Smart Meters

Discussion in 'Just Talk' started by Odd Bodkin, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Odd Bodkin

    Odd Bodkin Active Member

    In view of a recent experience and this article i wondered if anyone here had installed a new smart meter without any problem. I've heard so many horror stories about them that i will avoid them like a bad smell til convinced they're a good idea.
    Last month i thought to change my energy contract and found a sub-clause lurking in the contract that would've left me liable to have one fitted 'whenever they were "in my area" without any say in the matter'.
    Needless to say i cancelled the contract. But these underhand tactics used by energy companies don't instill any confidence in these meters....if they're that good why go to such lengths to make people install them?
  2. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    If smart meters were actually smart, I'd consider letting them install them in my homes.
    However, their 'smartness' is nothing more than being remotely readable, i.e. an advantage for the energy retailer, and not for me.
    Real smart meters actually save energy and save consumers money. The ones they're trying so hard to foist on us do neither.
    KIAB likes this.
  3. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Don't trust them.
  4. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    What are the 'cons' of smart meters?

    (I understand the basic 'pros' are that they allow remote meter reading, and can also indicate your energy usage?)
  5. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    The biggest con is that we tax payers have subsidised and continue to subsidise (to the tune of millions of pounds) the energy companies to roll out a useless system that benefits them and only them ... as if they don't profit enough from us. All this just so the government can take credit for a job well done.

    A lesser (but still big) con is that they simply won't work if you ever switch energy supplier. Since we're all encouraged to switch energy suppliers frequently in order to reign in our energy bills, the average 'useful lifespan' of a smart meter is no more than a few years.

    I saw this farce in real life recently when I was at my sister-in-law's house in London. A meter reader knocked on the door, wanting to read the electricity meter. We didn't want to let him in because she already had BT's smart meters installed in her home for both electricity and gas. He then showed us his mandate that obliged us to let him in so that he could read the meter to check that it aligned with the remotely read readings. Of course it would have been too much to expect that he did both the gas and electricity meters at the same time. He said he wasn't qualified to read gas meters ... only electricity meters. Someone else would have to visit to confirm the remotely read gas readings. Go figure!
    Allsorts and KIAB like this.
  6. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    You do have the right to refuse a smart meter if you don't want one.

    And a smart meter can collect a lot of data,hourly,daily,weekly,etc, which can be shared with third parties.
    Allsorts likes this.
  7. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    How does it communicate - WiFi? SIM?
  8. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    I believe most of them use BPL (broadband over powerlines), i.e. they use the electricity supply cables themselves to send signals over, which are then retrieved at the first (local) substation from where they are then sent over the internet. This means that there is regular broadband connection at the substation (fibre, copper or possibly even mobile data).
    Allsorts likes this.
  9. Isitreally

    Isitreally Well-Known Member

    With a smart meter they can cut the supply off if you dont pay on time.

    Now while i agree you should be paying bills on time, some members of society are financially embarrassed and haven't always got the money at the right time but still have chrildren or elderly in the premises, this i think is wrong to put people in that sort of situation without knowing the full facts.
    So i don't like them or the power they have over the less well off.
    chippie244 and KIAB like this.
  10. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    I agree entirely with what you say and feel. However, the ability to cut off supply is not limited to the use of smart meters ... they can do it at the substation ... sometimes even remotely; so it's only a tiny bit more of a hassle for them.
  11. dobbie

    dobbie Well-Known Member

    They cannot cut off individual premises from the substation,they can only cut off a phase or phases on the ring to certain areas.
    To cut off a single premises without a Smart meter they need to pull the fuse in the premises.
  12. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    The only “ con” of smart meters is, if you’re late paying your bill, your supplier can cut you off remotely, without even telling you. The adverts seem to imply that a smart meter will save you money. That’s a con though, as only the customer can save money by reducing their energy consumption. Smart meters don’t save anything.
  13. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    I suspect it won't be quite that easy for them to do this. I would imagine they'd have to go through pretty much the same process as they currently do.

    I have no actual idea about this, tbh - I'm just less cynical :p
  14. Isitreally

    Isitreally Well-Known Member

    Be cynical.

    I actually know someone who has a pay in advance type smart meter, while they were on holiday their meter run out of credit the day before their return, the supply was cut off instantly and to top it off they take ages to put it back on after you have paid. :rolleyes::rolleyes:
  15. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    That does not sound good...
  16. Isitreally

    Isitreally Well-Known Member

    No it doesn't and there are rules covering disconnection but this seems to get around them.


    If you in a bit of financial trouble you could find you're without Gas & Leccy to boot.

    With out a Smart meter they would have to send an engineer round after discussing payment plans with you.

    As i said i dont like smart meters, its all a bit Orwell.
  17. longboat

    longboat Well-Known Member

    That's what happens with all pre-pay meters, not just the smart ones.
    Credit runs out and the supply is cut.
    Once you top them up online, and press a few buttons on the meter the supply is restored.
    The non-smart meters required a visit to a local pay point to top up the card, then return home and insert it into the meter.
    Not good when you're half way through a shower.
    Allsorts and Isitreally like this.
  18. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    The last time I saw a pre-pay meter, it had a 'buffer' where it would allow a slight overrun of your credit so it wouldn't cut you off right away; you obviously had to include this debt in the next payment, tho'.

    IIR, unless you can show examples where these new smart meters are nobbling folk, you'll have to forgive me if I still think you and JJ are being cynical.

    I do not believe that energy suppliers can simply cut your supply without warning.
    kitfit1 likes this.
  19. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Well-Known Member

    They can't, it's written into Ofgem regulations for a start. It's also Illegal for any gas/electric/water supplier to cut any customer off without a court order.
    Allsorts likes this.
  20. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    Thanks Kit. That makes sense.

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