-out-getting-one-still-compulsory/
    • fredandwilma
    • By fredandwilma 9th Jul 17, 7:27 AM
    • 998 Posts
    • 1,350 Thanks
    fredandwilma
    Notably:

    Meanwhile the energy regulator, Ofgem, repeated the warning from E.On about non-adopters missing out on potentially beneficial tariffs in future. A spokesman said: “Smart meters open the door to suppliers offering customers tariffs where they can reduce their bills if they use more electricity outside peak times.

    “We are changing industry processes to make this possible. Customers will need a smart meter to take advantage of these tariffs.”
    It's all about the move to ToU tariffs in the future.
    Fred - Where's your get up and go?

    Barney - It just got up and went.



    Carpe diem
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 9th Jul 17, 7:36 AM
    • 8,547 Posts
    • 13,027 Thanks
    worried jim
    Many thanks all - I'll think I'll put it off as long as I can.

    Final question - as I said in my OP, apparently our existing meters have 'expired' and if we don't get a smart meter our supply 'might be interrupted'. That's quite a threat, but I'm assuming they can't actually interrupt our supply. Can they?
    Originally posted by trailingspouse
    All you need to know is that the chap in charge of the UK roll out of smart meters hasn't got one. Says it all.
    "Only two things are infinite-the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe"
    Albert Einstein
    • MeterMan
    • By MeterMan 9th Jul 17, 9:27 AM
    • 257 Posts
    • 138 Thanks
    MeterMan
    All you need to know is that the chap in charge of the UK roll out of smart meters hasn't got one. Says it all.
    Originally posted by worried jim
    Probably because his house is so large that it runs on a 3phase supply and there isnt a domestic smart meter for those yet.
    • RG2015
    • By RG2015 9th Jul 17, 10:35 AM
    • 303 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    RG2015
    Saying that installing a smart meter will save you money is like saying a speedometer will stop you speeding. It won't, but it may help some people to be better informed and modify their behaviour and therefore save money.
    • Hedgehog99
    • By Hedgehog99 9th Jul 17, 10:55 AM
    • 1,321 Posts
    • 2,748 Thanks
    Hedgehog99
    Many thanks all - I'll think I'll put it off as long as I can.

    Final question - as I said in my OP, apparently our existing meters have 'expired' and if we don't get a smart meter our supply 'might be interrupted'. That's quite a threat, but I'm assuming they can't actually interrupt our supply. Can they?
    Originally posted by trailingspouse
    I received these "scary" letters for over two years. I ignored them at first because I didn't then want a smart meter. They sent me a variety of letters, some just saying they would replace my old meter with a new dumb one and some telling me they were sure I'd jump at the chance to get a smart on free of charge.

    Eventually they wrote to say they would be in the area for a week and that they could install a dumb meter without the resident present, so every day I dutifully turned everything sensitive off and left a note saying go ahead before I went to work and every day I came home and nothing had been done.

    Interestingly, the letters wanting you to book a smart meter installation say allow 1 hour, those for a dumb meter say 30 mins, so you can sometimes tell which they are intending to fit.

    I had then decided to move and wanted the decision of a smart of dumb meter to be the new owner's choice (esp as switching is tricky with SMET1), so I continued to ignore any more letters because they never did come to do the oh-so-urgent work when they had said they would.

    If you ant to wait for SMETS2, just ignore the letters for now.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 9th Jul 17, 11:23 AM
    • 463 Posts
    • 444 Thanks
    House Martin
    Notably:



    It's all about the move to ToU tariffs in the future.
    Originally posted by fredandwilma
    I for one would be happy for ToU tariffs to come in operation.Its not something to be scared of, especially for money savers..If I have to run my dryer/ironing/washing away from peak periods to hit the half price cheap rate after say, 10 pm, then I will go for it.
    ToU tariffs are already in operation and have been for donkeys years, Eco7 /10 and now BGs free 8 hours on Sat or Sunday is proving fairly popular for those of the 60% who remain on Standard/Variable tariffs and don t fancy one year fixed direct debit deals.
    ToU was trialed to great success over in Northern Ireland where smart keypad meters have been a big success and after the trial most users said they preferred the ToU option and would accept it if offered..Cue Hengis and his daughter over in Canada who dislikes them
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