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The problem with Smart Meters

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SuggysanSuggysan Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie
Following government and local authoritys urging us to reduce our carbon footprints for the sake of the planet I decided to have a smart meter installed. From all advice I got and research I did, I was given to understand that by monitoring my energy, in this case electricity, I would be able to see  which appliances and what times of day were using most energy and costing me the most money and where I needed to cut down or adjust my usage of electricity.  After a great deal of consideration and urging by my electricity supplier I had a smart meter installed by my then supplier SSE. The installation was easy and a monitoring device was also provided and I was shown how it worked and what it did. Prior to agreeing to an installation I was reassured and promised by SSE that If I switched supplier everything would remain working. The installer working for SSE also confirmed that promise. But that is not true !!
The most effective way of reducing the cost of electricity is to switch supplier when your existing one becomes uncompetative. As is always the case after you have been a customer for a while the supplier starts raising prices. SSE did this to me, so at the end of my term with them I switched to a lower charging supplier in this case Green Network Energy. They still get automatic readings from my smart meter, that bit still works BUT, and here's the rub SSE switched off my monitor and it will no longer work, my new company cannot provide a working monitor as they did not install the smart meter and SSE will not provide a monitor  that works with all electricity suppliers.
. As the greatest encouragement  from all scorces was to  monitor my use, the whole rational for installing a smart meter is defeated.
It was always easy to send in my own read meter readings on-line to whoever was my supplier, it is not easy to know how much electricity I and my appliances are using on a daily or weekly basis. That is the role of the monitor.
It now appears to me that smart meters are a con by energy companies in order to tie you in to their rising prices and stop you from switching to a.n. other to save money. 
Can I ask Martin to investigate this problem on our behalf and put pressure on companies to stop forcing customers to stay with them however much they raise their prices and to provide monitors that work with all suppliers.
I would also welcome other smart meter users thoughts on this and if they have found away of maintining monitoring after switching away from their smart meter installer. Or if they know where we can obtain a monitor that works with all suppliers. Regular switching is vital to keep electricity costs as low as possible
 



Replies

  • VerdigrisVerdigris Forumite
    116 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    Smart meters don't tie you to one supplier. The best way of saving money is to use less energy by changing your habits, fitting low energy appliances etc. The next best thing is to use comparison sites to find the lowest prices. You can do this with or without a smart meter. the IHD can be useful for seeing what uses a lot of energy but once you know you know. Basically anything that heats uses a lot, electronic appliances like computers, TVs etc don't use much. LED is the best lighting for low energy use.
  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
    4.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Suggysan said:
    I would also welcome other smart meter users thoughts on this and if they have found away of maintining monitoring after switching away from their smart meter installer. Or if they know where we can obtain a monitor that works with all suppliers.
    Just read the meter on the wall and do the sums, it's ever so easy.  No more difficult than working out whether you have enough cash to pay for everything in your trolley at the supermarket checkout !
    You can also buy inexpensive energy monitors that clip around to the wire coming out of the meter or count the flashes from the red light marked 1000 Imp/kWh or similar, assuming your meter has one
  • MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
    1.7K posts
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    Suggysan said:
    Following government and local authoritys urging us to reduce our carbon footprints for the sake of the planet I decided to have a smart meter installed. From all advice I got and research I did, I was given to understand that by monitoring my energy, in this case electricity, I would be able to see  which appliances and what times of day were using most energy and costing me the most money and where I needed to cut down or adjust my usage of electricity.  After a great deal of consideration and urging by my electricity supplier I had a smart meter installed by my then supplier SSE. The installation was easy and a monitoring device was also provided and I was shown how it worked and what it did. Prior to agreeing to an installation I was reassured and promised by SSE that If I switched supplier everything would remain working. The installer working for SSE also confirmed that promise. But that is not true !!
    The most effective way of reducing the cost of electricity is to switch supplier when your existing one becomes uncompetative. As is always the case after you have been a customer for a while the supplier starts raising prices. SSE did this to me, so at the end of my term with them I switched to a lower charging supplier in this case Green Network Energy. They still get automatic readings from my smart meter, that bit still works BUT, and here's the rub SSE switched off my monitor and it will no longer work, my new company cannot provide a working monitor as they did not install the smart meter and SSE will not provide a monitor  that works with all electricity suppliers.
    . As the greatest encouragement  from all scorces was to  monitor my use, the whole rational for installing a smart meter is defeated.
    It was always easy to send in my own read meter readings on-line to whoever was my supplier, it is not easy to know how much electricity I and my appliances are using on a daily or weekly basis. That is the role of the monitor.
    It now appears to me that smart meters are a con by energy companies in order to tie you in to their rising prices and stop you from switching to a.n. other to save money. 
    Can I ask Martin to investigate this problem on our behalf and put pressure on companies to stop forcing customers to stay with them however much they raise their prices and to provide monitors that work with all suppliers.
    I would also welcome other smart meter users thoughts on this and if they have found away of maintining monitoring after switching away from their smart meter installer. Or if they know where we can obtain a monitor that works with all suppliers. Regular switching is vital to keep electricity costs as low as possible
     



    Martin doesn't own this site any more. And it's doubtful, given his heavy workload now, that he'd have the time to carry out such an investigation anyway. 

    BUT you can complain to the energy ombudsman, on your own behalf.

    https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy

    Or you could contact citizens advice but I think it's quicker just go to straight to the Ombudsman. 
    They will expect you to have complained to the energy company in the first instance and it doesn't matter if the company isn't your current one, you have a dispute with SSE.
  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    No point whatsoever in going to the Ombudsman.  The problem is the smart meter fiasco itself, notably with smart meters going dumb.  That's nothing to do with SSE, they didn't design such a botched system, they were merely forced to install lots of them with the threat of massive fines if they weren't fast enough.
  • DolorDolor Forumite
    234 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    If your meters are SMETS2, then they are no longer supplier dependent. The Government has put in place an Enrolment and Adoption process for SMETS1 meters. If your meter cannot be enrolled and adopted, then it will be replaced.
  • PetriixPetriix Forumite
    700 posts
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    Smart meters are pretty pointless for us customers unless you want to access specific time-of-use tariffs. Monitoring your usage is pretty pointless once you understand to only use the appliances you need, when you need to. You presumably already know that using the dryer rather than hanging the washing out will use more energy.

    The real issue is that they are costing us all lots of money (added to the price we have to pay for our energy) for no tangible benefit. At worst they are not readable by your supplier and they are difficult to read yourself. There have been a couple of threads on here recently where a misread 'smart' gas meter has led to a bill for 11 x the correct amount. I wonder how many people are silently paying these extortionate bills?
  • VerdigrisVerdigris Forumite
    116 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    The real issue is that they are costing us all lots of money (added to the price we have to pay for our energy) for no tangible benefit.
    Keeping the lights on, for everybody, is a pretty tangible benefit, IMO. Try reading up on the smart grid, instead of regurgitating nonsense from the Daily Mail.
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