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  • FIRST POST
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 4th Aug 18, 3:01 PM
    • 8,467Posts
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    50Twuncle
    The truth about "Smart Meters"
    • #1
    • 4th Aug 18, 3:01 PM
    The truth about "Smart Meters" 4th Aug 18 at 3:01 PM
    From https://www.nickhunn.com/smart-meters-and-fake-headlines/


    The Smart Energy GB advert looks at how the savings an average household might make by having a smart meter could be used to charge a mobility scooter. They calculate it would run for 1,112 miles on that saved energy. The correct figure is 1,170 miles. Although that is a small discrepancy, they arrive at their number by pure luck, as almost all of their calculations are wildly wrong. In the process they demonstrate that they cannot even copy a number correctly from a webpage.

    Smart Energy GB start off by stating the battery size of a typical mobile scooter. Here they make their first mistake. They refer to the specification on the Roma Mobility Scooter website, which states that it contains two 12Ah batteries. Unfortunately, Smart Energy GB have misread 2 x 12 Ah as a single 212Ah battery. That means they start with a battery almost nine times bigger than it actually is.

    As with their other adverts, they dont understand how battery charging works. They take their incorrect 212Ah figure, multiply it by the battery voltage of 12V and assume the battery and charging is 100% efficient. The actual charging process for the sealed ATM/Gel batteries used in these scooters is more complex, starting at 14.4V, before moving to a constant current regime, where the voltage falls. If we assume a decent charger, it should have an efficiency of around 80%. Factoring these points in, the energy needed to charge the battery is about 0.43kWh. As Smart Energy mistakenly thought the battery capacity was 212 Ah instead of 24 Ah, they estimate that it needs 2.54 kWh six times more.

    The second mistake is that they assume that energy savings will be made equally on electricity and gas. (In this they follow BEISs view, although there is no evidence that smart meters help save gas.) If we exclude gas savings, the energy savings should be restricted to the annual household average electricity usage of 3,889 kWh. 2% of that is 77.8 kWh, and if we divide that by 0.43 kWh we see that the battery could be charged 180 times. As each charge runs the scooter for 8 miles, that equates to 1,440 miles.

    In the unlikely case that users did save energy by reducing their gas consumption, Smart Energy GB still get their figures wrong. To the best of my knowledge, no company sells a gas-powered mobility scooter charger, so the money saved by adding in gas savings would need to be used to buy electricity. Smart Energy GBs calculations forget that electricity is more expensive that gas. One kWh of gas costs around 4.4 pence, depending on where you live, whereas for electricity it costs about 13p. The money you would save from a 2% reduction in gas usage would only buy you an additional 93.4 kWh, not the 276 kWh that Smart Energy GB use in their calculation. If you save gas as well as electricity (which you almost certainly wont), youd be able to purchase enough energy to run your scooter for 3,170 miles still different from Smart Energy GBs miscalculation of 1,112 miles.

    Smart Energy GB also forget to mention that you will only have a hope of saving energy if you use the In Home Display that is supplied with the smart meter. These can consume up to 0.6W, which is 14.4 Wh per day, or 5.26 kWh per year. This is additional electricity usage you pay for whether or not you make any savings. This means that the real electricity saving is only 72.5 kWh per year, so you would only be able to run your mobility scooter for 1,343 miles

    Smart Energy GBs figure of 1,112 miles is close only because their two mistakes including spurious gas savings and misreading the battery capacity fortuitously cancel each other out. If they hadnt misread the battery data, their calculation would have come up with a figure of 9,828 miles instead of the lower 1,112 miles.
Page 1
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 4th Aug 18, 3:25 PM
    • 1,667 Posts
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    D_M_E
    • #2
    • 4th Aug 18, 3:25 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Aug 18, 3:25 PM
    Now that it's been pointed out, will they amend their advert, or will someone or several someones complain to ASA about misleading adverts?
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 4th Aug 18, 3:27 PM
    • 8,467 Posts
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    50Twuncle
    • #3
    • 4th Aug 18, 3:27 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Aug 18, 3:27 PM
    Now that it's been pointed out, will they amend their advert, or will someone or several someones complain to ASA about misleading adverts?
    Originally posted by D_M_E

    Already done it !!
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 4th Aug 18, 3:45 PM
    • 2,932 Posts
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    Robin9
    • #4
    • 4th Aug 18, 3:45 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Aug 18, 3:45 PM
    What the advt doesn't take into account is the amount of work that the motors have to do. That will vary by weight - of the machine and the person; by the terrain - uphill, flat; even by windspeed - headwind and of the aerodynamics of the person.

