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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Karl
    • By MSE Karl 31st Oct 17, 5:13 PM
    • 61Posts
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    MSE Karl
    Smart Meters
    • #1
    • 31st Oct 17, 5:13 PM
    Smart Meters 31st Oct 17 at 5:13 PM
    Hi!

    This is the discussion thread for the


    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven!!!8217;t already, join the forum to reply.
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 09-11-2017 at 2:25 PM.
Page 1
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 1st Nov 17, 1:27 AM
    • 1,555 Posts
    • 1,992 Thanks
    badmemory
    • #2
    • 1st Nov 17, 1:27 AM
    • #2
    • 1st Nov 17, 1:27 AM
    Smart meters are emphatically NOT free. We all pay for them. We pay for them even when they go from smart to dumb. We will then pay for them to be replaced or MAYBE actually updated to become smart again. The suppposed savings from installing smart meters has now reduced to less than 20% of what they originally said & as the original savings were very small, once we pay for the rubbish meters they install (which will only last at most a third of the time the old ones did) we definitely are not saving anythiing.

    Time they went back to the drawing board, but I suspect whoever set this up has absolutely no idea what a drawing board is.
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 1st Nov 17, 3:13 AM
    • 1,042 Posts
    • 902 Thanks
    Carrot007
    • #3
    • 1st Nov 17, 3:13 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Nov 17, 3:13 AM
    (which will only last at most a third of the time the old ones did)
    Originally posted by badmemory
    That is nothing to do with smart meters. Non smart modern meters are the same. Old meters used to be certified for use for 30 years. modern meters you get 10.

    Just your usual short term thinking, go for the cheapest now and worry about replacing later. Old meters used to be refurbished and used again. This is why people still have dial meters. However is is cheaper to buy a modern meter than refub an old one. So much for begin "green".
    • thorganby
    • By thorganby 1st Nov 17, 9:40 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 73 Thanks
    thorganby
    • #4
    • 1st Nov 17, 9:40 AM
    • #4
    • 1st Nov 17, 9:40 AM
    Whilst I agree that it would be a good idea to have a useful, informative guide on smart meters, it needs to be much better than this one and it will need to be regularly updated by someone who actually understands the current technology in use.

    This is simply yet another badly written article by a couple of MSE journos who obviously should have researched this subject much more thoroughly.

    Publishing incorrect info is unhelpful to MSE readers, who simply want accurate, up to date, factually correct information presented to them, rather than a very basic guide which is only suitable for those who currently know absolutely nothing about smart meters in the UK.

    For this guide to be useful, it needs to provide full details on exactly which smart meters are currently being fitted by the various suppliers i.e. SMETS1, SMETS2, make/model and links to the relevant manufacturers user manuals, so that customers can decide which one best suits their requirements and not their suppliers.

    Some customers will want to get what they consider to be the best smart meters available (they are not all equal) and these may not be available from their current supplier, so they will likely switch to get them and then switch again to save money like they already do now.

    It is often said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and this article is a good example of this!
    • S0litaire
    • By S0litaire 1st Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    • 3,389 Posts
    • 2,141 Thanks
    S0litaire
    • #5
    • 1st Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    Whilst I agree that it would be a good idea to have a useful, informative guide on smart meters, it needs to be much better than this one and it will need to be regularly updated by someone who actually understands the current technology in use.
    ...
    ...
    ...
    It is often said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and this article is a good example of this!
    Originally posted by thorganby
    Nothing stopping you writing something up that addresses those issues and posting it here.

    This is primarily a community forum, it becomes better if you add to the knowledge.
    Laters

    Sol

    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
    • agsteele
    • By agsteele 8th Nov 17, 10:30 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    agsteele
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 17, 10:30 AM
    Long term smart meter problem
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 17, 10:30 AM
    We've had three attempts to install smart meters by two different companies. Only after the third attempt by British Gas was an explanation supplied as to why our gas smart meter didn't work.

    Apparently the gas meter sends its readings to the electricity meter which acts as a 'hub' to send the readings back to the meter reading process.

    Our house is is an old stone built property with thick walls. The gas meter is outside at the back of the property whereas the electricity meter is inside at the front of the house.

    The distance between the meters and the thick walls mean that the communication process almost always fails so gas readings are never provided.

    There must, surely, be a plan to offer a solution since there are many properties on our road in exactly the same situation and, likely as not, around the country.

    Does anyone know if the SMETS2 meters will be any better?
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 8th Nov 17, 10:57 AM
    • 4,782 Posts
    • 1,989 Thanks
    brewerdave
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 17, 10:57 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 17, 10:57 AM
    We've had three attempts to install smart meters by two different companies. Only after the third attempt by British Gas was an explanation supplied as to why our gas smart meter didn't work.
    Originally posted by agsteele
    Did the fitters actually carry the installation(s) out or abandon after testing?
    • CJM6
    • By CJM6 8th Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    CJM6
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    In 2015, I had smart meters fitted by EON. I wasn't aware at the time that my smart meter would be redundant, if i switched suppliers, which I did to British Gas ( thanks to MSE Cheap Energy Club ) . Frankly, I couldn't be bothered with hassle & reverted to manually sending in my readings monthly. I've just switched to OVO in Sept'17 ( again through Cheap Energy Club ) and they can read my smart meter, plus their app is great for monitoring daily usage. So here's the Big Q. Why can't British Gas read my EON Smart Meter, where OVO can?
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 8th Nov 17, 11:56 AM
    • 3,770 Posts
    • 5,181 Thanks
    Nick_C
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 17, 11:56 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 17, 11:56 AM
    Smart meters are emphatically NOT free. We all pay for them.
    Originally posted by badmemory
    Well they are free to the extent that there is no additional cost to the consumer for having one installed or using one.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 8th Nov 17, 12:04 PM
    • 3,770 Posts
    • 5,181 Thanks
    Nick_C
    In 2015, I had smart meters fitted by EON. I wasn't aware at the time that my smart meter would be redundant, if i switched suppliers, which I did to British Gas ( thanks to MSE Cheap Energy Club ) . Frankly, I couldn't be bothered with hassle & reverted to manually sending in my readings monthly. I've just switched to OVO in Sept'17 ( again through Cheap Energy Club ) and they can read my smart meter, plus their app is great for monitoring daily usage. So here's the Big Q. Why can't British Gas read my EON Smart Meter, where OVO can?
    Originally posted by CJM6
    https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/all-about-switching/the-switching-process/will-my-smart-products-still-work-if-i-switch-provider.html

    "At OVO we use Secure smart meters. The only other suppliers currently using the same kind of Secure smart meters are E.ON, First Utility and Utilita. So if you decide to move to one of those suppliers, they’ll be able to communicate with your OVO smart meter. And, of course, if you want to switch away from E.ON, First Utility or Utilita and join us at OVO, your smart meter should still work with us. However, it might not work if you’ve had a smart meter for a long time, and your supplier was using a different meter model or manufacturer at that stage. If you move between OVO and any provider that isn’t mentioned above, your meter will become a traditional meter – but this could be only temporary – see below."
    • Goinker
    • By Goinker 8th Nov 17, 12:35 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Goinker
    Around a year ago, I had my 'old' dial meters replaced for 'Smart' meters by British Gas. Not too long afterwards, I changed suppliers to 'Iresa', one of the 'smaller' companies, based in Nottingham. At the time, some 8 months ago, Iresa did not supply or auto read 'Smart' meters, so I received monthly reminder emails to supply meter readings, no big deal as it's easy enough. I have just received a letter from Iresa informing me that they now wish to fit me 'Smart' meters, to be done by a company by the name of 'SMS', which I assume will be Siemens Metering Services. I rang the number given and spoke to a lady, pointing out that I already had 'Smart' meters, fitted by British Gas, and was told that "They wanted to fit their meters rather than the BG ones". So,it would seem that if you change suppliers (and I've done this several times over the past few years, as I tend to go for the cheapest tariff whether big or small suppliers) then they will at some point be wanting to change your 'Smart' meters each time, to ones of their own choice. This just makes a mockery of the whole "Smart meters" campaign as it's not saving consumers money since we are paying for this as part of our tariff costs. The only ones who will be saving money when we all have these meters fitted will be the energy companies themselves, as they will then no longer need to employ meter reading staff, and we can rest assured that there will be no reduction in tariff costs to reflect this, just increased profits for the suppliers. I have no intention of going through a "change suppliers, change meters" scenario each time I move suppliers for the cheapest tariffs, so have declined the proposed meter swap, as this is nothing short of plain stupid.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 8th Nov 17, 12:39 PM
    • 3,770 Posts
    • 5,181 Thanks
    Nick_C
    Having tried for over two years to get BG to give me a smart meter, and to get my meter readings correct, I was delighted that Ovo installed smart meters less than 24 hours after going on line to find our about them.

