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'Smart Meters'- More Problems

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The Times has been covering this regularly-recurring problem. Here's an extract:

 

Meet Sue Bing, 77, a retired bookkeeper from Wimborne Minster in Dorset. She decided to have a smart electricity meter installed by EDF in July last year. It's a decision she now regrets as in May this year she had an email from EDF saying it had not received a reading since September. She checked on the EDF website and saw that the latest invoice was dated May 4, 2022. She then checked the meter and found it was blank. Sue contacted EDF. Last week an engineer found it was faulty and said it could have blown a fuse. After we got in contact EDF said it would visit again.

 

Then there is Allan Barnes. Now retired, he used to work in the IT department of a chemicals company and lives in Hartlepool. He had his smart meter installed in 2019 by Shell, and has never been able to see his usage because of a weak mobile phone signal that means the monitor and the meter can't communicate with each other. "I find it hard to believe that an IT communications problem can take more than 18 months to resolve," he said. "I suspect that it is either insoluble or no effort is going in its resolution."

 

Hugh Ball, who is 80 and from Eastbourne had a smart meter installed by Eon last year. He found that the in house display wouldn't operate in most rooms of his house. He also discovered that his gas meter was registering incorrect consumption and was not in sync with his monitor. Eon asked him to send a reading from his gas meter at my house, which to his horror registered 3,000 units as opposed to the reading on my monitor of 1,429. No solution has been provided by Eon.

These three people, plus hundreds of others all over the country, are having problems with their smart meters. What they want is simple: accurate readings, particularly at a time when energy bills are soaring. This should be the moment that smart meters came in to their element, to help us budget better, but instead they are failing us. Often those who have complained have been dismissed by energy companies as being technophobes; others are finding their problems are not being taken seriously. Suppliers have an obligation to fix the in-house displays when they break down and to ensure that information that is presented on them is accurate - but they are not. The smart meter installation programme has not exactly been cheap: it's cost us £13.5 billion so far. This week we have called for the rollout to stop until the technology is up to speed and for the energy suppliers to fix all those meters that are faulty.

To contact the newspaper, if you wish to add your own tale of woe: troubleshooter@thetimes.co.uk

 

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A question to the people who have a smart meter, after the initial novelty has worn do you find it an helpful tool ?


 

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It’s not a novelty at all it’s progress, our smart meter (touch wood) hasn’t been a problem, I would like to know the actual percentage figures of those who are dissatisfied as against those like me who just treat the smart meter in a similar manner to the tv remote, I could get up and walk across to the tv and fiddle manually, but why bother when progress has intervened?

 

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Posted (edited)

I see that using a tv remote is useful what I don’t see is the benefit of a smart meter apart from the readings are sent direct to the supplier.  Surely consumers know that the more energy used makes for bigger bills.

Has the meter altered your energy consumption?

Edited by Thorpist
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I'm not against progress but I do not need a meter to tell me when the kettle is on or the light is on. We turn all switches off at night  and leave nothing on standby.

To take accurate readings from the meters on the outside wall and provide them to  the supplier takes about five minutes per month. At least I know the reading is correct.

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Posted (edited)

Having the display plugged in uses electricity.  I will stick to my old meters and send the readings in on the 1st of every month as I have done for the last few years.

Edited by kidneystone

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Smart meters are an excellent idea but whose introduction has been ruined by incompetent government. The whole process should never have been the responsibility of the energy companies but there should have been a common specification managed by the infrastructure company (National grid). Of course the government sold us the lie that they would save us money because we would reduce consumption if we could see what we were using and hid the cost in our bills.

 

It makes a lot of sense to have accurate readings on a real time basis both for the energy company and indeed households

 

However the bigger reason for them is to allow variable pricing through out the day to match energy usage to production and to persuade you to do your washing at 3.00 in the morning and watch daytime TV when the sun is out

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1 hour ago, BigAl1 said:

However the bigger reason for them is to allow variable pricing through out the day to match energy usage to production and to persuade you to do your washing at 3.00 in the morning and watch daytime TV when the sun is out

 

That does allow for cheap EV charging at night tho, which alot of people have taken advantage of.  Rate goes down to 5-7p/unit, which is a massive drop from the near 30p/unit we pay during the day.

 

So it's swings and roundabouts.

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Smart Meters are O K as long as the supplier reads them . I am with E-on  who regularily don't read them or only read Electricity . Even when I have had to supply a reading they sent some one round to check it . All a  bit pointless really

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40 minutes ago, lobster said:

Smart Meters are O K as long as the supplier reads them . I am with E-on  who regularily don't read them or only read Electricity . Even when I have had to supply a reading they sent some one round to check it . All a  bit pointless really

I am with Eon and when I moved over there was a problem with them being able to do the readings but this got sorted out quickly and I do not have any issue with that end of it.

However my In home device has been most of the time useless  since I have had it in as far as checking costs often using different prices for "today" which may be correct and "yesterday/last week/ last month where the price is plucked from thin air

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3 hours ago, Thorpist said:

I see that using a tv remote is useful what I don’t see is the benefit of a smart meter apart from the readings are sent direct to the supplier.  Surely consumers know that the more energy used makes for bigger bills.

Has the meter altered your energy consumption?

Our meters are small and very difficult to get at, plus I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and don’t have the flexibility that I used to have. On energy consumption the answer is no.

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12 hours ago, BigAl1 said:

I am with Eon and when I moved over there was a problem with them being able to do the readings but this got sorted out quickly and I do not have any issue with that end of it.

However my In home device has been most of the time useless  since I have had it in as far as checking costs often using different prices for "today" which may be correct and "yesterday/last week/ last month where the price is plucked from thin air

I think the problem is that if you change tariff the software that shows the cost of usage is not updated . My shown  cost per month is way cheaper than what I am actual charged

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