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Author Topic: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?  (Read 3435 times)

broadstairs

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Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« on: December 11, 2017, 05:43:24 PM »

My electricity supplier is pestering me to have my meter replaced and obviously they want me to have a smart one, however my wife hates the idea and I can see zero benefit. Apparently they are saying that my current meter is getting to its end of life, however its not that old and was replaced only a few years ago.

So I am interested in knowing any experiences here from having one, particularly what if any issues have arisen with one? I have no idea what technology they use, is it wireless via the home internet, does it use the mobile phone network, or like my water meter is it read by a guy driving past in a van? I know they do cause problems if you switch in that not all meters from all suppliers are the same.

Stuart
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Dray

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 05:57:06 PM »

They're phoning me all the time asking when I want them fitted. I don't and I'm beyond repeating that so I just hang up. If they somehow angle a way of having them fitted I'll have to move to another supplier, Bulb for example who don't yet use them.
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roseway

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2017, 06:22:35 PM »

I'm also receiving repeated nagging, both from the supplier and from the installer (Siemens). I don't trust 'smart' meters, I've heard too many horror stories.
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gt94sss2

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2017, 06:30:50 PM »

We don't have them at the moment and if I was offered one, I would turn it down until the latter half of next year

The first generation of smart meters are known as SMETS 1 (Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications), They communicate with your supplier over the 3G network.

As you've picked up, if you change supplier, its likely they will turn back to dumb meters and lose any 'smart' functionality.

SMETS 2 meters are due to rollout in 2018 (some suppliers are trialling them now). They use their own central data network which all suppliers have (or will have) access to. So, when you switch, your new supplier should be able to see your usage and meter readings etc.

Hence, if you don't want to change meters often wait for SMETS2 meters. There was some talk of trying to upgrade SMETS1 meters to be more like SMETS2 but many think they will need to replaced with new ones.

More generally, I believe electric meters have a shorter lifespan than the older mechanical models..
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 06:40:10 PM »

What put me off was some very faint, easily missed, grey on white lettering on the reverse of the letter they sent me.   So far as I recall it said, by accepting a smart meter, I was agreeing to these hard to read changes in T&C.  If they are still doing that, the changes are worth reading, even if a magnifying glass and bright torch are required.

One change that alarmed me iirc off was that they wanted to have the right to remotely disconnect me.  No explanation was offered as to how that new term differed from their existing rights, but they must have had a reason for trying to make me agree to it.

I also seem to recall there may also have been some wording suggesting that I must keep the display panel in an operational state in a visible place.   I’d have wanted the option to remove the batteries and consign it to the back of a cupboard if I found I wasn’t liking it.

Since I am deeply mistrustful of the energy network operators, I have so far refused to accept one and so far, been successful.  But I fear that when an old ‘dumb’ meter reaches end of life, they may well be entitled to replace it with a smart one, your only option being to do without the gas or electric supply. :(




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gt94sss2

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 06:45:30 PM »

I have so far refused to accept one and so far, been successful.  But I fear that when an old ‘dumb’ meter reaches end of life, they may well be entitled to replace it with a smart one, your only option being to do without the gas or electric supply. :(

At the moment at least, energy firms can't insist customers have a smart meter installed and you are entitled to a'dumb' one if you wish.

I also mean't to post this link in my earlier reply to Broadstairs about how the new SMETS2 meters will transmit data - they won't use your own internet connection - but how they operate differs slightly depending on where you are: https://www.smartdcc.co.uk/media/341298/15595_dcc_fact_sheet-coverage_v7.pdf
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JGO

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 06:57:16 PM »

A former colleague's  experience was not good; basic smart meter installation failed due to poor mobile phone signal strength, and when this was fixed,  adding the personal metering unit failed. Several phone calls to India showed it was not compatible with the basic smart meter.

I wonder if it is the old problem of power engineers trying to work on electronics ?  Had a problem as TV and FM aerials were installed when these houses were built. The installer didn't appreciate that 50 Hz and 500 MHz don't behave the same !-
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broadstairs

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 08:19:54 PM »

Basically they have now said that if I dont make an appointment they will make one for me and it may not be convenient! They also said if I dont want the smart part I can ask the installer to disable it!

I will flatley refuse to have any meter with smart capability enable or not.

Stuart
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skyeci

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 08:23:42 PM »

British gas chased me for months to install. when I kept repeating it's not compulsory to have one they have now supposedly removed me from the list so we will see.
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gt94sss2

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2017, 09:32:33 PM »

I will flatley refuse to have any meter with smart capability enable or not.

You have to be a bit careful here - they are entitled to replace the meter (it doesn't belong to you) but they can't insist that its replacement is a smart meter.
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banger

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 09:42:47 PM »

My new offer tariff has a smart meter discount if I get one fitted which I think is a bit cheeky because having being offered one a couple of times and refused I now have to go for a more costly tariff without smart meter.
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NewtronStar

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2017, 10:45:34 PM »

Have had a electric smart reader installed for 8 year it shows info about your carbon usage and daily usage KWatts per hour and monthly usage for the year, Unit rate price and the price per day and hour and so on, as far as I know the smart meter does not have any way to communicate with the outside world the electricity usage is monitored via your electricity supplier just like it was done years ago.

And we still get a NI Electricity person ring the doorbell to check out the readings 4 times a year I guess this is to find/stop fraud.
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Chrysalis

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2017, 11:00:57 PM »

90% of the benefits seem to be to the supplier.

1 - Automatic readings sent so no risk of under billing you.
2 - Possibility to remote cut people off.

The mobile app that allows you to view live usage can be convenient if meter is in a bad place. But thats about the only advantage I can think off.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 11:04:19 PM »

You have to be a bit careful here - they are entitled to replace the meter (it doesn't belong to you) but they can't insist that its replacement is a smart meter.

No but if there is a sound reason that the meter needs to be replaced and they can honestly say, hand on heart, that dumb meters are no longer available, you then have a choice...

Accept a smart meter

Or

Agree to terminate the contract, meaning that your supply will be terminated.
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j0hn

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2017, 11:16:15 PM »

You have to be a bit careful here - they are entitled to replace the meter (it doesn't belong to you) but they can't insist that its replacement is a smart meter.
Pretty much this, with a slight twist. You have absolutely no right to refuse them to change the meter. It belongs to the supplier. Suppliers have targets to change meters and they may terminate your supply if you refuse a meter change.

You also can't refuse a smart meter. You can however insist the smart meter that they install is turned into a "dumb" meter. This means the supplier does their part and meets their targets as installing a smart meter in dumb mode counts towards their targets.

Which have a pretty good article on this.

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/do-i-have-to-accept-a-smart-meter

Considering the government have a target of 2020 to do every home in Britain (they are massively off this target), eventually they will force a smart meter on everyone.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 11:20:38 PM by j0hn »
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