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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Callum
    • By MSE Callum 29th Jan 18, 4:36 PM
    • 217Posts
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    MSE Callum
    MSE News: 'We need to change your meter'...
    • #1
    • 29th Jan 18, 4:36 PM
    MSE News: 'We need to change your meter'... 29th Jan 18 at 4:36 PM
    Big six energy firm E.on is sending letters saying it "needs" to install smart meters in "all" its customers' homes, MoneySavingExpert.com can reveal. But if you've got one of these letters and don't want a smart meter, you DON'T have to have one...
    Read the full story:
    ''We need to change your meter': E.on gives customers the hard sell on smart meters, but you CAN opt out'

    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
    Last edited by MSE Luke; 29-01-2018 at 5:18 PM.
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Page 4
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 2nd Feb 18, 3:03 PM
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    Hengus
    Obviously not but I wouldn't want one of those either. Not because of any spying, I just see no point. I can switch the light on or turn the TV off myself without looking like a proper tw*t shouting "Alexa Alexa" every 5 minutes.

    And more expensive tariffs for non-smart meter users? So this is proof through the back door that energy will cost more during peak times and busy periods too? Hmmm!

    Also that post earlier about Capita collecting the smart meter data for the energy companies, why does a diagram on their website show a smart fridge freezer connected to a smart meter? If I had a smart fridge surely I would have it connected to my router not the smart electric meter? What do they want to know what is in my fridge for?
    Originally posted by LeeUK
    This is a typical ToU tariff in Toronto where my daughter lives:

    https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill/electricity-rates

    The whole point of a smart grid ( of which smart meters are but a part) is to better manage supply with demand. For example, at the moment we all pay to have additional generators on standby on a just in case they are needed basis. We also pay wind farm owners £Ms to feather the blades on their generators when demand is low and winds are high. Why not encourage people to charge their electric vehicles or turn on the tumble dryer when energy supply is high through a lower unit price.

    Yes, smart devices such as freezers are included in the diagram. When demand is high, just think of the power generation savings if say 20M freezers could be turned off for a couple of hours. The same thing will probably happen with electric vehicle charging during peak demand periods. That said, I do not see this happening on a large scale anytime soon.

    As far as legacy tariffs are concerned, the cost/ benefit analysis behind the smart meter programme includes £6 a year for manual meter reading; reduced costs for meter reading validation and administration on switching etc. It would not be unreasonable, in my opinion, to pass these extra admin costs on to those who decide not to have a smart meter fitted.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 2nd Feb 18, 3:58 PM
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    Smodlet
    Smart freezers? Science fiction, much! Oh, I believe they exist. Why would I not when it was on the news the other day that we, the taxpayers, pay the salaries of military personnel stupid enough to broadcast their movements on military bases for all the world to see via "fitness apps"?

    I must be one of the few old enough to remember when we had to think for ourselves rather than rely on apps and freezers to do it for us. Is it any wonder the world is in the mess it is?

    You can put your apps where you can put your smart meters, for me.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
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    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 2nd Feb 18, 5:02 PM
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    LameWolf
    What do they want to know what is in my fridge for?
    Originally posted by LeeUK
    Maybe they've read the fridge magnet I have which says: "Raid fridge at your own risk; contents may be under a curse or awaiting re-animation".

    Joking aside, I share your concern about data-gathering; and I still can't come to terms with the idea of the data that's being gathered including one's energy use in real time. It seems to me that it wouldn't be very difficult, from the sudden greatly reduced energy use, to work out when my husband and I take a holiday, and the bungalow is therefore unoccupied....

    As the saying goes, "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you".
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
  • jamesd
    have sent this thread through to those at E.ON responsible for sending the letters including senior management.
    Originally posted by E.ON Company Representative: Malc
    Would you be kind enough to relay this feedback:

    1. I'm after a meter where the customer can set the maximum possible reading frequency at the meter and where the technical capability for the supplier to exceed this has been designed out of the meter. Ideally also one where transmission capability is easy to disable and enable to further enhance control, but with fully functioning and frequently updated in-home reporting to the consumer.

    2. I'm having work done on the electricity equipment of a flat done in a few months. Part of my requirements for that will be arranging for easy fitting of a grounded metal screen around the whole of the electricity meter. If E.On has any design guidelines for the installation of Faraday cages around domestic electricity meters I could pass that on.

