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Author Topic: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?  (Read 4434 times)

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2017, 07:10:09 PM »

Regarding central heating savings...

I have always liked my room thermostat to be set at 20 C.

About a year ago I noticed, using a digital thermometer, that the room temp was 1 or 2 degrees above the thermostat.  I dug out another thermometer as a Ďsecond opinioní, both agreed. ???

Upon inspection, it turned out the knob on the room thermostat was mounted on a splined shaft.   Removing it, and replacing it in a slightly different angle on the shaft, the room stat agreed with reality. And, still set at 20, my gas bills dropped accordingly.   No need for high tech thermostats, or energy monitors, just a bit of sensible deduction. :graduate:

My house must now, of course, be slightly colder.   But as long as the room thermostat is set at 20, I seem to convince myself that itís warm enough.    :)

Iíd point out that in making the adjustment, mains voltage wiring was temporarily exposed.  Do not attempt same unless you have knowledge and competence to suit.
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adrianw

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2017, 07:19:11 PM »

People vary. I like 20 C when sitting down. When doing things around the house 18 C suits me.
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phi2008

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2017, 08:26:43 PM »

I don't have a smart meter and had assumed they wouldn't be dumb enough to roll out smart meters that couldn't cope with a supplier switch - then I read about SMETS 1 ...  ::)
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adrianw

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2017, 11:19:20 PM »

There is an aura of arrogant incompetence around the whole smart meter planning and roll out.
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adrianw

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2017, 11:33:29 PM »

b*cat remembers from the time when HM QE2 opened Calder Hall:)

A politician of the day said: "Electricity production . . . It will be so cheap it won't be worth metering!::)

b*cat is still waiting for his un-metered electricity supply.  :-\

The politician was probably riffing off  Lewis L. Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, 1954 speech to science writers

It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter; will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history; will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age. This is the forecast of an age of peace.

See https://cns-snc.ca/media/media/toocheap/toocheap.html

Strauss was not necessarily thinking about fission, but possibly the still sought grail of sustainable fusion. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_cheap_to_meter

I was taken around JET in its early days. It was impressive.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2017, 11:44:49 PM »

I was going to re-emphasise the option of a home energy monitor, as mentioned earlier in thread, and as championed by Which as a safer alternative to a smart meter.  In fact, I was thinking of buying one...

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/energy-monitors/article/energy-monitors-explained

But after a few hours research, Iím not so sure.  All they may be measuring is current flow, which leads to two sources of huge inaccuracies...

1) They donít seem to measure voltage, probably just assume it to be 230V.  Amazon reviews on one that I looked at seem to confirm this, suggesting you have to specify your own voltage manually, despite the fact it can vary from hour to hour.

2) If they donít monitor voltage then I donít see how they can allow for varying phase angles.   AC Power consumption (for which you are billed)  can be less than the product of current and voltage, if the two are not in phase. 

Anybody know better?  Are these monitors really any use?
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adrianw

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2017, 12:02:57 AM »

I had a "free" energy monitor, supplied several switches ago. It seemed to work, the results were believable, but I never checked how accurate it was.
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phi2008

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2017, 12:13:15 AM »

It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter ....

I'm not sure we'll ever get electricity from power stations that is too cheap to meter(though about a gram of deuterium(in fusion) can power a household for a year)... couple of interesting things I came across a while ago - one was someone who got a Tesla Powerwall(big lithium battery) and used it to store charge from their solar panels, worked quite well but _currently_  large lithium batteries are pretty expensive. The other was a story on chemist Daniel Nocera -

Quote

Artificial-leaf technology converts carbon dioxide to fuels and more

...

Recently, one group has demonstrated that it is possible to combine water splitting and CO2 conversion into fuels in one system with high efficiency. In a June 2016 issue of Science, Daniel G. Nocera and Pamela A. Silver, both at Harvard University, and their colleagues reported on an approach to making liquid fuel (specifically fusel alcohols) that far exceeds a natural leafís conversion of carbon dioxide to carbohydrates. A plant uses just 1 percent of the energy it receives from the sun to make glucose, whereas the artificial system achieved roughly 10 percent efficiency in converting carbon dioxide to fuel, the equivalent of pulling 180 grams of carbon dioxide from the air per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated.

The investigators paired inorganic, solar water-splitting technology (designed to use only biocompatible materials and to avoid creating toxic compounds) with microbes specially engineered to produce fuel, all in a single container. Remarkably, these metabolically engineered bacteria generated a wide variety of fuels and other chemical products even at low CO2 concentrations. The approach is ready for scaling up to the extent that the catalysts already contain cheap, readily obtainable metals. But investigators still need to greatly increase fuel production. Nocera says the team is working on prototyping the technology and is in partnership discussions with several companies.

Nocera has an even bigger vision for the basic technology. Beyond producing hydrogen and carbon-rich fuels in a sustainable way, he has demonstrated that equipping the system with a different metabolically altered bacterium can produce nitrogen-based fertilizer right in the soil, an approach that would increase crops yields in areas where conventional fertilizers are not readily available. The bacterium uses the hydrogen and CO2 to form a biological plastic that serves as a fuel supply. Once the microbe contains enough plastic, it no longer needs sunshine, so it can be buried in the soil. After drawing nitrogen from the air, it exploits the energy and hydrogen in the plastic to make the fertilizer. Radishes grown in soil containing the microbes ended up weighing 150 percent more than control radishes.