    Its good to see the old man and the grandson out together though.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 4th Aug 18, 3:58 PM
    • 2,345 Posts
    • 3,167 Thanks
    Robisere
    • #5
    • 4th Aug 18, 3:58 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Aug 18, 3:58 PM
    My own decision, taken when this dumb government knee-jerk project first came up, was never to have a Smart meter fitted. Since that time, various "facts" that turn out to be fiction (or something worse) published by SMEGB, added to other stories, have made my conviction stronger, This well-presented, excellently-researched post by 50Twuncle, is the final nail in the coffin of Smart meters, for me.


    In 2015, we had GCH fitted to replace our ancient, unworkable Economy7 NSHeating. We had brand new gas and electricity meters fitted. The electricity meter is 3 steps outside my front door: gas meter about the same from another front door further down the bungalow. It is easy for me to read the meter and transmit resulting reading via EDF's excellent website. I receive a new bill within 48 hours at the most: usually a message within the hour, informing me if my DD will change. Usually there is no change, but any increase and I go to the equally excellent Chatline to work out a compromise figure.


    Why on earth would I want to change that system, for a possibly future unworkable gadget that uses MY energy to tell me what I am using?


    Another government "initiative" project, that demonstrates a lack of intelligence, competence and forward planning.
    I think this job really needs
    a much bigger hammer.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 4th Aug 18, 4:09 PM
    • 2,932 Posts
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    Robin9
    • #6
    • 4th Aug 18, 4:09 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Aug 18, 4:09 PM
    I also am quite capable of reading my own meters.

    However when you look through this Forum there does seem to be a great many other people who find reading their meters too much of an effort and they end up with a mess.

    The one aspect of Smart meters which seems to be missing is the inability of the system to cope with changes of suppliers - this relies on the new supplier asking for readings. Where a meter is in Smart mode why cannot the old supplier provide this info?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 4th Aug 18, 4:29 PM
    • 8,467 Posts
    • 2,009 Thanks
    50Twuncle
    • #7
    • 4th Aug 18, 4:29 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Aug 18, 4:29 PM
    My own decision, taken when this dumb government knee-jerk project first came up, was never to have a Smart meter fitted. Since that time, various "facts" that turn out to be fiction (or something worse) published by SMEGB, added to other stories, have made my conviction stronger, This well-presented, excellently-researched post by 50Twuncle, is the final nail in the coffin of Smart meters, for me.
    Originally posted by Robisere

    Thank you - but I can't take any credit for researching Smart Meters - as I simply found it on the link stated at the top of my original post !!
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 4th Aug 18, 4:30 PM
    • 15,840 Posts
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    antrobus
    • #8
    • 4th Aug 18, 4:30 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Aug 18, 4:30 PM
    The truth about smart meters is that they are a EU thing. It's not just us.

    The EC reckons that;

    on average, smart meters provide savings of EUR 160 for gas and EUR 309 for electricity per metering point (distributed amongst consumers, suppliers, distribution system operators, etc.) as well as an average energy saving of 3%.

    https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/markets-and-consumers/smart-grids-and-meters

    An energy saving of 3% ain't a lot. What's that on an average duel fuel bill? 30-40?? Although I suppose if you're talking about 25 million or so households plus small businesses it might mean a fair few kwh.

    But I don't think that's really the point of smart meters. The point is to enable tariffs where the price of electricity (in particular) can be varied hour by hour. How else is the grid going to be able to cope with recharging all these electric cars that will soon be compulsory.
    Last edited by antrobus; 04-08-2018 at 4:32 PM. Reason: MSE don't like the Euro symbol either
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 4th Aug 18, 4:39 PM
    • 1,667 Posts
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    D_M_E
    • #9
    • 4th Aug 18, 4:39 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Aug 18, 4:39 PM
    Seems to me that the whole point of the smart meter rollout program is to waste inordinate amounts of money - which we are all paying for in the form of inflated bills to pay for the "scheme" whether we want it or not - and keep another unwanted useless, toothless quango in existence, and also all its associated employees in untold riches as they muddle their way to gold plated pensions without a care for their victims, sorry that should be indoctrinated masses.
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 4th Aug 18, 4:40 PM
    • 8,467 Posts
    • 2,009 Thanks
    50Twuncle
    The truth about smart meters is that they are a EU thing. It's not just us.

    The EC reckons that;

    on average, smart meters provide savings of EUR 160 for gas and EUR 309 for electricity per metering point (distributed amongst consumers, suppliers, distribution system operators, etc.) as well as an average energy saving of 3%.

    https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/markets-and-consumers/smart-grids-and-meters

    An energy saving of 3% ain't a lot. What's that on an average duel fuel bill? 30-40?? Although I suppose if you're talking about 25 million or so households plus small businesses it might mean a fair few kwh.