    It's unlikely that many of your customers have had my unpleasant experience of living in bugged homes but since I'm aware of the monitoring potential from frequent readings I intend to build that capability out of my portion of the system.
  • E.ON Company Representative: Malc
    E.ON Smart Meters
    Would you be kind enough to relay this feedback:

    1. I'm after a meter where the customer can set the maximum possible reading frequency at the meter and where the technical capability for the supplier to exceed this has been designed out of the meter. Ideally also one where transmission capability is easy to disable and enable to further enhance control, but with fully functioning and frequently updated in-home reporting to the consumer.

    2. I'm having work done on the electricity equipment of a flat done in a few months. Part of my requirements for that will be arranging for easy fitting of a grounded metal screen around the whole of the electricity meter. If E.On has any design guidelines for the installation of Faraday cages around domestic electricity meters I could pass that on.

    It's unlikely that many of your customers have had my unpleasant experience of living in bugged homes but since I'm aware of the monitoring potential from frequent readings I intend to build that capability out of my portion of the system.
    Originally posted by jamesd
    I've passed this through to our smart meter managers jamesd.

    If you need any technical advice about our smart meters in respect of the upcoming work at the flat, I'd talk directly to our smart teams. Even if they can't help specifically they'll be able to point you in the right direction.

    Malc
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • Midnighter
    • By Midnighter 1st Mar 18, 4:40 PM
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    Midnighter
    And they're still at it. We've just received a letter from them stating, yet again, that 'We need to change your meter. Please call us to arrange an appointment'. It seems like they just don't get the message.
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    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 1st Mar 18, 5:54 PM
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    Hengus
    And they're still at it. We've just received a letter from them stating, yet again, that 'We need to change your meter. Please call us to arrange an appointment'. It seems like they just don't get the message.
    Originally posted by Midnighter
    In October last year, the Papers were reporting that the following words were being used in letters from energy suppliers:

    'We have a legal requirement to change your meter. Please call us.'

    Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-4946078/Eon-fire-smart-meter-bullying.html#ixzz58WLwf25l

    Is this still the case?
    • Midnighter
    • By Midnighter 2nd Mar 18, 3:00 PM
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    Midnighter
    In October last year, the Papers were reporting that the following words were being used in letters from energy suppliers:

    'We have a legal requirement to change your meter. Please call us.'

    Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-4946078/Eon-fire-smart-meter-bullying.html#ixzz58WLwf25l

    Is this still the case?
    Originally posted by Hengus
    I binned the letter, but I'll have a look after to see if I can find it.
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    • nicobrum
    • By nicobrum 2nd Mar 18, 7:17 PM
    • 32 Posts
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    nicobrum
    Midnighter do you know how old the meter is that Eon want to change? I had the same problem with them over a number of years but initially I agreed to the old Imperial Gas Meter being changed. The letter said that it had to be legally changed because of its age. However, they failed to turn up to two appointments and subsequently I just ignored the letters that were sent. That is until the end of 2015 when they sent me a letter with an already arranged appointment which was any time in a 6 hour slot. Previously when I complained about the failed appearances I was told they'd arrange another for a 2 hour slot but they never did. I phoned and explained I wanted a 2 hour slot because of what had happened previously and was given this. They turned up that time in Dec 2014 and changed the Gas meter for a new non-smart meter but it did take them about 8 weeks to get the system updated, during which time neither I nor Customer Service could input any gas meter readings.

    If your meter is old, they do I gather have a legal duty to replace it after its a certain age. This is different I understand to the attempts to get people to have smart meters.

    That said, about 12 months after it was changed I started getting letters again saying that had to change it. I ignored them as couldn't see why it was needed and couldn't face having to wait another 2 months for the system to be updated. In July 2016 an Eon project engineer turned up on the doorstep about it saying they had a project to change all the old meters but when I explained it had already been done and he saw the new meter, he apologised and said that he'd get it marked as replaced to avoid it happening again. Apparently when they changed the meter, nobody updated the project that was going on to say it had been changed.
    • Midnighter
    • By Midnighter 3rd Mar 18, 9:23 AM
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    Midnighter
    Midnighter do you know how old the meter is that Eon want to change?
    Originally posted by nicobrum
    I think it's been in as long as we've been in the house, so about 30 years. But from reading of the letter, and it doesn't state anything about it being a legal requirement to change to meter, it's part of a program to install smart meters into all of their customers homes.

