Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

Community Veteran
Posts: 21,226
Thanks: 3,402
Fixes: 52
Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

According to the ITV tonight programme on t.v.    Smart meters are going to cost US.... the consumers 11 billion pounds to install in everyone`s home...  ( government estimate figure )... but according to a researcher... that is an underestimate by at lease 1 Billion...


And according to the programme .... we   the consumers will be paying for them... and EDF have already increased their prices to pay for their engineers to do the work involved.


According to the programme... many people have had to take days off work for the installations... and according to an "anonymous" British Gas engineer... they are given a target of fitting 5 per day... knowing that they may not work after the install, but fail to tell the customer... due to the pressure of the target coming off their bonus payments.. some people have had to take 3 or 4 separate days off work... ( losing either pay or holiday allowance).. to facilitate the install to a working state..


According to the programme, and the government figures... the consumers will save about 5 billion on their fuel bills,  


According to the programme, and the government figures... the Energy Companies will save about 8 billion on their support costs.. i.e not having to send meter readers and customer service departments to sort out wrong billing.


According to the ITV Tonight web page... we can refuse to have these smart meters installed... which seems like a good idea to some... BUT... those people who opt for this action will STILL BE PAYING FOR THE INSTALL at other premises by the increased charges of the energy suppliers.. so it`s a bit of a no go, to refuse its install..


According to the ITV Tonight web page.. if you have one fitted now... and you want to change to another supplier... then the chances are. it may not work with the new supplier...  However.... a newer version is claimed to be inter-usable between suppliers.


SO.. on that point alone,... isn`t this being a bit rushed ?  At present I am going to opt out....... until MarkII comes along


(not sure when the "Mark II version"  will be rolled out,... or if you will have to pay for installation separately after the initial roll out has completed 98% of the country`s install)..


On the point of "it will save you money"... oh no, it won`t... because it is already costing us money to get them fitted  ... and you can be sure, that the increases being implemented now,... will not be reduced/removed in 5 years time, when the whole country has been fitted with these smart meters... OH NO IT WON`T...   it will be quietly forgotten so that the energy companies will be making even more profit from the installation.


On the point of "it will save you money"... one family that were inteviewed. ( apparently had one fitted by the tv programme) saved £1.00 per week...   very nice when you think about it as £52.00 per year.... but it is already lost in the uprated charges for the energy they have been getting and will get..


I am sure, that.. even if I did have one fitted.  I would probably be interested in what the thing was doing.... but I am sure, that like me... after the novelty has worn off... the energy usage will "return to normal"... and that saving of £1.00 per week, ( because we were extra careful of switching off the lights, and the telly at night) will be lost and forgotten about...


Lets face it... whatever that bill says, when it arrives... you will still have to pay it... and the only winners will be the energy companies.   not the consumers..

Aspiring Legend
Posts: 13,776
Thanks: 5,401
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎04-11-2014

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

Been told by a company that installs them that they are not suitable if you have night storage heaters - so that counts me out Wink

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison
Posts: 4,076
Thanks: 2,493
Fixes: 17
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

They keep telling us we HAVE to have one - but back off when they discover our "not spot" on both Mobile and Broadband!

Similarly the Gas suppliers invite us to swap to gas for heating.  High pressure gas main 1/2 mile,  low pressure gas?  Last guess 10 years ago was £250,000 initially, then £5000 - £10,000 per premise connected.  We declined of course.  Funny

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,330
Thanks: 1,854
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

I can see no reason for the "smart" meters other than to make some people a lot of money.

There must be hell of a lot of palm greasing going on.

I'm surprised some newspaper hasn't had some sort of exposé yet on which MP's are involved with which company producing these waste of resources.

Save energy what a laugh. If they really wanted to save energy they wouldn't waste it making these in the first place.

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,658
Thanks: 652
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

Smart meters are a solution looking for a problem. Apparently the average UK citizen is incapable of monitoring power usage. If one of these magical boxes is installed we'll instantly turn down the thermostat, unplug everything to reduce power usage, thereby saving them having to build the extra power stations they've forgotten to build.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 10,866
Thanks: 2,348
Fixes: 16
Registered: ‎02-08-2007

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

We got one of those 'owl' meters free, it just measures electricity usage but as @shutter says these things are a novelty at first and give you some idea of the energy or cost when using various appliances.

After the first month we no longer bothered to use it.

This is another idea that in theory sounds good but in practice will cost a lot for little return.

How come no one has come up with the simple idea of some attachment to the electric/gas supply and an app that allows you to read the info on a phone or tablet.

We have a water meter fitted indoors, works on bluetooth (I think) gets read without anyone needing access to the house.

We are born into history and history is born into us.
Posts: 30,597
Thanks: 3,461
Fixes: 515
Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

I've had Smart Meters fitted for 15 months now and for the first 12 months nPower didn't have the technology in place to read them remotely so I had to send in readings via the website and in one instance let a meter reader in to take an annual reading.


I have over the past 4 years reduced my energy costs by just under 20%.

Much of this saving was due to replacing all the lighting in the house with LED bulbs.

