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December 18, 2018, 10:43:02 AM

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Smart Meters

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Offline Freddy Topic starter
United Kingdom WWW Administrator
Posts: 3496
Rank: Certified

I know Data has a smart meter. I just changed my energy supplier and am wondering what benefits smart meters bring. Mainly because my old supplier said I had to have one fitted, but I couldn't be bothered with the fuss.

For years I have just been doing readings and submitting them (or they do), and that seemed sufficient to know how much energy I use.

I've cut my electricity usage down with LED bulbs and a fluorescent was fitted in the bath room. So that's seems good.

But does a smart meter help reduce energy usage even more ?

Data, you did comment on this one time, but I forget where now  scratch-head

Thanks  Smiley
Posted July 02, 2018, 00:03:47 AM
Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 00:24:14 AM by Freddy
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Offline Data
United Kingdom Administrator
Posts: 5294
Rank: Certified

Eventually everyone will have a smart meter, it is the 21st century way of doing it.

Advantages to the customer are being able to monitor power consumption and cost in "real time", also never needing to read your meters is quite handy.

Then there is the ability for the supplier to drop energy prices to the customer if or when there is too much energy being made and they want us to use more power to help balance the grid. I have had reduced energy prices sent to my smart meter before when demand was low and the wind was blowing hard, they were probably making too much electricity and wanted people to use more. I took the opportunity to charge the car a few times at reduced prices.  

Smart meters are really about balancing the grid as we move towards renewable energy and a brave new world.

Freddy, It seems a bit of a shame that you didn't grab the opportunity to get one fitted for free, it only takes an hour of your life and then you would be doing your bit.   Wink
Posted July 02, 2018, 08:26:09 AM
Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 09:58:02 AM by Data
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Offline Carl2
United States Posts: 936
Rank: Baron

I'm unfamiliar with the smart meter since I don't think it is available around here but we don't have wind generated electricity here,  mostly
solar energy.  They do sell a power meter you can buy to see how much power an appliance is using.  Some of the electric  supply utilities offer lower rates but many have you to have a contract that you will remain a costumer for so many years or face a fine.
Carl2
Posted July 02, 2018, 12:30:10 PM Logged

Offline Freddy Topic starter
United Kingdom WWW Administrator
Posts: 3496
Rank: Certified

There's no shortage of companies wanting to do the free installation Data, so I can still do it.

We get letters about the off shore wind farms here. Cables run (or will run) quite close to us, we're mid Norfolk, so I guess that's why. The routes as far as I could see are mostly over farm land, and as they are under ground I imagine the impact will be minimal.

I'll call one of the meter companies and see about getting it done.
Posted July 02, 2018, 22:10:47 PM Logged

Offline Data
United Kingdom Administrator
Posts: 5294
Rank: Certified

I'll call one of the meter companies and see about getting it done.

I think, as a rule, you have to get your energy company to fit your smart meter, they will cover the cost and set it up to talk to their server.

Just a note, if you have electricity and gas from different suppliers then getting the smart meter to work with your gas might be a challenge because the signal is sent down the electric power lines. To have both gas and electric on a smart meter I think you need to get them both from the same company. At least that is what some people are being told.   
Posted July 03, 2018, 11:08:55 AM Logged

Offline Freddy Topic starter
United Kingdom WWW Administrator
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Well I've had letters from companies that are not my supplier offering free installation. I'll contact the new supplier to see what they can do.  thumbsup
Posted July 03, 2018, 11:12:49 AM Logged

Offline Data
United Kingdom Administrator
Posts: 5294
Rank: Certified

Well I've had letters from companies that are not my supplier offering free installation.

Yeah watch out for that mate, they might well be trying to get your business and change your supplier at the same time. 