    Despite it not stating that it's a legal requirement, the wording of the letter does strongly suggest that the meter has to be changed: '...we need to replace...', 'We need to install smart meters into all of our customers homes...' & 'We're installing your meters in accordance with the Smart installation code of practice...'. All of which push towards the thought that you have to have a new meter installed, but that's just my reading of the wording.
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    • nicobrum
    • By nicobrum 3rd Mar 18, 3:52 PM
    • 32 Posts
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    nicobrum
    Does sound like the meter is probably at end of life and they are using the opportunity to push smart meter installation and avoid a return visit potentially in years to come. My gas meter was probably about 28 or so years old when they started pushing for its replacement and failed to attend. It definitely predates my purchase of the house and I suspect was probably the original when they were built. The electricity meter had been replaced about 10 years ago after the night meter stopped working when the neutral on the mains supply blew in front of the property. If I'd been paying more attention at the time, I'd have asked for it to have been replaced with a standard meter rather than E7 as there has been central heating in the house since before I purchased it, but wasn't paying sufficient attention. To be fair the only thing that would get me to agree to smart meters voluntarily would be to get the E7 meter replaced by a standard one at their expense and not mine. It would open up switches to other companies who don't combine meter readings as Eon and some others will do.

    I suspect you'll find if the meter is that age that at some point they will force an appointment on you as they did with me. It may be worth approaching and saying that if it is because of the meter age I'll agree for it to be changed but I don't want, and do not legally have to agree to, it being replaced by a smart meter. They should, as the EON rep has said on other posts, have no issue with that. I suppose the only issue may be if they replace it with a smart meter but do not activate the smart side of it, I gather they are more difficult to read than analogue meters. There is of course the issue of mobile reception, I suspect that the smart part of the meter would have issues round here as there is very patchy mobile reception and as the gas meter is about 6 foot up on a wall I personally could have issues being able to read it due to mobility issues so in many ways would be reluctant to have it changed. Currently its easy to read as it just shows the reading all the time but if there became the need to press any buttons on the meter, it would cause me no end of problems.
    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 3rd Mar 18, 5:06 PM
    • 3,097 Posts
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    Xbigman
    It's interesting to read that an engineer just turned up. My meter is external accessed by a standard hex key. Could an engineer just turn up whilst I am out and change the meter or do I have some rights?


    Darren
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

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    • LeeUK
    • By LeeUK 3rd Mar 18, 6:27 PM
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    LeeUK
    My electric meter was at the "end of life" and they wanted to change it for a white LCD meter. I allowed it to happen but the guy they sent was a right knucklehead cowboy, he left a right mess of my wall and cables and never left a card with the old and new readings on. This is partially due to why I don't allow unannounced meter readers in too.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 4th Mar 18, 4:20 PM
    • 1,353 Posts
    • 1,142 Thanks
    House Martin
    My electric meter was at the "end of life" and they wanted to change it for a white LCD meter. I allowed it to happen but the guy they sent was a right knucklehead cowboy, he left a right mess of my wall and cables and never left a card with the old and new readings on. This is partially due to why I don't allow unannounced meter readers in too.
    Originally posted by LeeUK
    At least it was nt your "wall " you claim the meter fitter messed up. Electric meters are always mounted on "their " wall, a wooden backboard.
    The supplier owns that and the meter and cables too.
    Its not a question of you allowing a supplier into your property to fit a new electric meter, you have no choice.You have to admit them whenever they need to enter to either change or even check them.
    Have a look in your terms and conditions of supply you will see these conditions clearly outlined Suppliers have the right to disconnect anyone who refuses access for a meter exchange.
    • nicobrum
    • By nicobrum 5th Mar 18, 8:27 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    nicobrum
    It's interesting to read that an engineer just turned up. My meter is external accessed by a standard hex key. Could an engineer just turn up whilst I am out and change the meter or do I have some rights?


    Darren
    Originally posted by Xbigman
    Don't know about the legality of changing the meter unannounced but while my Elec meter is external, my Gas meter isn't so they would have to be given access or would have to force entry. I think they turned up unannounced because I'd been ignoring subsequent letters as the meter had already been changed.

    That said, many years back British Gas meter reader did force entry to read the gas meter, albeit that the wooden door was rotten around the padlock fittings so wasn't difficult for them to pull it out and access the meter. I knew they'd done this because I got a meter reader reading and not an estimate. When I complained because they made the issue with the door worse that it had been, they claimed it was rotten and they'd not done any damage, which wasn't what the complaint was about (namely forcing entry). Door got replaced quickly afterwards as stuff is stored in the "room" with the meter. Its not like they'd been restricted access, the meter had been read about 6 months previously so was no absolute reason to force entry, and I usually gave a meter reading when I received an estimate first.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 5th Mar 18, 9:06 AM
    • 4,847 Posts
    • 2,015 Thanks
    brewerdave
    It's interesting to read that an engineer just turned up. My meter is external accessed by a standard hex key. Could an engineer just turn up whilst I am out and change the meter or do I have some rights?