Other cost savings were achieved by picking a cheaper fixed price deal and turning down my room thermostat.

None of these savings were due to the smart meters as they were implemented before the smart meters were installed and/or would have happened regardless of the smart meter installation.

I have had an Owl electricity monitor for a few years which has nudged me in the direction of making savings.

I now can monitor both electricity and gas usage in almost real time and as a bit of a gadget nut it interests me but as a means of making energy savings, for me smart meters don't quite cut it.

Customer and Forum Moderator. Windows 10 Firefox 90.0.2 (64-bit)

To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead - Thomas Paine
Rising Star
Posts: 115
Thanks: 24
Registered: ‎19-12-2013

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

It's been clear for years that customers fitting Smartmeters would not see significant savings. The pilot studies showed around 2-3% savings in the first year, and less in later years.  The cost of installing them would never be recovered on that basis, but that was never the intention.   Although Smartmeters are 'sold' to the public on the idea of 'seeing' energy usage in real time and reducing use as a result, that is not what they are for.


Smartmeters are the mechanism to introduce energy rationing.  Since the margin of generation capacity have been reduced to the bare minimum, there needs to be a means to reduce demand when necessary.   The mechanism is the Smartmeters and the use of 'time of use' tariffs. British Gas and others have now started to introduce these.  Although they are sold on the basis of 'free electricity at weekends', they are actually designed to make power more expensive at peak times (4-8pm weekdays) so that demand is reduced.  

Of course, no politician would allow the use of the word 'rationing' but that is what it is. Rationing by price.

Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,561
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 52
Registered: ‎02-03-2016

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

I had Smart Meters installed by British Gas just over a year ago which phoned home the meter readings on a regular basis thus allowing all bills to be produced on an actual usage basis.

I have since moved suppliers resulting in a loss of some of the 'smart' features but not all. I have a desktop monitor which allows me to see in real time what is being used and also shows some historical data. I can also get the meter readings from the comfort of my armchair Thumbs_Up

Ex-Plusnetter now living life in the G,fast lane!
Posts: 12,574
Thanks: 626
Fixes: 20
Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

According to a pamphlet to be issued:-

Do consumers have to have a Smart Meter?
Smart meters will be rolled out as standard across the
country by 2020, but there will not be a legal obligation on
individuals to have one.
Energy companies will be required to install smart meters
and take all reasonable steps to reach everyone. However,
we do not expect energy companies to take legal action to
fit a smart meter if they cannot get the householder’s



"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

Posts: 1,115
Thanks: 138
Fixes: 6
Registered: ‎30-10-2011

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

You don't need a smart meter to discover that LED bulbs are more efficient than CFT's, and much more efficient than any type of incandescent bulb, including halogens, and that they all remarkably energy saving when switched off, or that using your C/H thermostat and thermostatically controlled radiator valves sensibly can save money too.

Aside from the slightly cynical thought that if my energy company wants to install a new piece of kit there's a good chance it's probably in their interests rather than mine to do so, in my case my energy supplier pays 3% interest on credit balances, so it's definitely not in my interests to always have accurate billing! Wink

Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,475
Thanks: 313
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎04-06-2009

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

I know 2 or 3 people who can't make sense of the remote reader and have thrown them in the back of a cupboard which was one of the points reiterated in the programme by a few who have had them installed.

Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,849
Thanks: 849
Fixes: 82
Registered: ‎21-09-2009

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?


Yes all energy customers are paying for the meters (and the infrastructure it requires) via levies to their energy bills. These levies are without given end dates too so we will be paying it forever no doubt.

And as for savings, well the House Of Commons committee last year published the savings per household will be £26 per annum in 2020. (using figures from 2014 which ignore the every increasing costs of the scheme)

What is really telling is who makes the most savings, it is customer, supplier, generator, Government etc. This table shows where the money is saved

Table 5: Overall (domestic and non-domestic) benefits of smart metering



Domestic (£m)

Non-domestic (£m)

Total (£m)

Consumer benefits (from energy saving and microgeneration)




Supplier benefits (including avoided site visits, reduced inquiries etc)




Network benefits (reduced losses, reduced outage notification calls, fault fixing, avoided investment from ToU (distribution/transmission) etc)




Generation benefits (avoided investment in generation from peak shifting through ToU)




UK-wide benefits (including CO2 reduction, air quality)




Source: DECC, (January 2014) (summarised),




So the suppliers will save £4b more than the consumers (and £8.2b in total) which will mean big bonuses for the board and dividends.

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,330
Thanks: 1,854
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

I see that Npower has announced the company will raise standard tariff electricity prices by 15% from 16 March, and gas prices by 4.8%.

Stating that this was down to the cost of delivering government policies such as smart meters and renewables.

Aspiring Legend
Posts: 13,776
Thanks: 5,401
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎04-11-2014

Re: Smart Meters is this a super con... ?

Quite honestly, are these just gadgets beyond need?

Mrs Minivanman stands on a stool to check our meter each week and takes a note of the reading.... honestly. 

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison