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Smart Meters

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Smart Meters

Yesterday a Meter Plus engineer arrived and fitted gas and electric Smart Meters in my house.
Being a bit of a gadget nut I was looking forward to this moment.
I've had an Owl electricity monitor attached to the live feed for a few years so was interested to do a comparison.
The electricity Smart Meter is showing about 5% less than the Owl which has to be the less accurate of the two devices.
Unfortunately there have been reports of people experiencing problems with excessive billing after having Smart Meters fitted.
However Npower (my supplier) says they have delayed the introduction of Smart Meters to try and ensure a smooth and trouble free switch-over.
Even so, I and a number of others appear to be Npower guinea pigs prior to the main migration.
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41 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Smart Meters

I just had a letter from SSE offering me one as a selected sample
I won't bother as my present energy monitoring (I only have electric as no gas in the village) gives a feed direct to my PC so I know exactly what is being used and when
itsme
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Smart Meters

It's the central data centre that's going to be the problem as this is a government IT project.
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Re: Smart Meters

Personally I think they are a waste of time.
The only real benefit is for the energy supplier so why the customer is expected to pay even a penny towards it I will never understand.
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Re: Smart Meters

Fun part is, if there's ever a problem with billing, they can remotely cut you off too 'til you pay the bill... Grin
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Re: Smart Meters

Quote from: billnotben
Personally I think they are a waste of time.
The only real benefit is for the energy supplier so why the customer is expected to pay even a penny towards it I will never understand.

As I understand it there is no charge for fitting the meters.
I spoke to First Utility about 2 months ago and they said they are not installing the meters at present Undecided
VileReynard
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Re: Smart Meters

I was offered one a few years back, but declined.
It used some kind of wifi connection to connect to a Windows computer for display purposes.
So obviously it was of no use to me.
I don't see the point of them.
If this meter says you are using a lot of power, you are obviously already aware of it.
It's not as if someone would set out to switch things on that weren't needed.

itsme
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Re: Smart Meters

Quote from: artmo
Quote from: billnotben
Personally I think they are a waste of time.
The only real benefit is for the energy supplier so why the customer is expected to pay even a penny towards it I will never understand.

As I understand it there is no charge for fitting the meters.
I spoke to First Utility about 2 months ago and they said they are not installing the meters at present Undecided

You are paying for them. As it's a government driven installation the utilities companies add the cost to the Green Taxes that make up your bill. Which letter to the government
As for First Utility and Smart meters they installed mine 5 years ago and I had to take them to the Ombudsman because they were incorrectly charging me. 
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Re: Smart Meters

The concept of a smart meter in every home is a failed project. It just needs a courageous politician to stand up and say: "It was a dumb idea and a waste of indirect taxation."
By all means let the enthusiasts have a smart meter at a subsidised rate, but most people will judge their usage by the bill at the end of the month/quarter.
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Re: Smart Meters

I've just changed suppliers and was asked in the move if I had a smart meter . I got the impression that they couldn't have moved me if I had. Do companies supply different meters that lock you in to a particular company?  Huh
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jab1
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Re: Smart Meters

The meters don't 'lock' you to a supplier, but from reading the details in my suppliers (E-on) offer, they are liable to loose some functionality if you switch. I have decided not to take them up on the offer for that reason, even though I am about to re-contract for a further year.
John
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Re: Smart Meters

Quote from: vilefoxdemonofdoom
It's not as if someone would set out to switch things on that weren't needed.

So, you don't have children (especially teenagers) then?

Quote from: Strat
I've had an Owl electricity monitor attached to the live feed for a few years so was interested to do a comparison.
The electricity Smart Meter is showing about 5% less than the Owl which has to be the less accurate of the two devices.
Most consumer energy monitors only measure the current (via a 'clip' around the incoming live wire), this alone can only provide an estimate of electrical consumption since the power consumed also depends on the Voltage (not always the standard value of 230V or 240V) and the relative phase of the current and Voltage - with certain electrical loads the current is out of phase with the Voltage and less power is consumed than would be indicated by the product of Voltage and current (V x I) - in the theoretical case of a 'perfect' capacitor or inductor, voltage is present and current flows but NO power is consumed.  For further information search 'Power Factor'.
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Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
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Re: Smart Meters

Yes, the lack of voltage monitoring was the reason why I cited the Owl as the less accurate device.
Quote from: artmo
As I understand it there is no charge for fitting the meters.

As we were advised, there is a built in charge in energy bills for the supply and maintenance of meters of whatever type.
I have a plug-in energy monitoring device which shows Voltage, Current, Watts, Hz and KWH.
It's surprising by how much the voltage varies throughout the day.
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SpendLessTime
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Re: Smart Meters

The current smart meters will revert to a dumb meter as soon as you change supplier so they are a real waste of money currently.
Once the next generation of meters are made  (circa 2020 and counting) and all the software functions have been standardised so that the smart meter works on all suppliers then they will replace all the current ones!
Also although the energy companies can force you to change your meter then cannot insist on a smart meter being installed. It is up to you.
VileReynard
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Re: Smart Meters

Do these "smart" meters monitor gas consumption?