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    • wymondham
    • By wymondham 23rd Jun 19, 5:22 PM
    • 5,660Posts
    • 10,572Thanks
    wymondham
    Smart Meters - let me know the pro's....
    • #1
    • 23rd Jun 19, 5:22 PM
    Smart Meters - let me know the pro's.... 23rd Jun 19 at 5:22 PM
    Hi All

    I'm hearing/seeing a bombardment of ads telling me to save the environment, save the planet and the polar bears (said by young children for maximum effect) by fitting a smart meter. Can anyone let me know how this saves energy or the planet - I've tried to find out but can't see it - I must be missing something?

    I currently send in my meter readings each month....
Page 3
    • Indout96
    • By Indout96 26th Jun 19, 10:40 AM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 2,909 Thanks
    Indout96
    The introduction of domestic PV has lowered peak demands by shifting usage; for example I switched on a load of washing today when the sun came out and my panels were producing enough.
    Originally posted by silverwhistle


    Hmmm can see that going down well at work, just nipping home to put the washer on as its cheap leccy time, mind you its a 45 min drive each way so may not be as environmentally friendly as it seems.
    Understeer is when the front of the car hits the wall.
    Oversteer is when the back of the car hits the wall
    BHP is how fast you hit the wall
    Torque is how far you take the wall after you hit it.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 26th Jun 19, 10:58 AM
    • 9,731 Posts
    • 11,871 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    I'm not 100% sure how they get their power though given in some cases they would be too far to get near the electric supply, that is if they are connected to it at all. Given the relatively long life of NiMH type batteries, this may not be a big issue as I understand it, it can communicate (maybe) with the electric meter to send its readings that way. ..

    This does actually pose an interesting question (ignore if it makes no sense) , someone who has a conventional non-smart electric meter and a smart gas meter but who's gas meter is too far from any form of electric supply if its needed, now how well does that work ?
    Originally posted by AndyCF

    Smart gas meters have a long life battery and a very low power transmitter to send the info to the electricity meter. Connecting gas meters to the mains electricity could be a bit dangerous.

    A smart gas meter won't work without an associated smart electricity meter.

    LPG bulk tanks outside have a telemetry sensor that phones home, but that only sends in a reading once a month or so, or when the tank is nearly empty.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • victor2
    • By victor2 26th Jun 19, 11:00 AM
    • 4,967 Posts
    • 3,328 Thanks
    victor2
    Yes there are. A few different types as you'd expect, same as the variance in manufacturers for the electric ones.

    I'm not 100% sure how they get their power though given in some cases they would be too far to get near the electric supply, that is if they are connected to it at all. Given the relatively long life of NiMH type batteries, this may not be a big issue as I understand it, it can communicate (maybe) with the electric meter to send its readings that way.

    Sometimes if you have the same supplier (unsure if it would work with different ones) you have both Elec/Gas on the same 'IHD' (in home display) unit.

    The idea is roughly the same though, you have a display in the house ( in the cupboard? back in its box ? ) and the Smart meter doing its own thing under the stairs/outside etc etc

    -----

    This does actually pose an interesting question (ignore if it makes no sense) , someone who has a conventional non-smart electric meter and a smart gas meter but who's gas meter is too far from any form of electric supply if its needed, now how well does that work ?
    Originally posted by AndyCF

    Our BG installed smart gas meter is battery operated and communicates with the smart electric meter, which then sends both readings back to wherever - except they're SMETS1 and I'm no longer a BG customer, so they're dumb. What will happen when the gas meter battery eventually runs out will be interesting to see as there is no other source of power to the meter and it's not a user replaceable item. It was installed in 2017 and it uses a small amount of power to drive the digital display whenever you press the button to read it, which I do daily.

    Interesting thought about a smart gas meter without a smart electric meter. Presumably that is an impossible scenario that would never be installed?
    • Houbara
    • By Houbara 26th Jun 19, 11:08 AM
    • 4,629 Posts
    • 3,220 Thanks
    Houbara
    Do you have any evidence for this?

    Existing pre-payment meters will automatically disconnect when the credit runs out. The energy companies wouldn't give up this feature when upgrading to smart meters. In any case, remote disconnection (load shedding) is defined in the SMETS2 specification, see Section 5.5.3.9 "Disable Supply".
    Originally posted by Gerry1
    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/57395/remote-disconnection-and-ppm-guidance-open-letter-160810-pdf
    When a prepay runs out of credit they are not "disconnected " Its different to a proper disconnection because the supply is ended before the main fuse with an electricity supply. with a disconnected prepay meter it would nt work even if credit was added.
    . In the "soft touch " UK disconnections by suppliers are extremely rare, even when the occupier is known to be thieving energy constantly.
    Last edited by Houbara; 26-06-2019 at 1:23 PM.
    • poppellerant
    • By poppellerant 26th Jun 19, 1:22 PM
    • 1,313 Posts
    • 752 Thanks
    poppellerant
    Exactly! So you are not paying for what you've used.


    You are instead paying an 'average' of what the supplier 'thinks' you've used


    Is that any different from supplying a reading even just once a year?
    Originally posted by Peanut8472
    Well you're paying for it in advance, but surely that beats owing money at Christmas which is a time that most people find financially difficult.

    I keep my own regular readings, so I know exactly what my previous 12 months is. If my usage indicates such high use that my direct debit needs to increase, I already know about it before my supplier has even billed me. It also allows me to find discrepancies, such as a wrong reading or extra high usage one particular month.

    It's not just about keeping on top of your finances, it's a responsibility too - something too many people shirk off these days.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 26th Jun 19, 2:25 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 93 Thanks
    Gerry1
    I keep my own regular readings, so I know exactly what my previous 12 months is. If my usage indicates such high use that my direct debit needs to increase, I already know about it before my supplier has even billed me. It also allows me to find discrepancies, such as a wrong reading or extra high usage one particular month.
    Originally posted by poppellerant
    Of course, if Ofgem were any good they'd rule that Variable Direct Debit should be the default, so that you were billed for the exact amount each month. Fill up at the petrol pump and you pay for what you've used; why should gas and electricity be any different?

    Fixed Direct Debit only makes bills difficult to understand and hard to spot excessive consumption in a timely manner. Even worse, it allows fly-by-night companies to build up large capital sums despite having unsustainable tariffs. This encourages Ponzi schemes to flourish until the bubble inevitably bursts. No fewer than eleven of these outfits have recently gone bust, costing the rest of us 172 million to bail them out via the levy that makes everyone's bills more expensive.

    Fixed DDs should still be made available, but only for customers who request them.
    Last edited by Gerry1; 26-06-2019 at 5:03 PM.
    • Vegastare
    • By Vegastare 26th Jun 19, 4:56 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 583 Thanks
    Vegastare
    While we have seen many pro's and against for smart meters there is also the big con......the misconception that you have to have one from some of the energy companies, you do not.
    Plus now you have the deals along which only come with you agreeing to a smart meter thus forcing your hand to get a cheaper deal.
    So far I have resisted, why well several years ago we were left a device that showed the electric we were using, it was plugged in the hall, for the week the utility company left it with us I was constantly darting in the hall to see what happening, yes I discovered the oven on scooted it up and didn't even want to know what the dryer would do(us it in emergencies anyway). This device left me thinking how obsessed one could become and how my Sunday roast might be a thing of the past.
    My motto has always been if it heats up it eats up.
    • zaax
    • By zaax 26th Jun 19, 6:00 PM
    • 1,878 Posts
    • 743 Thanks
    zaax
    They can can turn you electric and gas off in the middle of the winter like this did with this women.

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/jun/26/ovo-smart-meter-readings-error-disconnected
    Do you want your money back, and a bit more, search for 'money claim online' - They don't like it up 'em Captain Mainwaring
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 26th Jun 19, 6:48 PM
    • 9,731 Posts
    • 11,871 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    Hmmm can see that going down well at work, just nipping home to put the washer on as its cheap leccy time, mind you its a 45 min drive each way so may not be as environmentally friendly as it seems.
    Originally posted by Indout96
    You'll be able to turn the washing machine on remotely over the internet.

    Then your smoke detector will be able to send you a text message telling you it's caught fire.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Vegastare
    • By Vegastare 26th Jun 19, 7:02 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 583 Thanks
    Vegastare
    I must really turn my mobile on 24/7
    • Peanut8472
    • By Peanut8472 26th Jun 19, 9:25 PM
    • 115 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Peanut8472
    Well you're paying for it in advance, but surely that beats owing money at Christmas which is a time that most people find financially difficult.

    I keep my own regular readings, so I know exactly what my previous 12 months is. If my usage indicates such high use that my direct debit needs to increase, I already know about it before my supplier has even billed me. It also allows me to find discrepancies, such as a wrong reading or extra high usage one particular month.

    It's not just about keeping on top of your finances, it's a responsibility too - something too many people shirk off these days.
    Originally posted by poppellerant
    I'm sorry, we seem to be at cross-purposes.
    The original poster made a statement that having a smart meter meant he was only paying for what he used.

    I was making the point that paying for the exact amount you'd used every month was fine, but your winter bills would likely be too high for most people to budget for.


    Of course, most people have their annual usage calculated, and spread that cost over 12 months to give 12 equal payments, which is much easier to budget for.

    I also made the point that supplying even just 1 meter read per year, meant you were STILL only paying for what you had used, regardless of whether you had a smart meter
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 26th Jun 19, 10:10 PM
    • 325 Posts
    • 638 Thanks
    AndyCF
    You'll be able to turn the washing machine on remotely over the internet.

    Then your smoke detector will be able to send you a text message telling you it's caught fire.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    Likely quite true!

    Unless you mean the smoke detector is telling you that *it* has caught fire, not the washing machine followed by the rest of the kitchen/utility room/wherever said machine lives.

    I'm slightly sceptical of "internet of things" in some ways and I do like tech but only to a certain point. I can see some practicalities with some items connected but not all of them by any means.

    I do not see a need for the fridge to tell you that you are low on milk or whatever or order it for you, you'll soon know when its getting low (hopefully!) before it runs out. Same as having the toaster connected ( ! ) , unsure how that's going to be of any practical help lols as you're going to have to get up to get said toasty bits out anyway. Regarding the fridge content, well you may want to run out of item x on purpose. Online shopping with 'last shop again' or 'similar to last time' is quite reasonably handy as a reminder I think.

    One neighbour does have quite a lot of remote controlled (via smart phone app) lights, I can't remember which company it was, not one of the two well known ones. The app did not look familiar from what I saw of it. Anyway he was vaguely on about a relay box so he could switch on/off various appliances with a thought to having the kettle on (but unpowered) and then switch it on 5 mins from work so it was ready when he got home. I'm not sure if that was a wind up or not actually, I know they have safety heat cut-out (if it emptied itself in the day or something) but still. Mind you if it was full of water its likely reasonably self-extinguishing!
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