Best of luck  Smiley
Posted July 03, 2018, 11:15:09 AM Logged

Offline Snowcrash
England Global Moderator
Posts: 2812
Rank: Certified

I've looked into this and barring the horror stories on Watchdog all is fairly straight forward.
The only issue I can find for not having one is if you change suppliers regularly. There can be compatibility issues.
Due to the government pushing this, there are lots of SMETs1 meters that the suppliers want to install but technology has moved on since roll out and the SMETs2 meters are more compatible. Unfortunately, you don't get to choose. You can only refuse if it's a SMETs1. SMETs2 are being rolled out now and I'd say wait for them.
Posted July 04, 2018, 17:38:59 PM Logged
“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline Freddy Topic starter
United Kingdom WWW Administrator
Posts: 3496
Rank: Certified

Thanks for that info Snowy, I will ask what type or wait a while.
Posted July 04, 2018, 18:25:40 PM Logged

Offline DD1975
England Posts: 1621
Rank: Certified

My brother works in the utility sector, when I asked him about it I was emphatically told to stay away from smart meters  Shocked

I really wish I could remember what the reason he gave me was now though  scratch-head
Posted July 04, 2018, 18:40:58 PM Logged
Smoke me a Kipper I'll be back for breakfast - Ace Rimmer

Offline Data
United Kingdom Administrator
Posts: 5294
Rank: Certified

I did some research about smart meters before I got mine and did find a lot of negativity posted about them on various websites, reasons not to get one fitted ranged from:

They spy on you.

They don't save you money.

They could actually increase your bill (because they are more accurate, your old meter might not be so).

You can't pull as much power through them as old type meters.

It can be harder to switch energy companies once the meter is installed.

Quick example:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/six-reasons-say-no-smart-meter/

There were other reasons too but I can't remember them all, however on balance I decided it was the right thing to do, like I have already said, the main reason to get one is to help balance the power grid as we move to renewable energy.

Money talks though, so they try to get the customer to have them fitted by saying "they could save you money".
Posted July 04, 2018, 20:12:37 PM Logged

Offline Freddy Topic starter
United Kingdom WWW Administrator
Posts: 3496
Rank: Certified

After all that, I think I will give it a miss for now. Being blocked from some suppliers could end up with me paying more, which seems pointless. I'll wait until they sort things out better.

Thanks everyone Smiley
Posted July 04, 2018, 20:43:47 PM Logged

Offline Data
United Kingdom Administrator
Posts: 5294
Rank: Certified

I think this comes down to our personal priorities in the end, we a are free to choose after all.

I haven't changed my energy supplier since I've been on a green tariff, for me, Mr Eco, I put the environment above all else, it's true I might be able to save a few quid if I keep changing energy supplier, I say "keep changing" because some suppliers sometimes drop their prices to attract our business before putting them back up again.

The really smart move seems to be using electricity at off peak times and at much reduced prices, a smart meter knows what power you use when and can charge you at the appropriate rates, if you are on the right tariff.     
Posted July 05, 2018, 10:57:27 AM Logged

Offline Data
United Kingdom Administrator
Posts: 5294
Rank: Certified

I've looked into this and barring the horror stories on Watchdog all is fairly straight forward.
The only issue I can find for not having one is if you change suppliers regularly. There can be compatibility issues.
Due to the government pushing this, there are lots of SMETs1 meters that the suppliers want to install but technology has moved on since roll out and the SMETs2 meters are more compatible. Unfortunately, you don't get to choose. You can only refuse if it's a SMETs1. SMETs2 are being rolled out now and I'd say wait for them.


Snowy I missed your post, sorry.

As of now SMETs3 are in the pipeline and there are also plans for SMETs4 as well, that's progress for ya  Smiley

It's just like all new technology I guess, it soon becomes superseded.

Lets not forget though, we are talking smart technology here, it can be up-graded with software, now I'm not saying that a customer will never need a new smart meter but I know mine has been up-graded multiple times.
Posted July 06, 2018, 11:02:27 AM
Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 11:47:39 AM by Data
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Offline Snowcrash
England Global Moderator
Posts: 2812
Rank: Certified

Found this teardown of a smart meter.

Posted October 26, 2018, 18:20:43 PM Logged
“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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