wirral forums

Smart meters

Posted By: Excoriator

Smart meters - 28th Mar 2018 1:44pm

They may be smart, but the deployment of them certainly isn't.

We had a smart electricity meter from a previous supplier. I liked the fact that it saved me having to read the meter, and when the time came I made sure my new supplier would fit a smart gas meter too. In due course, the man came to fit it, only to find it wasn't compatible with the smart electricity meter. After a long acrimonious phone discussion with his head office, he very decently announced that he would fit both, despite the office trying to get him to come back on a separate day. The two work well and I am now relieved of the task of reading the gas meter too as well as being able to monitor what it costs!

But it seems these are 'SMETS1' meters! These cannot be used by another supplier, so if I switch again - which I normally do every year - I will have to have both swapped again to a 'SMETS2' meters, which are not going to be fitted until October!

How much all this buggering about has cost I have no idea. They are free to the consumer, but no doubt the cost is eventually recovered via higher fuel prices.

The government is, meanwhile, spending loads more cash on stupid ads on the telly, urging one and all to get them installed. The government organisation responsible for this cannot be contacted by you and me and there appears no way that one can establish if a proposed new supplier can use your smets1 meter. Even more money is splashed on urging people to switch, despite the fact that the smart meters are stopping people doing that.Probably easier to stick with the same supplier rather than going through a meter-changing ceremony every year!

Any sensible person would have started by developing a smart meter specification that could be manufactured by anyone, and used by any supplier well before deploying them at all. I suspect this cock-up has cost us all billions already, with more to come. Sometimes I get close to despair!
Posted By: fish5133

Re: Smart meters - 28th Mar 2018 7:56pm

I changed supplier just to stop scottish power ringing me every 5 minutes asking if i wanted a smart meter ...and of course to save money. Together Energy £400+ a year cheaper.
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Smart meters - 28th Mar 2018 9:30pm

In most cases there will be no need to physically change a smets1 meter to a smets2, most smets1 can be converted into a smets2 by a remote software update.

One possible instance where this might not be the case are some systems that only do slow updates (eg 30 mins electricity and 1 day gas), I read all the words about this and gleaned nothing so I'm surmising it might be a problem.

There are so many smoke and mirror statements its difficult to understand anything. One company (OVO) is implying that when they convert to smets2 they will no longer support the smart energy analysis tool that give feedback to the customers.
Posted By: Excoriator

Re: Smart meters - 28th Mar 2018 10:25pm

Well, I hope you are right DD.

Interesting that they are remotely hackable though. It is the last thing I'd want of something collecting money from customers if I were a utility! There may well be ways of reducing one's bills by a lot more than Fish's £400+ a year...
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Smart meters - 28th Mar 2018 10:58pm

The British Gas ones are just about impossible to hack remotely (unless there are backdoors in place), your online account would be hugely easier to hack.

The smart reader is not connected to the broadband internet, it operates over the mobile phone network, they could be put on private channels which adds another layer of security that would have to be hacked.

But British Gas software being British Gas software it can probably be hacked by whispering "let me in" to it, whereupon it rolls over and lets you tickle its tummy.
Posted By: Mark

Re: Smart meters - 30th Mar 2018 12:01pm

Originally Posted by diggingdeeper


But British Gas software being British Gas software it can probably be hacked by whispering "let me in" to it, whereupon it rolls over and lets you tickle its tummy.


Ethical Hacking lol...
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Smart meters - 23rd Nov 2018 3:40am

More disasters on the Smart Meter roll-out. Due to more delays in getting the system fully compatible for customers to change suppliers it is estimated it is going to cost an extra £3bn.

The estimated total is going to be £14bn or £374 per customer.

As they estimate a smart customer saving of £18 a year it is going to penalise customers for over 20 years.

Another fine way this Government has looked after its people! ..... so where has the money gone this time? It would seem to be Capita own Smart DCC Ltd, the company that has been causing the delays in the integration.

In the meantime companies like EDF have been fined for not rolling out smart meters despite the infrastructure not being ready yet. This fine will of course be passed on to the customers.
Posted By: Gibbo

Re: Smart meters - 23rd Nov 2018 9:39am

BG pestered and pestered me to have one on my gas meter.

When the guy came round and saw it under the sink he just said "sorry, we can't do it, its in a restricted place".
Posted By: Gibbo

Re: Smart meters - 23rd Nov 2018 12:12pm

Originally Posted by diggingdeeper
Another fine way this Government has looked after its people!


Lets not forget it was Labour who introduced this, so not strictly "this" government.
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Smart meters - 23rd Nov 2018 4:39pm

I noticed that they blamed Ed Milliband but the DCC started in 2013, the costly mistakes were after 2010 specifically during the reviews in 2013 and 2014.

The smets1 meters were issued as a trial before 2013 but due to mistakes and delays it was randomly decided to continue their roll-out and they are still being issued until next year.

The initial program was badly thought out but wasn't hugely expensive and it was a trial, the program should have been halted in or before 2013 until they had the technology to cope and patched up the problems instead of marching past them and making more mistakes.
Posted By: jimbob

Re: Smart meters - 24th Nov 2018 5:09pm

any one with any form of intelligence does Not need a smart meter. Even though now in old age I can remember a saying from long ago. { if you don't need it then switch it off } a lot of people are to lazy to bother switching things off when not been actually used.
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Smart meters - 24th Nov 2018 7:57pm

Smart meters do more than the old energy monitors (Owls etc). Its ultimate aim is to open up the consumer market to variable time off-peak usage, this will reduce the peak amount of power required and hence reduce the number of power stations and perhaps more importantly reduce the amount of money spent having power stations on standby without providing any electricity to the grid.