    But I don't think that's really the point of smart meters. The point is to enable tariffs where the price of electricity (in particular) can be varied hour by hour. How else is the grid going to be able to cope with recharging all these electric cars that will soon be compulsory.
    Originally posted by antrobus

    I currently pay 30 dual fuel per month and get a Warm Homes Rebate of 140 leaving a total cost of 220 per year
    3% of 220 is 6.60 - say no more ...
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 4th Aug 18, 4:45 PM
    • 15,840 Posts
    • 22,565 Thanks
    antrobus
    I currently pay 30 dual fuel per month and get a Warm Homes Rebate of 140 leaving a total cost of 220 per year
    3% of 220 is 6.60 - say no more ...
    Originally posted by 50Twuncle
    360 a year is very low and not average.

    OFGEM appears to think that average is 800-1200.

    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/infographic-bills-prices-and-profits
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 4th Aug 18, 4:48 PM
    • 636 Posts
    • 378 Thanks
    Mister G
    My 4 bed rural semi uses about 1700 a year for gas (LPG) and electric.
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 4th Aug 18, 5:16 PM
    • 10,827 Posts
    • 4,629 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    Since when did smart meters work on lpg oil etc >>
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 4th Aug 18, 8:41 PM
    • 8,386 Posts
    • 9,378 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    Since when did smart meters work on lpg oil etc >>
    Originally posted by JJ Egan
    A lot of LPG and oil tanks have telemetry meters which 'phone home' automatically to report the tank level and request a top-up when required.

    They don't usually have in-home displays, but the data is available in 'your readings' on the supplier's website.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 7th Aug 18, 1:40 PM
    • 8,467 Posts
    • 2,009 Thanks
    50Twuncle
    Now that it's been pointed out, will they amend their advert, or will someone or several someones complain to ASA about misleading adverts?
    Originally posted by D_M_E

    Response from ASA to my complaint :

    "You may be interested to know, we have received several complaints about similar savings claims made in ads for this campaign. As we are already investigating ads that are making similar claims and any findings would apply to the whole campaign, we don't intend to investigate your complaint at this time. However, the outcome will be published on our website."


    I don't hold out much hope for sucess - check https://www.asa.org.uk/news/2016-s-most-complained-about-ads.html and see how many of the top 10 complained about adverts (2016) were upheld - ZERO !!
    And - anyway, by the time ASA bare their gums - "SmartEnergy GB" will have stopped the present ad and will be running a new, misleading and totally incorrect one !
    Last edited by 50Twuncle; 07-08-2018 at 1:59 PM.
    • Pronto22
    • By Pronto22 8th Aug 18, 1:00 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Pronto22
    How does a 'Smart Meter' use less energy?
    I can't get my head round how a Smart Meter will reduce my energy usage. I don't leave the TV/router/PC etc., on standby. I have a routine to save the electric kettle wasting energy (only boil what I need and put any excess in a vacuum flask) . My main lighting is LED.
    If I suspected the accuracy of my existing meter I could check it using, say, a 3kW heater for an hour, a meter reading before and after would show if it's way out. For a more accurate test I would use a Watt-meter.
    I can't understand how a smart meter would benefit me.
    Best
    Brian
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 8th Aug 18, 1:41 PM
    • 15,840 Posts
    • 22,565 Thanks
    antrobus
    I can't get my head round how a Smart Meter will reduce my energy usage. ...
    Originally posted by Pronto22
    Nudge economics.

    Provides real time info. Householder goes oh my god, how much, and switches off the fan heater. Or whatever.
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 8th Aug 18, 1:52 PM
    • 8,467 Posts
    • 2,009 Thanks
    50Twuncle
    I can't get my head round how a Smart Meter will reduce my energy usage. I don't leave the TV/router/PC etc., on standby. I have a routine to save the electric kettle wasting energy (only boil what I need and put any excess in a vacuum flask) . My main lighting is LED.
    If I suspected the accuracy of my existing meter I could check it using, say, a 3kW heater for an hour, a meter reading before and after would show if it's way out. For a more accurate test I would use a Watt-meter.
    I can't understand how a smart meter would benefit me.
    Best
    Brian
    Originally posted by Pronto22

    They work using magic fairy dust (they clearly generate their own power) - The increased profits from preventing the millions who refuse them, from using the cheapest tarrifs - they also provide employment for fitters and most importantly don't forget the potentially massive profits to shareholders of the companies
    Oh.... you said YOU .... nothing.
    Last edited by 50Twuncle; 08-08-2018 at 1:56 PM.
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