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Should I get smart meters?

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Freddyfruitba...
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PostPosted: 18:35 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Should I get smart meters? Reply with quote

For years I've resisted the continual bleating from my gas and electric suppliers to have smart meters fitted. Have never seen the point; I have no problem in taking and providing my own readings; I'm well aware of which appliances are the most expensive to run and so on; and on the flip side there's plenty of users whose meters have spazzed out when swapping suppliers; and finally I'm in theory handing over the ability to have my lecky switched off remotely either by my supplier or a Putin hacker.

However, I'm beginning to think it's probably time to bite the bullet. EoN has now resorted to bribing me not only with my choice of either a Costa Coffee voucher or a carbon-offset tree planted somewhere on my behalf, but also a £50 credit voucher for each meter. Hmm. AND, it turns out my current dumb meter is now end-of-life anyway and needs swapping out, so I'll have to have a ding-dong with EoN if I really refuse to let them replace it with a smart one.

So I just wondered what people's experience here was of having smart meters? (I'm talking credit meters, not prepayment)
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BanditsHigh
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PostPosted: 18:56 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine worked for about a year and then stopped working, then supplier was bought by another ... it makes fuck all difference as far as I'm concerned whether you have one or not ... doesn't save you any money!!

I just let them come and read the meters now ... I'm not doing it, that's why the smart meters (an oxymoron if there ever was one) were fitted!!

If they're offering you £100 quid to switch then that's £100 whichever way you look at it Thumbs Up
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to v or not to v
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PostPosted: 19:11 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have the opposite problem. the analogue meter has stopped reading and the utilities company are refusing to fit another. saying they only offer smart meters now. which is not wanted.
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grr666
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PostPosted: 20:12 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Re: Should I get smart meters? Reply with quote

Freddyfruitbat wrote:
. AND, it turns out my current dumb meter is now end-of-life anyway and needs swapping out, so I'll have to have a ding-dong with EoN if I really refuse to let them replace it with a smart one.


https://www.comparethemarket.com/energy/content/are-smart-meters-compulsory/
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Polarbear
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PostPosted: 20:15 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one. Useful to frighten wifey into not turning the heating up or I'll want more money off her.

Other than that, It supposedly means means more accurate monitoring from the charges point of view and according to some it's sending this all to GCHQ along with Alexa's spying.

Thry're coming to take me away Ha Ha.
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Nobby the Bastard
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PostPosted: 20:19 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meh, my boiler is fucked, 3 weeks till it's replaced so I'm using two electric heaters to heat a three story, 4 bed, 4 toilet house so I'm fucked either way.
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Tierbirdy
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PostPosted: 20:27 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought having a smart meter would be handy to monitor usage and live readings, plus never have to faff around going to the meter box full of spiders to take a reading.

Turns out once the novelty of flicking things on and off to see how it changes usage wears off, all it does is give you stress over how much you're using when you glance at it and see "OVER DAILY BUDGET" every time.

New place doesn't have one fitted yet, wont be having another one anytime soon.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 20:28 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main fuse cupboard in my house is in a mobile phone dead-spot anyway. Even my roaming phone is very intermittant in getting any sort of signal in that part of the room so I think a smart meter would be totally redundant.

Fact is I'm not going to use my valuable time off to wait in for someone to come and fit something that's of no benefit to me anyway. If they do eventually fit one, I'll be keeping or fitting a dumb meter on the line-in anyway because I don't trust them to have it set reading accurately. My level of trust in utility companies is near zero. So it'll mean more rather than less meter reading for me.
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grr666
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PostPosted: 21:15 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have resisted Scottish Power's attempts to strongarm me into having one. I also won't allow a direct debit, my
parents and sister have had to fight tooth and nail to get back overpayments that their suppliers have just
taken. My sister has just managed to get the £700 odd quid that her supplier have been holding, my mum, now
a pensioner is still trying to get back the £1k that her supplier is hanging on to. I told her to cancel her DD and not pay
again until the margin has been spent up on power.