Ultimately we may end up with the grid controlling things like washing machines, you instruct your washing machine and state when you want it done by and the grid chooses what time during the night it switches your washing machine on so balancing the load through the night and bringing generators up as necessary.
Posted By: Excoriator

Re: Smart meters - 25th Nov 2018 12:13am

I can't see that the meters issued by various companies have to be compatible in order to facilitate switching.

The sensible thing would be for all of them to read the meters they install and if the customer wants to move to another supplier, then they would have to supply the new company with readings. On balance, they would probably break even, although given time this might be rendered unnecessary if new compatible meters are installed by them all.

I don't know how the smart gas meters work. They might have a turbine in the flow which measures how much gas is passing and generates enough power to supply the electronics. They do have batteries, but I think they could merely keeping the thing working when no gas is being drawn. Or they might just have some kind of ultrasonic method of measuring flow? I'd be interested to find out.

When my smart gas meter got fitted, I was told the battery lasted ten years! If that's true it must be supplying a miniscule amount of power, or of course the meter is 99% battery!

I think we HAVE reduced our consumption. I now switch off things which I would have left on in the past and learning that one 'living flame' fire consumes almost as much as the boiler (most of the heat going up the chimney) has certainly made us think twice before turning it on.
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Smart meters - 25th Nov 2018 9:04am

Yes, gas meter does run off a large battery. It only “talks” every 30 mins so does use very little power.

I have a feeling the gas meters still run off a bellows system, the size of the meters hasn’t significantly reduced which you would expect with most other systems. Bellows would help to use even less power than more continuous systems.

The problem with each company reading own meter is that six companies have gone bust so far this year.
Posted By: jimbob

Re: Smart meters - 25th Nov 2018 3:26pm

so will high energy use items like washing machine, tumble dryers that are switched on while you are in bed fast asleep suddenly become safe to run, which at present is warned against by the fire brigade due to the possible danger of fire
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Smart meters - 25th Nov 2018 5:59pm

Originally Posted by jimbob
so will high energy use items like washing machine, tumble dryers that are switched on while you are in bed fast asleep suddenly become safe to run, which at present is warned against by the fire brigade due to the possible danger of fire


I would hope you have smoke alarms, watching TV in the front room while a washing machine is doing its whirley thing in the kitchen/utility doesn't make it significantly safer than being in bed provided you have smoke alarms.

I'm far more concerned for anything with a lithium battery in it (whether it is charging or not).

The risk of a washing machine catching fire is negligible but of course the fire brigade can't say it is safe. We leave fridges and freezers on which haven't go a brilliant track record.

The far greater majority of house fires are still caused by cooking and smoking I believe. Portable heaters, candles and faulty wiring follow them up.
Posted By: Gibbo

Re: Smart meters - 26th Nov 2018 10:27am

Originally Posted by diggingdeeper
The risk of a washing machine catching fire is negligible


Accoring to Which, washing machines are the most dangerous appliances:

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/02/revealed-the-brands-linked-to-the-most-appliance-fires/
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Smart meters - 26th Nov 2018 12:32pm

It does not say that in the article. It bundles washing machines and tumble driers together.

Nearly all tumble driers are hazardous there is always some fluff passing the heating element. There is a way of making them a lot safer but I’ve never seen it used.
Posted By: jimbob

Re: Smart meters - 26th Nov 2018 7:26pm

smoke alarm goes off, I think I would be that little bit quicker exiting the front door from the lounge { where I had been sitting watching TV } than I would be getting out of bed and running down the stairs to exit the front door. Of course if in bed asleep when smoke alarm goes off then after getting out of bed I could always climb out of one of the windows and probable break a leg as I landing on the drive at the front of my house. Ok fridges and freezers are on all the time but why ad to the risk by having more electrical appliances on during the night.
Posted By: Gibbo

Re: Smart meters - 27th Nov 2018 10:12am

Originally Posted by diggingdeeper
It does not say that in the article. It bundles washing machines and tumble driers together.


I think you need your eyes testing if you can't see them separate on that chart, with washing machines at the top:

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Norton

Re: Smart meters - 27th Nov 2018 2:30pm

I agree.

Things won't be any better if the planned overnight (8 pm onward) closures of some fire-stations go ahead.
And if you need some basic medical treatment, don't rely on your local walk-in centre still being open, either.

I thing there is another topic on Wiki about the cuts. Take a look, then decide when it's safest to do your washing.
Posted By: jimbob

Re: Smart meters - 27th Nov 2018 7:04pm

Heating is the biggest item that uses most energy, so get all house properly insulated with the most efficient insulation and not spend the money on the likes of smart meters.
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: Smart meters - 27th Nov 2018 9:57pm

Originally Posted by Gibbo
Originally Posted by diggingdeeper
It does not say that in the article. It bundles washing machines and tumble driers together.


I think you need your eyes testing if you can't see them separate on that chart, with washing machines at the top:


Sorry, that graphic doesn't load up on my browser until I do a page refresh.

Posted By: Gibbo

Re: Smart meters - 28th Nov 2018 9:58am

No worries, in fairness the text did lump the two together for some reason.
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