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are smart meters a scam

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Energy
53 replies 4.8K views
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  • oliverbrownoliverbrown Forumite
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    Houbara wrote: »
    He panicked over a few snowflakes making a loud noise.
    "Snowflakes" like me then, who made their objections known to their representatives in parliament. In that case we did have a bearing on it.
  • AndyCFAndyCF Forumite
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    Nor will your early morning tea, or anything else, as current 'smart' meters are all-or-nothing and only load shed by disconnecting your entire house.

    Assuming the meter is inside the property and the cupboard its in is owned by the householder (as in its not an external box outside owned by the supplier etc, the white box things) , then ahem perhaps *accidentally* placing some form of Faraday caging around said cupboard, or even just the door.

    This is partly in jest and partly theoretically curious to see if it would work or not. I suspect it would in a fashion but for those reading I don't have any intention of trying it. :)

    I suppose 'secure' ( lol ) comms could be done via the mains grid anyways to each individual meter, negating the use of radio to instruct a meter to "do xyz" , I suspect said comms would be inbound only though. I could be wrong, usually am.
  • benny5benny5 Forumite
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    Could I ask the E-ON rep a question?


    What happens when the battery on the Gas Meter expires?



    From what I’ve discovered, the meter stops reporting readings and the display fails leaving the user/supplier with no record of usage. In that scenario you have, at least, continuity of supply.


    If you’re unlucky your gas supply is switched off when the battery dies.



    Please can you confirm the position?
  • jbuchanangbjbuchanangb Forumite
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    I bought a house already equipped with smart meter of some sort. As my supplier, (I switched 17 days after moving in) knows nothing of this meter, the only use I make of them is that I use the in-home device (or in my case in-garage device) to obtain the readings, which I enter monthly onto my energy supplier's web site. Works a treat. Doesn't seem to be a scam.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    benny5 wrote: »
    Could I ask the E-ON rep a question?


    What happens when the battery on the Gas Meter expires?



    From what I’ve discovered, the meter stops reporting readings and the display fails leaving the user/supplier with no record of usage. In that scenario you have, at least, continuity of supply.


    If you’re unlucky your gas supply is switched off when the battery dies.



    Please can you confirm the position?
    Prepayment gas meters, smart or dumb are designed to shut down the supply when the battery fails. Sometimes the valve does not shut off the supply.. It is far better for it to shut off supply completely with a dud battery than for it to remain open where many occupants would not report it to the supplier .
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • benny5benny5 Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Houbara wrote: »
    Prepayment gas meters, smart or dumb are designed to shut down the supply when the battery fails. Sometimes the valve does not shut off the supply.. It is far better for it to shut off supply completely with a dud battery than for it to remain open where many occupants would not report it to the supplier .


    [FONT=&quot]While that functionality may appear desirable what happens when your supply is terminated in the middle of winter, no heating, hot water or cooking. You are at the mercy of the efficiency of your supplier to rectify the situation.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]No thanks. I think I’ll stick with my ‘dumb’ meter.[/FONT]
    .
  • AndyCFAndyCF Forumite
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    From a safety / electrical point of view as the gas meter cannot have a permanent electrical supply , it cannot work the same way as an electric meter aka a relay in that case held, by this I mean there's not going to be enough long time juice in a gas meter battery to hold a solenoid valve open 24/7

    What I would suspect is it acts as a kind of toggle, a bit like say car central locking where a pulse one way opens it, and another way (swapping polarity really) closes it.

    This way it does not need a permanent 'feed' to the internal gas valve. When the electronics onboard the meter detect a low battery voltage, something like this probably happens:

    For the sake of arguments sake, lets say the battery is 12v (I realise its probably about 3 or 5 however but a larger number is easier for the purpose of an example!)

    When it reaches 10v-11v the 'battery' icon is likely to appear on the display, if it has one. If it does not then the next bit is likely to happen anyway:

    When it reaches < 10v the 'Low Batt or Help!' message will likely be on all the time, minus the backlight as its only an LCD usually

    When it reaches < about 6v it will signal 'close' while it still has enough juice to do this

    I would suspect the cases where a supply remains are possibly due to freak cases where there was not enough 'juice' left to actually tell the valve to close.

    ^ The above is just my 'own thinking' on how it works really , not from research merely from my own thoughts so please read it that way.

    Note: If the battery is only really say 3.2v or something anyway then the 'threshold' for each erm 'stage' is going to probably be something like < 2.8v then < 2.2v or so. Maybe.
  • benny5benny5 Forumite
    153 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    benny5 wrote: »
    Could I ask the E-ON rep a question?


    What happens when the battery on the Gas Meter expires?



    From what I’ve discovered, the meter stops reporting readings and the display fails leaving the user/supplier with no record of usage. In that scenario you have, at least, continuity of supply.


    If you’re unlucky your gas supply is switched off when the battery dies.



    Please can you confirm the position?


    Is the E-ON Rep on leave?
  • SystemSystem
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    I have had problems for a few years now with unexpected fluctuations in both Gas and Electricity usage shown on bills even though my usage remains more or less constant, certainly they do not vary enough in the same period of each year for some of the big differences I have seen. I have always provided meter readings myself at the correct intervals. It is only when I see the final bill and compare with previous bills that I notice the differences and I suspect I am not alone there. I have also found it impossible to get my previous provider or my current provider to actually look into the matter by checking meters, etc. So that does not suggest to me that Smart Meters are going to make things any better, especially following some of the reports I have heard about them. If there can be fluctuations showing on my bills now and I cannot convince suppliers to check them out now, then if I have a Smart Meter fitted and there are ever any fluctuations on bills after that then I feel sure they definitely won't look into any of those queries! It is all very well providing us with "choice" of supplier (in other areas as well as Energy) but I appear to have very little choice in practice especially when I cannot get hold of anyone on the phone to discuss anything! I have also noticed over recent years with some companies (of all kinds) that it is impossible to send a simple email query or make a phone call to ask a simple question - all contact options seem to have the heading "Complaint". Possibly because these days, due to the wide choice that we have and the difficulties in actually contacting these companies, most contact nowadays probably would be in the form of a complaint! Progress???
  • TakmonTakmon Forumite
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    Hardup49 wrote: »
    I have had problems for a few years now with unexpected fluctuations in both Gas and Electricity usage shown on bills even though my usage remains more or less constant, certainly they do not vary enough in the same period of each year for some of the big differences I have seen. I have always provided meter readings myself at the correct intervals.

    It would be very unlikely for both the Gas Meter and the Electricity meter to both be faulty in a similar way.

    How often do you take meter readings? I would recommend taking weekly readings and log them in a spreadsheet. This will allow you to keep an eye on your usage week to week and get an idea if there are any issues.
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