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    • MSE Karl
    • By MSE Karl 6th Mar 18, 4:02 PM
    • 66Posts
    • 20Thanks
    MSE Karl
    MSE Poll: Energy smart meters: What's your view?
    • #1
    • 6th Mar 18, 4:02 PM
    MSE Poll: Energy smart meters: What's your view? 6th Mar 18 at 4:02 PM
    Poll started 6 March 2018

    Energy smart meters: Great tech or a pain in the neck?

    Over eight million energy smart meters have been rolled out. They automatically send meter readings to your supplier for you, so you don’t have to. Yet many have issues, including the fact that if you switch, they revert to being ‘dumb’ meters.

    So what’s your opinion? Please select ALL the options that are closest to your view under the relevant category.


    Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.

    Thanks!


    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
Page 2
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 7th Mar 18, 5:16 PM
    • 694 Posts
    • 586 Thanks
    happyinflorida
    Why isn't the option given that people know about the energy companies not being able to use different energy companies smart meters, so if you have one installed by one company you're stuck with them or back to square one.

    I don't trust energy companies, they were privatised by the conservatives to make more money and rip people off - as usual, so why would I trust a bunch of thieves?

    I also believe smart meters are a con, what else can they do - listen into private conversations etc? They're a health risk.

    No investigation has been done about the health risks - are more people getting ill with cancer? That's a big yes, something is causing that. Again no investigations. I wonder why. You cannot fight these big companies, they are allowed to get away with murder.
    • Carrie2410
    • By Carrie2410 7th Mar 18, 5:59 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Carrie2410
    I have absolutely no need for a smart meter, nor do I want one. I simply read my own electricity and gas meters on the 1st of every month, input the readings into the two utility company websites, they immediately issue an up to date amount payable, and I pay it via online banking. Sorted. If they wish to send out a meter reader every so often to check on my readings, then that is fine and keeps somebody in a job. In this way I can see if my use has gone up or down, but it is fairly obvious that in a cold spell my gas bill will go up, and that if I plug in an electric fire, my electricity bill will go up too. I really see no need for a smart meter. Also I am concerned about the health issues surrounding these meters, and am actively trying to cut down on technology. Since switching off my wifi router at night, I find I sleep much better and have not woken up with a headache at all. I also leave my mobile phone out of the bedroom. No more unnecessary technology please. I will not have a smart meter.
    Last edited by Carrie2410; 07-03-2018 at 6:01 PM. Reason: apostrophes not showing up correctly
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 7th Mar 18, 6:57 PM
    • 12,301 Posts
    • 16,565 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    I like the idea of smart meters in principle but, as usual in the UK, the execution is very much "I put my pants on my head today" stupid.
    • You've got version 1 and version 2 of the standard for the meters
    • You're going to have a mixture of these for at least a decade
    • There'll be a mix of the ones that use a mobile signal and the ones that can connect to each other locally
    • There's the case of what about the in home display thing - from what I've heard, when it fails (and it will) that's it, you have to pay for a new one
    • The DCC that's meant to manage the data from the meters going to the suppliers is still not 100% about the version 1 meters being compatible with their systems and if they can be remotely upgraded to version 2
    • When the gas meter's battery goes, there's no consensus on whether it'll close immediately or stay open (although the meter's supposed to "phone home" and say "please send the man in a van out to me with a new battery asap", although you want to bet they'd wait until a whole street's meters need new batteries)
    • Taking your own readings isn't easy with some meters (Liberty Secure ones are cheap for the suppliers to buy and you can see it from the design and how tricky it is to operate the control panels and read the displays)
    Once they get all of these sorted out, I'll be happy to have them installed.
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021

    I had to put mothballs in my wallet - the moths had learned the PINs to my cards...
    • telemarks
    • By telemarks 7th Mar 18, 7:45 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    telemarks
    Not going SMART until they pass three criteria
    I'm going to be mercenary on this and wait, a long time if needed, to make sure:
    1. I get SMETS 2 meters, that have already been tested by others over many different energy switches.
    2. I read the reviews of the Smart meters and their remote controls, and switch energy suppliers if needed, to ensure the SMERTS2 fitted is well reviewed and has display that gives me the control I want.
    3. The installer gives an guarantee that the meter will work in a detached house, not near others, in an area that does not have any mobile signal