    I mainly want the convenience of getting accurate bills and not having to read the meters and submit the meter readings on line. I don't expect smart meters to save me money. I already have low energy lighting and control my heating with Hive.

    I will probably save an insignificant amount from having an In Home Display. My only changes in behaviour have been;

    1 I have starting using the top oven instead of the main one where I can

    2 I'm listening to the radio using the Radio Player app on my phone and my WiFi speakers instead of playing radio programmes on the TV.

    Does anyone find the In Home Display saves them money?
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 8th Nov 17, 12:59 PM
    • 5,595 Posts
    • 3,432 Thanks
    Hengus
    Having tried for over two years to get BG to give me a smart meter, and to get my meter readings correct, I was delighted that Ovo installed smart meters less than 24 hours after going on line to find our about them.

    I mainly want the convenience of getting accurate bills and not having to read the meters and submit the meter readings on line. I don't expect smart meters to save me money. I already have low energy lighting and control my heating with Hive.

    I will probably save an insignificant amount from having an In Home Display. My only changes in behaviour have been;

    1 I have starting using the top oven instead of the main one where I can

    2 I'm listening to the radio using the Radio Player app on my phone and my WiFi speakers instead of playing radio programmes on the TV.

    Does anyone find the In Home Display saves them money?
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    Germany has in my opinion quite rightly decided only to fit smart meters in homes that use more than 6600kWhs/year of electricity. Why, because their research concluded that it is only high electricity users that have the real potential to save money. Average, and below average, consumers are unlikely to save very much.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Nov 17, 1:16 PM
    • 1,299 Posts
    • 1,074 Thanks
    House Martin
    Around a year ago, I had my 'old' dial meters replaced for 'Smart' meters by British Gas. Not too long afterwards, I changed suppliers to 'Iresa', one of the 'smaller' companies, based in Nottingham. At the time, some 8 months ago, Iresa did not supply or auto read 'Smart' meters, so I received monthly reminder emails to supply meter readings, no big deal as it's easy enough. I have just received a letter from Iresa informing me that they now wish to fit me 'Smart' meters, to be done by a company by the name of 'SMS', which I assume will be Siemens Metering Services. I rang the number given and spoke to a lady, pointing out that I already had 'Smart' meters, fitted by British Gas, and was told that "They wanted to fit their meters rather than the BG ones". So,it would seem that if you change suppliers (and I've done this several times over the past few years, as I tend to go for the cheapest tariff whether big or small suppliers) then they will at some point be wanting to change your 'Smart' meters each time, to ones of their own choice. This just makes a mockery of the whole "Smart meters" campaign as it's not saving consumers money since we are paying for this as part of our tariff costs. The only ones who will be saving money when we all have these meters fitted will be the energy companies themselves, as they will then no longer need to employ meter reading staff, and we can rest assured that there will be no reduction in tariff costs to reflect this, just increased profits for the suppliers. I have no intention of going through a "change suppliers, change meters" scenario each time I move suppliers for the cheapest tariffs, so have declined the proposed meter swap, as this is nothing short of plain stupid.
    Originally posted by Goinker
    Yes Robin Hood energy are a bit of a cheapskate supplier and they fit the awful Secure Liberty smart meters.Not fit for domestic smart meters IMO.
    I would refuse them point blank .Going onto Secure meters will cause delays and expense to the next supplier you switch to because they most likely wont be able to use them at all and have to fit the very usable Landis and Gyr ( BG use them ) rather than the rubbish Secure meters which are only suitable for small business metering which is what their original design is based on..
    Hengus, for some strange reason you believe that suppliers /government want to fit smart meters "to save money " for the customers.
    Not true.. they are there to save money for suppliers.Absolutely no savings to be had for customers in the long run. It was purely an advertising gimmick to get the public to accept them.
    A leaflet along with the billing pointing out how much an hour various appliances cost to run would achieve the same result.
    The IHD wont last forever and suppliers will not replace them when they die a death.
    Last edited by House Martin; 29-03-2018 at 3:30 PM.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 8th Nov 17, 1:36 PM
    • 4,618 Posts
    • 11,910 Thanks
    EachPenny
    ...they fit the awful Secure Liberty smart meters.Not fit for domestic smart meters IMO.
    I would refuse them point blank.
    Originally posted by House Martin
    But then HM you would make yourself liable for the supplier's punitive tariff - the very introduction of which you salivate at the prospect of.