    Darren
    Originally posted by Xbigman
    It DID happen to a neighbour a couple of years ago -leccy meter was changed whilst no-one was home -they only found out when they got back and found a card posted thru the letterbox!!
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 5th Mar 18, 11:35 AM
    • 5,002 Posts
    • 13,317 Thanks
    EachPenny
    It's interesting to read that an engineer just turned up. My meter is external accessed by a standard hex key. Could an engineer just turn up whilst I am out and change the meter or do I have some rights?Darren
    Originally posted by Xbigman
    If it is permitted (and I suspect it isn't) then it shouldn't be. The meter fitter will have no knowledge of what appliances might be in use in the house, nor would they be able to do a polarity check. The last meter change I was involved in (last Summer) they were very insistent that someone had to be at home even if the meter was outside - this is a good thing .

    From the consumer's point of view, being present when the meter is changed is important because it allows them to (a) safely shut down and disconnect any sensitive equipment and (b) verify the meter readings. Hopefully every customer gets asked to do this by the fitter, but I suspect a lot don't.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • LeeUK
    • By LeeUK 5th Mar 18, 11:37 AM
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    • 2,709 Thanks
    LeeUK
    At least it was nt your "wall " you claim the meter fitter messed up. Electric meters are always mounted on "their " wall, a wooden backboard.
    The supplier owns that and the meter and cables too.
    Its not a question of you allowing a supplier into your property to fit a new electric meter, you have no choice.You have to admit them whenever they need to enter to either change or even check them.
    Have a look in your terms and conditions of supply you will see these conditions clearly outlined Suppliers have the right to disconnect anyone who refuses access for a meter exchange.
    Originally posted by House Martin
    I didn't say I wasn't allowing them to do the work so no need to spiel legal jargon about it.

    The installer left a cover that was covering the meter tails half hanging off. Am I supposed to put it back on myself (2 screws) or just leave it hanging with the risk of it being ripped off and making damage to the supply?

    They are welcome to read my meters but what I object to is them turning up at 8pm on a winter night when it is !!!!ing down outside. If they made an appointment on a certain date at a convenient time then they are most welcome.
    • LeeUK
    • By LeeUK 5th Mar 18, 11:42 AM
    • 5,943 Posts
    • 2,709 Thanks
    LeeUK
    If it is permitted (and I suspect it isn't) then it shouldn't be. The meter fitter will have no knowledge of what appliances might be in use in the house, nor would they be able to do a polarity check. The last meter change I was involved in (last Summer) they were very insistent that someone had to be at home even if the meter was outside - this is a good thing .

    From the consumer's point of view, being present when the meter is changed is important because it allows them to (a) safely shut down and disconnect any sensitive equipment and (b) verify the meter readings. Hopefully every customer gets asked to do this by the fitter, but I suspect a lot don't.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    They didn't even fit a new meter with me as the new one already had a couple of hundred miles on the clock. Which was why I was even more !!!!ed off when the installer didn't leave a card. Luckily I had no trouble proving it.
  • E.ON Company Representative: Malc
    E.ON Meter Exchanges
    I think it's been in as long as we've been in the house, so about 30 years. But from reading of the letter, and it doesn't state anything about it being a legal requirement to change to meter, it's part of a program to install smart meters into all of their customers homes.

    Despite it not stating that it's a legal requirement, the wording of the letter does strongly suggest that the meter has to be changed: '...we need to replace...', 'We need to install smart meters into all of our customers homes...' & 'We're installing your meters in accordance with the Smart installation code of practice...'. All of which push towards the thought that you have to have a new meter installed, but that's just my reading of the wording.
    Originally posted by Midnighter
    Hello Midnighter and, as nicobrum says, it could be your meter is nearing the end of its guaranteed shelf life.

    Electricity meters are designed to last between 10 and 30 years and gas meters between 5 and 15 years. When meters reach the end of their lifespan we’ll be in touch to ask you to contact us to book an appointment for a technician to visit and exchange the meter. This is called a meter re-certification for electricity and a policy exchange for gas.

    If you’re eligible to have smart meters fitted, we’ll offer to put these in. This offer can be turned down. To confirm my earlier posts, smart meters are optional and you can refuse any offer to have them. If you decide smart meters aren’t for you, we’ll book an appointment to fit a classic/traditional meter instead.

    Should your meter be at the end of its certified lifespan and to make sure it continues to work properly, it’s important you allow our technicians to replace it. There’s no charge to do this.

    Hope this explains Midnighter but, if it's not a meter recertification, please ignore my post.

    Malc
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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