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Smart Meters

edited 5 May at 11:05AM in Energy
1.1K replies 136.7K views
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  • SystemSystem
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    NineDeuce wrote: »
    What are your ideas then, other than replacement smart meters?

    Sending a person round to read the meter isnt free either, so if smart meters save money, then technically they are free. Smart meters are clearly having their teething problems in the domestic market, but the idea is sound.

    The idea is sound but the management of the whole £12.7Bn roll out project is flawed. Ofgem has already reduced by 50% the meter reading requirement and this has nothing to do with smart meters.

    These meters are not like for like. Have a read of this informed opinion: (the author gave specialist evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee on smart meters)

    http://www.nickhunn.com/the-uk-may-need-to-replace-20-million-smart-meters/

    We are all paying for this shambles in the form of higher than necessary bills.
  • Hengus wrote: »
    The idea is sound but the management of the whole £12.7Bn roll out project is flawed. Ofgem has already reduced by 50% the meter reading requirement and this has nothing to do with smart meters.

    These meters are not like for like. Have a read of this informed opinion: (the author gave specialist evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee on smart meters)

    http://www.nickhunn.com/the-uk-may-need-to-replace-20-million-smart-meters/

    We are all paying for this shambles in the form of higher than necessary bills.

    Despite an informed opinion article, you didnt answer my question. I asked about what we should do about it other than replace the meters. It is easy to post a hyperlink.

    Ofgem reducing meter read requirements is not a solution.
  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
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    NineDeuce wrote: »
    What are your ideas then, other than replacement smart meters?

    Sending a person round to read the meter isnt free either, so if smart meters save money, then technically they are free. Smart meters are clearly having their teething problems in the domestic market, but the idea is sound.

    Look at other countries. Germany has, after years of internal debate, concluded that there is no benefit giving smart meters to households than consume less than 6600kWhs/year. Why? Simply, because smart meters have little to do with accurate bills or meter readers jobs. They are needed to match supply with demand. Low energy users offer little in the way of potential savings to the Grid. We could also have reduced the cost by going for very simple meters that do not have built in remote disconnection. To protect us all from third-party remote disconnects which could cause extensive damage to the Grid, GCHQ has had to come up with a multi-layered and expensive cyber security package. Read the article and you will see how other countries have rolled out a much cheaper smart meter package in a much shorter timeframe. Our programme is over budget; overly complex and very late. The various delays now mean that far more SMETS1 meters have been deployed than was ever envisaged; the jury is still out on whether all the 7M meters deployed to date will have to be replaced. Even if the adoption works, the cost of the SMETS1 meter Data Communications Company adoption programme will be an added cost to £12.7Bn in the Government’s own cost assumptions.

    It’s all in the link and in other similar expert pieces of information.
  • Hengus wrote: »
    Look at other countries. Germany has, after years of internal debate, concluded that there is no benefit giving smart meters to households than consume less than 6600kWhs/year. Why? Simply, because smart meters have little to do with accurate bills or meter readers jobs. They are needed to match supply with demand. Low energy users offer little in the way of potential savings to the Grid. We could also have reduced the cost by going for very simple meters that do not have built in remote disconnection. To protect us all from third-party remote disconnects which could cause extensive damage to the Grid, GCHQ has had to come up with a multi-layered and expensive cyber security package. Read the article and you will see how other countries have rolled out a much cheaper smart meter package in a much shorter timeframe. Our programme is over budget; overly complex and very late. The various delays now mean that far more SMETS1 meters have been deployed than was ever envisaged; the jury is still out on whether all the 7M meters deployed to date will have to be replaced. Even if the adoption works, the cost of the SMETS1 meter Data Communications Company adoption programme will be an added cost to £12.7Bn in the Government’s own cost assumptions.

    It’s all in the link and in other similar expert pieces of information.

    I've read it and what you say... and basically.. you are just saying that it hasnt been rolled out very efficiently. That's fine, but it isnt an alternative solution. What is the alternative to smart meters?