    You would also be in conflict with your well-worn advice that the consumer has (should have?) absolutely no say in the matter and the fitting of whatever meter the supplier chooses should be by compulsion.

    And as a smart meter refusenik you would then also entitle yourself to the label 'cannabis farmer' you choose to so liberally apply to others.

    But presumably none of that would happen because you would eschew the supplier who offers you the cheapest energy deal in order to secure the metering arrangements of your preference.

    Funny that. We have to have your meters imposed on us, yet you get to choose the kind of meter you want. Nobody would have guessed you work for an energy company
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Nov 17, 6:46 PM
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    House Martin
    I am looking at them from the point of view of the poor public who have to read these dreadful things stuck away in the lowest reaches of the pantry or under the stairs.

    People who are elderly, poor of sight etc. I m a meter reader and all my colleagues , to a man, cannot believe what a lousy meter these are.
    They are unbelievable. One press of a keyboard of 10 buttons ,button 9 ) sets the screen flashing through at a speedy rate of around 6 screens , each screen , which is hard to see, lasts a third of a second. The reading is on the 2nd screen but by then everyone has given up on trying to decipher all the other useless stuff it displays.

    If they, that is Secure liberty meters , are placed in awkward positions, and they are most of the time WE (meter readers ) find them virtually unreadable with their 8 digits and tiny decimal point.

    Secure Liberty meters are usually used for economic reasons by the smaller suppliers like Ovo, Utilita and Robin Hood Energy and do not remain smart for long and become dumb after a year. People switch away very often from smaller suppliers .

    Personally I have never seen an IHD of a Secure meter . The public in the main do not possess one or they have binned them. Utterly dreadful meter in every way.

    Eachpenny, I dont want people to refuse a smart meter, just the Liberty meters.Eon use both Landis and Gyr and Secure smart meters so if there is a choice refuse Liberty meters.

    I would like you to stop repeating the lie you have mentioned on here a few times that I suspect that people contribute on this forum, who refuse smart meters to be energy thieves, or even the stronger criminal "cannabis farmers".

    I can affirm that I do not suspect anyone on a civilised forum like this of being an energy thief.There is widespread energy theft in the UK and the last thing they do is come on an energy forum for advice.

    (Text removed by MSE Forum Team)
    Last edited by House Martin; 29-03-2018 at 3:32 PM. Reason: Quoting edited post / Inappropriate posting
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 9th Nov 17, 10:33 AM
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    EachPenny
    If my recollection is faulty then I apologise again, but I'm fairly sure at some points you have indicated your belief that people who don't want a smart meter are people who are stealing energy, and by extension are 'cannabis farmers'. For the sake of keeping it friendly I won't go searching out the posts I'm thinking of, but I'm fairly sure you will know what I'm talking about

    Also for the sake of being friendly, can we then agree that you wish to exercise your right to refuse a Liberty meter? By the same token, can you accept that I wish to refuse a Liberty meter for similar reasons to yours (we are broadly in agreement on this subject ), I also wish to refuse a L&G meter (again on similar technical grounds) but would be happy to consider the technical merits of any other meter my supplier wishes to fit. I would also wish to reserve my right to change my mind and accept any meter my supplier offers if I decide that for any reason that acceptance would be in my best interests.