It means I have to submit a reading once a month for my gas and electricity but that doesn't take more than about 10
mins to read the meters, log on, enter the readings and then pay the bills. I don't trust them as far as I can throw them.
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 22:12 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

It takes the hassle out of giving meter readings. I don’t subscribe to any foil hat concepts about monitoring - it’s a bit of gas and electric. I’d be far more worried about ISPs than that. Ours wasn’t used by a supplier previously but our new supplier sent a software update to the meters over the air and they started working again. There are two generations I believe; we’ve got gen 1 and they’re less flexible with who can use them but I imagine only gen 2 are installed now.
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Robby
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PostPosted: 22:16 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing gets more grumpy, reactionary or tinfoil hat response than mentioning smart meters on BCF.

If they're offering a £100 bribe to get them fitted, do it. You no longer have to take meter readings. You can ignore all of the other stuff, like the energy usage display, if you choose.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 22:21 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not at all concerned about monitoring. It's accuracy of reading and the fact it can be remotely fiddled with that worries me.
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Islander
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PostPosted: 22:37 - 08 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not for me. I'm not a fan.

It's unlikely I'd get one even if I wanted one. Mobile signal is patchy in the house and is only really reliable upstairs with a window between the phone and mast. My meter is behind a metre thick drystone wall. Laughing

Depending on the supplier, they can and do monitor activity. If I'm working on any of the electrics here I'll sometimes pull the service fuse (no room to fit a proper isolator at present). Obviously I don't want the supplier to know that. Wink

Also my old (fitted in the 90s) meter will run backwards if my solar panels are producing enough power and the water tank is hot which is something I'm obviously unaware of... Laughing

I can and do monitor usage and generation. Anyone can do this, you don't need a special meter either - you can buy monitors easily. All you have to do is clamp the supplied current transformer to the phase cable between the meter and fuse, and program the unit with your tariff information. It'll tell you consumption in kW/h, how much it's costing and even the carbon you're responsible for.
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MCN
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PostPosted: 04:30 - 09 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Polarbear wrote:
I have one. Useful to frighten wifey into not turning the heating up or I'll want more money off her.

Other than that, It supposedly means means more accurate monitoring from the charges point of view and according to some it's sending this all to GCHQ along with Alexa's spying.

Thry're coming to take me away Ha Ha.


As long as Korn (Alhamdulillah) doesn't sell our BCF Internet Chatter to GCHQ/El Musko then we're Golden in here. Thumbs Up
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A100man
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PostPosted: 10:38 - 09 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shelll are telling me I need one because my 'old' meter installled 4 ys ago is no good. I suspect this is because of my uber low usage (<0.5m3 per day in spring/summer - I'm a mean bastard...) and they think I'm fiddling the system...

..Ive ignored them for the time being.
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weasley
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PostPosted: 10:46 - 09 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

One possible benefit of having a smart meter - and the one that finally tipped me into getting one - is that you can use a variable tariff and therefore move some heavy loads (like charging an EV or using laundry machines) to a lower price time of day. There is also talk of rewarding people for moving load to off-peak times to help avoid power cuts (Demand Flexibility Service) - the only way to be able to partake is with a smart meter.
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Last edited by weasley on 14:40 - 11 Nov 2022; edited 1 time in total
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 10:58 - 09 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

weasley wrote:
One possible benefit of having a smart meter - and the one that finally tipped me into getting one - is that you can use a variable tariff and therefore move some heavy loads (like charging an EV or using k aundry machines) to a lower price time of day. There is also talk of rewarding people for moving load to off-peak times to help avoid power cuts (Demand Flexibility Service) - the only way to be able to partake is with a smart meter.


This is true and also, while currently not a benefit, once (hopefully) energy markets move back to a place where there are a range of deals available, quite often a smart meter will bag you a more competitive rate.
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Nobby the Bastard
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PostPosted: 11:08 - 09 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

One drawback is the suppliers can easily and without any real notice, switch your smart meter to prepay mode.
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Islander
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PostPosted: 12:01 - 09 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

A100man wrote:
Shelll are telling me I need one because my 'old' meter installled 4 ys ago is no good. I suspect this is because of my uber low usage (<0.5m3 per day in spring/summer - I'm a mean bastard...) and they think I'm fiddling the system...