    I dont really understand what you mean by they are about supply and demand. Smart meters are primarily used to identify energy savings through usage trends. They dont save alone. It depends on the actions of the end user. The feasibility of installing a meter on a domestic property, based on potential energy savings alone is not great.

    But then again, what is done under the current system?

    And to say that smart meters have got little to do with accurate bills is nonsense. That is one of their inherent purposes. The cost of sending operatives to read meters is one part. Estimated billing is a big issue. Manual meter readings still cause problems as estimated bills can still be produced if reads are not sent in alignment with bills.

    Commercial half hourly metering works absolutely fine and without fuss.
  • SystemSystem
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    NineDeuce wrote: »
    I've read it and what you say... and basically.. you are just saying that it hasnt been rolled out very efficiently. That's fine, but it isnt an alternative solution. What is the alternative to smart meters?

    I dont really understand what you mean by they are about supply and demand. Smart meters are primarily used to identify energy savings through usage trends. They dont save alone. It depends on the actions of the end user. The feasibility of installing a meter on a domestic property, based on potential energy savings alone is not great.

    But then again, what is done under the current system?

    And to say that smart meters have got little to do with accurate bills is nonsense. That is one of their inherent purposes. The cost of sending operatives to read meters is one part. Estimated billing is a big issue. Manual meter readings still cause problems as estimated bills can still be produced if reads are not sent in alignment with bills.

    Commercial half hourly metering works absolutely fine and without fuss.

    Matching supply with consumer demand has the potential to reduce costs. At the moment, the Govt has to buy ‘just in case it is needed’ standby power and, in times of plenty, pay wind and and solar generators hard cash to stop generating power. The perceived advantage of smart meters is a Smart Grid with variable pricing (known as time of use tariffs). The aim is to smooth out peaks by ‘encouraging’ consumers through pricing to use energy when it is in plentiful supply. The problem with this for most low energy users is that they do not have the flexibility to make use of low cost power; eg, not many consumers on benefits use tumble dryers. Based on customer experiences in Victoria and Ontario, low energy users will see an increase in the annual electricity cost.

    To achieve a Smart Grid, all consumers need to have a smart meter and the industry needs 30 minute meter readings. In Victoria, where smart meters were mandated, the $2BN project was massively over budget and the benefits massively over assessed. A lot of the cost overrun was down to project delays. If a project runs a year late, employees still have to be paid. It is now assessed that the predicted savings will be in the order of a $319M additional cost on customer energy bills; ie, total project savings - total project cost = an additional $319M.

    This project is little to do with accurate billing. This is just Gaz and Leccy ‘spin’to get consumers onboard. All my bills are 100% accurate.
  • badmemorybadmemory Forumite
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    Hengus wrote: »

    This project is little to do with accurate billing. This is just Gaz and Leccy ‘spin’to get consumers onboard. All my bills are 100% accurate.

    As are all my bills without a smart meter too. As for the Gaz & Leccy ads the lies in these are unfortunately implicit & not explicit therefore they cannot be forced to tell the truth.

    My concern is the number of threads on here now which are saying we had a smart meter fitted & changed supplier & obviously the smart meter became very dumb. BUT the new supplier then came & fitted ANOTHER one. We are all paying for this incompetence.

    I actually, mistakenly obviously, thought that having a smart meter fitted would mean that changing supplier should be easier because after all even if it did become dumb the original supplier should have the final reading - not true - or if it is they aren't parting.

    When we get proper smart meters installed I did hope that we should be able to change suppliers (or time it anyway) to the minute with no problems, that would seem to be a lot more than ambitious, more like not a cat in h***'s chance.
  • edited 29 March 2018 at 3:42PM
    House_MartinHouse_Martin
    1.5K posts
    edited 29 March 2018 at 3:42PM
    badmemory wrote: »
    As are all my bills without a smart meter too. As for the Gaz & Leccy ads the lies in these are unfortunately implicit & not explicit therefore they cannot be forced to tell the truth.

    My concern is the number of threads on here now which are saying we had a smart meter fitted & changed supplier & obviously the smart meter became very dumb. BUT the new supplier then came & fitted ANOTHER one. We are all paying for this incompetence.