Nocera admits that he initially ran the fertilizer test just to see if the idea would work. He envisions a time, however, when bacteria will ďbreathe in hydrogenĒ produced by water splitting and ultimately use the hydrogen to produce desired products ranging from fuels to fertilizers, plastics and drugs, depending on the specific metabolic alterations designed for the bugs.

...

Full article ...
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 12:19:14 AM by phi2008 »
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adrianw

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2017, 12:43:59 AM »

That is interesting.

Back on the nuclear tangent. In the 1980s I worked for a CEGB region which had no nuclear stations. In a training exercise a group of us had to come up with ideas for disposing of radioactive waste. We came up with the, to us original, idea of encasing it in glass bricks for household heating. Since then I have seen that idea, and barmier ones (dumping it into small spinning back holes) in various works of fiction.

The hardware engineer's worst nightmare - a programmer with a screwdriver.
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phi2008

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2017, 12:53:38 AM »

Here's the Powerwall video - can use it for mains(from solar charging), and of course if you have an electric vehicle it's even more useful. Think when I had a quick Google a system might cost £10,000(battery+solar) or more so quite some time would be needed to recover the cost -




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tonyappuk

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2017, 01:51:21 AM »

Like I too have been badgered but when I say we have no mobile phone service they go away. Tony
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tickmike

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2017, 02:49:46 PM »

As I have said on this forum You Can Refuse to have any smart Meters

 I have sent them all an email with account number and name and address and they do not bother me again.

You can check your rights about smart meters by doing a search about it, you want the suppliers regulatory body.
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sheddyian

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2017, 11:22:22 PM »

I was going to re-emphasise the option of a home energy monitor, as mentioned earlier in thread, and as championed by Which as a safer alternative to a smart meter.  In fact, I was thinking of buying one...

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/energy-monitors/article/energy-monitors-explained

But after a few hours research, Iím not so sure.  All they may be measuring is current flow, which leads to two sources of huge inaccuracies...

1) They donít seem to measure voltage, probably just assume it to be 230V.  Amazon reviews on one that I looked at seem to confirm this, suggesting you have to specify your own voltage manually, despite the fact it can vary from hour to hour.

2) If they donít monitor voltage then I donít see how they can allow for varying phase angles.   AC Power consumption (for which you are billed)  can be less than the product of current and voltage, if the two are not in phase. 

Anybody know better?  Are these monitors really any use?

I used to have a free electricity monitor device from British Gas (a rebranded "current cost" commercial product).  You clipped a sensor around the live incoming cable from your electricity meter, which went to a battery powered transmitter device.  The receiver, an LCD display unit, showed how many units of electricity had been used, were currently being used etc, and showed some basic graphs comparing current usage to historical.

I later got an adaptor cable for the display that allowed me to connect it to a Raspberry Pi, and using some free 3rd part software "Measure It" http://lalelunet.github.io/measureit/ I could plot graphs of usage etc.

I found these a little difficult to read, and noticed that the values reported by the display unit tended to fluctuate a lot.  Something I don't notice with the smart meter display and historical data.

I'm unsure if this is an accuracy issue, or a better way of interpolating or averaging the data in the graphs.

But, out of the two, although setting my own system up on the Raspberry Pi was fun, I prefer the data given by the smart meter.  You switch a light off, within a few seconds you can see a definite drop in consumption on the smart meter display unit.  This was much less clear with the previous monitoring device.

Ian
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #43 on: December 15, 2017, 12:43:41 AM »

Have to say, Iím not surprised to hear that readings sometimes fluctuate with the monitor.   Iím more surprised that they donít fluctuate with smart meter too.

For example, an electrically operated divertor valve in the central heating might choose the same moment to flip off or on, or the boiler may trigger itself of/on, or its flu extractor fan.  Or a bathroom fan might switch itself off, if youíd been in that room recently.  Or the neighbourís cat might trigger a security light, or some rechargeable device (phone, whatever) may become fully charged and trigger its charger Ďoffí.   Let alone the fridge thermostat which could make a huge difference,  or a PC may start downloading software updates, or an incoming email might cause a disc to spin up,  and so on, and on....

Personally, for easily definable items like lights bulbs, I just look at the product label.   If a bulb says 60W, or 5W, whatever then thatís what it is.  I have double checked a few with stand alone metering, always been near 100% accurate, despite some urban myths reported in certain newspapers.
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BritBrat

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Re: Who here has a Smart Meter for electricity or gas?
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2018, 08:41:18 PM »

Old thread I know, but I keep refusing a smart meter.

Some reasons:
I want one that allows switching while maintaining being smart.

The companies are pushing these out because they could be fined if they do not meet the targets in 2020. and maybe I could negotiate a good deal to have a smart meter installed.

When supply can be switched easy I can see a lot more competition entering the market.
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