    So if we can agree that some smart meters are 'awful', and that consumers should have the right to refuse meters which they believe are not fit for purpose, then I think we might just manage to get on as best buddies for ever more

    (Text removed by MSE Forum Team)
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam5; 12-11-2017 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Quoting edited post
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 9th Nov 17, 11:12 AM
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    • 1,074 Thanks
    House Martin
    Thank you Eachpenny. I think I have indicated that its a matter of course for all active energy thieves to refuse a smart meter, definitely not sensible clued up forum posters who understand the SMETS1/2 who would like to hold on until they get the tech right.
    The suppliers get round that one by installing a smart meter anyway and promising to keep it dumb by not activating the comms. I think many will not trust them to do that .
    I am on the side of the consumer especially the vast majority who even struggle to read a good old analogue meter.You would be surprised at how widespread that is.
    If they come across such a user unfriendly device such as Secure meters they will just forget it , and if its a dumb Secure meter, as most I see are, well here comes non stop estimates and we all know that suppliers are nt mind readers and it will lead to huge debts on the way.
    How hard can it be to pick a smart electric meter which by default just displays the total kwhrs, without pressing a button from a pokey little keyboard..
    These small suppliers who routinely select Secure meters have no regard for their customers, just their profit and loss sheet
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 9th Nov 17, 11:25 AM
    • 1,555 Posts
    • 1,992 Thanks
    badmemory


    How hard can it be to pick a smart electric meter which by default just displays the total kwhrs, without pressing a button from a pokey little keyboard..
    Originally posted by House Martin
    We are in total agreement on that one.

    But also why is it not possible for these new meters to have numbers that can have numbers that can be read across the room. Yes an exaggeration, but I have digital devices that the digits are from about 0.3 cm to about 4 cms high. But one button to light them up for say 30 secs on the actual meter reading shouldn't be beyond any designers ingenuity. That would be within most peoples capabilty and not involve multiple button presses & still not sure what is correct.

    I would like a smart meter but the way things are going I am looking at generation 3 not 2, and this is ignoring my distrust of meter fitters
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 9th Nov 17, 12:26 PM
    • 4,618 Posts
    • 11,910 Thanks
    EachPenny
    But also why is it not possible for these new meters to have numbers that can have numbers that can be read across the room. Yes an exaggeration, but I have digital devices that the digits are from about 0.3 cm to about 4 cms high. But one button to light them up for say 30 secs on the actual meter reading shouldn't be beyond any designers ingenuity. That would be within most peoples capabilty and not involve multiple button presses & still not sure what is correct.
    Originally posted by badmemory
    I lack 'insider' knowledge, but would speculate that this has come about because the person specifying the electronics and display was working on the (quite false) assumption that smart meter users will be disinterested in actually reading their meter and will either rely on the information provided by the supplier (through bills) or on the figures displayed on the IHD.

    It is obviously deemed necessary to have some form of display on the meter itself, but its provision was not primarily for the benefit of the consumer, but instead for the person installing and/or checking the meter.

    When it comes to the mass production of electronics, saving a fraction of a cent on a component leads to overall cost savings/profit increases. No doubt installing a large legible LCD costs at least a fraction of a cent more than a small illegible one. The small useless multifunction display meets the requirements of the specification, but not of the consumer interested in reading their own meter.

    Meanwhile components costing many tens of cents are included in the design to facilitate such useless features as remote disconnection, again, not with the benefit of the consumer in mind.

    But of course the problem will be 'solved' when data from the meter is sent to the DCC and thence to an online system which will permit the data to be displayed in huge 'backlit' digits on your smartphone. Unless of course you don't own a smartphone, or don't want to give your supplier's 'app' permissions to do anything it wishes on your device.

    In which case I'm sure the supplier's collective customer service teams will advise the consumer "tough"
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
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