    I actually, mistakenly obviously, thought that having a smart meter fitted would mean that changing supplier should be easier because after all even if it did become dumb the original supplier should have the final reading - not true - or if it is they aren't parting.

    When we get proper smart meters installed I did hope that we should be able to change suppliers (or time it anyway) to the minute with no problems, that would seem to be a lot more than ambitious, more like not a cat in h***'s chance.
    I think this problem refers to just one type of smart meter, the Liberty Secure meters. I have been reading other smart meter manufactures such as Landis Gyr , Siemens and Elster where they are dumb and the gaining supplier is happy with them.Secure Meters for some reason cannot be used in smart prepay mode by other suppliers and have to be exchanged.
    The old prepay meters had quite a few makes which all used smart key or smart card and were never exchanged on switching.
    OFGEM have maybe missed a trick in not specifying to the suppliers that only certain makes can be used, but this is the first time that individual suppliers, no matter how small, were in charge of which meter they purchased and installed.
    Before that it was mostly controlled by the DNO s.
    Suppliers like Utilita and Ovo were the first to start using the worlds worst smart meter, Secure Liberty, but incredibly Eon have also switched from the well made Swiss Landis Gyr to these monstrosities. These suppliers have little regard for their customers in selecting these meters.
    I have been listening to lousy feedback from customers for many years now about how impossible they are to read especially when they are positioned in awkward hard to reach places and so far I have never seen an IHD in use by customers I visit.They have all rightfully binned them
  • EachPennyEachPenny Forumite
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    NineDeuce wrote: »
    Despite an informed opinion article, you didnt answer my question. I asked about what we should do about it other than replace the meters. It is easy to post a hyperlink.

    Ofgem reducing meter read requirements is not a solution.

    What is wrong with asking/expecting consumers to provide regular (monthly?) readings and verify the readings on a two yearly basis when the 'safety' checks are carried out?

    Consumers can be incentivised to provide the readings by discounted tariffs (they already are) and penalties can be imposed for those who refuse to provide readings and allow access for checks (they already are).

    Energy theft would be reduced far more if there was a real prospect of a random inspection visit so the resources should be redeployed into this.

    The issue is the same as the replacement of traffic police by camera enforcement. The technology is limited in its effectiveness and the human factor (which is what makes a real difference) is disposed of.

    The potential benefits of a smart grid are undeniable, but if that turns out to be as practical as the Tomorrow's World predictions of people commuting by jet pack, then a lot of money is being spent fitting meters which will have been scrapped many years before they are capable of delivering the benefit supposedly paying the cost of installing them.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
  • Nick_CNick_C Forumite
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    EachPenny wrote: »
    What is wrong with asking/expecting consumers to provide regular (monthly?) readings and verify the readings on a two yearly basis when the 'safety' checks are carried out?.

    What is wrong with posting someone a cheque? Or riding a horse to work?

    Technology provides us with better ways of doing things.

    I don't want to have to read my meter every month and contact the energy supplier to give them the information.

    I'm delighted with my smart meter. I may never look at it again.
  • EachPennyEachPenny Forumite
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    Nick_C wrote: »
    What is wrong with posting someone a cheque? Or riding a horse to work?

    Technology provides us with better ways of doing things.

    I don't want to have to read my meter every month and contact the energy supplier to give them the information.

    I'm delighted with my smart meter. I may never look at it again.

    Of course, but technology for technology's sake is pointless. The technology needs to be fit for purpose and solve a genuine problem for it to really be of value.

    I'm sure many people felt the C5 would be a better way of getting to work than riding a horse, but I'd happily bet that more people still ride to work by horse today than ever travelled to work in a C5.

    The Government could have attempted to make the use of a C5 compulsory, but I doubt anyone - other than Sir Clive and Hoover - would have been happy about that. ;)

    I'm sure for people who don't want to read their own meter the suppliers could offer to fit (at cost) a self-reading meter - giving consumers a choice.

    But the confused and ill-justified impostion of technology on consumers, before that technology is properly developed, is nothing more or less than a national scandal.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
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