    Unlit I'm happy on these three, I won't allow smart meters into my house. I'm sure fitting will be tricky in my confined space with limited access, so I'm not going though it twice.
    If any supplier starts to insist I fit a smart meter that doesn't pass my three criteria then I'll be switching supplier faster than they can say "smart meter"!
    Last edited by telemarks; 08-03-2018 at 1:45 PM.
    • stevemul
    • By stevemul 8th Mar 18, 7:05 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    stevemul
    Without wanting to stick up for the free-market too much, if usage went down then the energy company's costs would go down, so the total amount they bill could come down and their profit would remain the same.
    Originally posted by JimmyTheWig
    Since when were prices based on cost? We've come a long way since those days!
    • donny jim
    • By donny jim 8th Mar 18, 9:33 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    donny jim
    I had one fitted by British gas, but since I moved companies it's now useless. But there is still the possibility that hackers could interfere with it. Also I'm surprised you are recommending the B.gas deal as you MUST have a meter fitted as part of the deal. How is it SMART if it cannot be transferred to your new provider. Each new smart meter costs, we are paying for this folly.
    • donny jim
    • By donny jim 8th Mar 18, 9:36 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    donny jim
    Since when were prices based on cost? We've come a long way since those days!
    Originally posted by stevemul
    These meters cost, that cost is paid by us, then if you move you need a new meter fitted, more cost, not saving.
    • donny jim
    • By donny jim 8th Mar 18, 9:40 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    donny jim
    Donny jim
    I'm going to be mercenary on this and wait, a long time if needed, to make sure:
    1. I get SMETS 2 meters, that have already been tested by others over many different energy switches.
    2. I read the reviews of the Smart meters and their remote controls, and switch energy suppliers if needed, to ensure the SMERTS2 fitted is well reviewed and has display that gives me the control I want.
    3. The installer gives an guarantee that the meter will work in a detached house, not near others, in an area that does not have any mobile signal

    Unlit I'm happy on these three, I won't allow smart meters into my house. I'm sure fitting will be tricky in my confined space with limited access, so I'm not going though it twice.
    If any supplier starts to insist I fit a smart meter that doesn't pass my two criteria then I'll be switching supplier faster than they can say "smart meter"!
    Originally posted by telemarks
    I like your comment but that moving emoji is annoying.
    • donny jim
    • By donny jim 8th Mar 18, 9:47 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    donny jim
    It's another folly like the so called FREE light bulbs we got. We are now encouraged to use LED bulbs, I wonder how many of those free bulbs have never been used.
    • donny jim
    • By donny jim 8th Mar 18, 10:00 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    donny jim
    It would be a terrible shame if you had to go out, all day, due to unforeseen circumstances on the day of the appointment.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    They can't force you to have one, just say no no no.
    • indesisiv
    • By indesisiv 8th Mar 18, 10:44 AM
    • 5,642 Posts
    • 18,572 Thanks
    indesisiv
    I can't select an option, as there are none that really fit.
    I have a smart meter that is not smart because I moved to a different company... I then moved back to the original company and it still can't be made "smart" again.
    I can't say that I ever used it before even when it was smart as I never had the remote bit plugged in.
    I only switched so that it would send meter readings, which it now no longer does.

    It's that it is harder to read than a normal meter.
    Originally posted by brutus6
    I just plug my handheld thing in and it displays the meter readings after a few secs. No need to read the meter.
    “Time is intended to be spent, not saved” - Alfred Wainwright
    • telemarks
    • By telemarks 8th Mar 18, 1:49 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    telemarks
    I like your comment but that moving emoji is annoying.
    Originally posted by donny jim
    Just for you, rolling head removed from my post.

    Last edited by telemarks; 08-03-2018 at 1:53 PM.
    • angry
    • By angry 9th Mar 18, 1:58 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    angry
    Once sufficient people have smart meters, the energy companies will begin to mandate their use, and introduce dynamic charging (eg according to time of day).
    Dynamic charging will be cheaper for some and more expensive for others, but I suspect it will disproportionately affect the less well off.
    Dynamic charging is not something I want to have to think about. Technology should make our lives simpler, but this will give people something else to worry about, especially those who aren't as well off ("I can't put the washing on until 9pm when it gets cheaper...").