..Ive ignored them for the time being.


You can continue to do so. They can't force you to have a smart meter although they may even try telling you it's a legal requirement - which it absolutely isn't. Just tell them that the low use is normal for you and has been for however long.
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Islander
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PostPosted: 12:05 - 09 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobby the Bastard wrote:
One drawback is the suppliers can easily and without any real notice, switch your smart meter to prepay mode.


Technically, they could also switch your supply off without notice. Smart meters have a built in contactor (power relay). The real disadvantage is their ability to impose variable day rates on you rather than a flat tariff. In theory it could work in your favour but then then there are the shareholders and the CEO and board's massive coke intake to consider...
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MCN
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PostPosted: 13:38 - 09 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Islander wrote:
Nobby the Bastard wrote:
One drawback is the suppliers can easily and without any real notice, switch your smart meter to prepay mode.


Technically, they could also switch your supply off without notice. Smart meters have a built in contactor (power relay). The real disadvantage is their ability to impose variable day rates on you rather than a flat tariff. In theory it could work in your favour but then then there are the shareholders and the CEO and board's massive cock intake to consider...


IFTFY. Thumbs Up

I was with Scottish Power (Scottish by Name but run by a shower of Diegos. So my cash was going to Spain)
Now with Octopus.
The on benefit I can see having smart meters is no meter readings.
If I'm no home I have to guess what my lecky is. Or rely on an estimate.
Then I submit a true reading and rebates etc.
Makes it less simple to work out my usage.

I'm currently (no pun) still coming to terms with the price hike/gouge.

14.5p/KWH in July.
37.5p/KWH in Sept. Shocked

Energy Bastirts.
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Skudd
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PostPosted: 12:51 - 11 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with OVO, I pay direct debit and have the old meters. I have a phone app that I just input my readings on. My DD are approx double my usage, OVO wanted to increase my DD to three times my usage as they predicted that in 12 months I may be £200 short. So far I have had about £600 refund in the last 10 months in two amounts. When I rang up to say that I didn't want to increase my DD they said fine, but would review it in 3 months time, as for refunds, I just ring up tell them how much refund I want, usually leaving one months usage in the account, and the refund is in my account within 3 days.

Their app guestimates my daily usage on past usage and keeps the app updated. It's really easy to use and really I can't fault them for service.
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Polo
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PostPosted: 08:43 - 14 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

I avoided them for as long as possible until I could no longer sign up to a deal that did not insist on smart meters. Am with British Gas, they can to install them, did the electric but needed parts to do the gas. They have not contacted me since to revisit.

So only benefit to me is they have me as signed up so I remain on the fixed price tariff. I don’t have to do electric meter readings but do for gas.
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hellkat
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PostPosted: 14:12 - 18 Dec 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a prepayment one for Thinking Question probably 10 years because social housing - so when they said they were putting one in, I just went with it.
Top it up through me phone - individually for gas or electric, not difficult.
There was a card somewhere that you take to the corner shop but I've never used it, don't know how Laughing

Saves me reading the meter which I'd have to stand on a stepladder in the hallway to read anyway.
There's only me here so my erratic usage is probably not within any interesting demographic group (although I'm sure that eccentric old single bints in London are quite a high statistic Laughing ).

When it beeps at me that the credit is low I just bung in another 30 squids. Recently for the gas its been 50 cos I *have* got it ramped up for quite a lot of the time when I am indoors.

Basically I'm idle, so it suits me fine.
Long as it keeps working, we're good.
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Pete.
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PostPosted: 16:00 - 18 Dec 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Islander wrote:


Technically, they could also switch your supply off without notice. Smart meters have a built in contactor (power relay). The real disadvantage is their ability to impose variable day rates on you rather than a flat tariff. In theory it could work in your favour but then then there are the shareholders and the CEO and board's massive coke intake to consider...


Technically they could but not under Ofgem rules. There's a whole rigmarole to go through before disconnection becomes an option.

The prospect of variable rates based on peak usage is what stops me from getting one fitted. I think that is sure to become a reality.
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