    This is why I want to avoid getting a smart meter; to stave off this future for as long as possible.
    • Vickimichelle
    • By Vickimichelle 9th Mar 18, 11:42 PM
    • 1,642 Posts
    • 6,106 Thanks
    Vickimichelle
    We have had a British Gas one for nearly a year now & had no problems. I find it quite interesting to see how much energy certain appliances use & it helps keep us on budget.
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 11th Mar 18, 4:40 PM
    • 12,301 Posts
    • 16,565 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    I can't select an option, as there are none that really fit.
    I have a smart meter that is not smart because I moved to a different company... I then moved back to the original company and it still can't be made "smart" again.
    I can't say that I ever used it before even when it was smart as I never had the remote bit plugged in.
    I only switched so that it would send meter readings, which it now no longer does.



    I just plug my handheld thing in and it displays the meter readings after a few secs. No need to read the meter.
    Originally posted by indesisiv
    Can you set your handheld thing to always display the meter readings and not the cost? I think that could be a more useful function (since the cost calculation depends on the tariff prices, which is why the meter needs to always be in smart mode to get the benefit).
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021

    I had to put mothballs in my wallet - the moths had learned the PINs to my cards...
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 11th Mar 18, 5:01 PM
    • 7,694 Posts
    • 22,249 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    Godfather's mum had a smartmeter fitted & now lives in terror of it. (It predicts how much they will bill her.)

    She's also twigged (Far Too Late) that switching suppliers is now more difficult & that her old ways of reading each month & switching each year were altogether more In Her Control? Ah well.

    Me, I have a slightly less fixed income but a far more robust attitude to some snotty device telling me how much it plans to raid my piggy bank by, while charging me for the power it needs to run & for piggybacking on my internet.

    It may be that in my declining years I will appreciate something else peering into the cupboard & reporting on my by internet, but right now my preferred digital assistants are my fingers & thumbs.
    • indesisiv
    • By indesisiv 12th Mar 18, 10:53 AM
    • 5,642 Posts
    • 18,572 Thanks
    indesisiv
    Can you set your handheld thing to always display the meter readings and not the cost? I think that could be a more useful function (since the cost calculation depends on the tariff prices, which is why the meter needs to always be in smart mode to get the benefit).
    Originally posted by MothballsWallet
    Mine isn't plugged in to display anything unless I plug it in to get a meter reading.
    Although it doesn't show the costs as the meter has stopped doing that due to a tariff change I think.
    I honestly can't say what mine will display, I just know where the meter reading bit is.

    I've never really got the point in showing the info... if I am boiling the kettle it is going to cost, as does putting the heating on .. simple, use less, pay less.
    “Time is intended to be spent, not saved” - Alfred Wainwright
    • Charis
    • By Charis 12th Mar 18, 4:24 PM
    • 1,288 Posts
    • 13,583 Thanks
    Charis
    I've been Bullied by an employee of Scottish Power
    I've just had a woman from Scottish Power phone up and tell me she wanted to arrange for me to have a smart meter fitted. They are my supplier but I don't want one. I told her I am probably moving before the end of June, which I hope will be the case. She said I could still have one fitted. I said I didn't want one anyway, to which she replied that I have to have one, everyone is going to have to have one. I did not appreciate the tone of her voice and felt her behaviour to be unacceptable. I don't usually get annoyed on the phone but I said 'That's a lie, no one has to have one.' I hung up on her.

    If this is an outright lie, as I believe it to be, is there someone official we can report it to? I found her very rude and I don't accept that I should be bullied in my own home. I think some elderly people might be so scared of these tactics that they have one fitted even though they have no idea what they are.
    From the comments above this could lead them into difficulty and they probably wouldn't have a clue how to check their readings, even if they can reach their meter, which is not always the case. Several people on MSE have reported their boilers failing after a smart meter has been fitted. Elderly people can't wait for days for a solution to the problem, especially in the winter months. Why is this bullying allowed?

    No one in any official capacity seems to have said why these things are suddenly needed. I suspect, like others, that it is simply so they can increase the tariff when we are most likely to need electricity. These meters do not show you which appliances use the most energy, they merely show when the usage goes up and down. It should be easy enough to identify the energy guzzlers, most come with alphabetical ratings these days and the wattage should be in the instruction booklet.
    • shropshirelady
    • By shropshirelady 12th Mar 18, 7:43 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    shropshirelady
    They'd need a court order to put one in my home! There's no way I'm having one.
    • peter_the_piper
    • By peter_the_piper 12th Mar 18, 8:15 PM
    • 26,045 Posts
    • 34,964 Thanks
    peter_the_piper
    When the software is common to all suppliers I'll consider one, until then no chance.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
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