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'Smart Meters'- More Problems

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1 hour ago, redruby said:

Agreed. We got one about 6 years ago after my OH got fed up with constant emails, texts, letters and phone calls pushing for it. 
It has made NO difference to the amount of energy we use.  We are not wasteful so didn’t even bother using the little monitor they gave us. The only benefit was not having to bother giving readings.
Anyway a year or so ago we were asked to send meter readings again as apparently the meter had stopped sending signals. So we are back to sending readings.  What a waste of time.

It is the government you need to blame it is them that is forcing the energy companies to install them and meet targets and imposing penalties if they do not meet targets

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Frankly the things are missold as being something that saves customers money but they don't actually do anything themselves. Their only real purpose is to allow for real-time monitoring and managing of the demand on the electricity grid, to allow the industry to get rid of staff who were employed to read meters and to maybe nudge a few people into using less energy. The only way we save any money is if we stop using as much gas and electricity. If it took a small box telling you how much you used to figure that one out then fine but even the Government's own most optimistic prediction was that at most 1/3 of people would save any money at all.

 

The vast bulk of the savings that are supposed to come from installing smart meters go directly to the energy companies through employing fewer staff for meter readings and telephone inquiries, debt management and reduced theft. There's also supposed to be saving from smoothing out the difference between peak and off-peak usage and the way they're going to do this is by using the every 30 minute updated monitoring of usage to bring in 'time of use' tariffs where they charge a higher rate in any 30 minute period where the start meters are telling them more people are using energy and a lower rate when they aren't. The theory is that this will encourage some people to move their energy intensive activities to other times of the day but most of us don't live lives that allow that because we're either asleep or at work during those hours so we'll just pay more at the only times of day available to us to do these activities.

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33 minutes ago, Funky_Gibbon said:

Frankly the things are missold as being something that saves customers money but they don't actually do anything themselves. Their only real purpose is to allow for real-time monitoring and managing of the demand on the electricity grid, to allow the industry to get rid of staff who were employed to read meters and to maybe nudge a few people into using less energy. The only way we save any money is if we stop using as much gas and electricity. If it took a small box telling you how much you used to figure that one out then fine but even the Government's own most optimistic prediction was that at most 1/3 of people would save any money at all.

 

The vast bulk of the savings that are supposed to come from installing smart meters go directly to the energy companies through employing fewer staff for meter readings and telephone inquiries, debt management and reduced theft. There's also supposed to be saving from smoothing out the difference between peak and off-peak usage and the way they're going to do this is by using the every 30 minute updated monitoring of usage to bring in 'time of use' tariffs where they charge a higher rate in any 30 minute period where the start meters are telling them more people are using energy and a lower rate when they aren't. The theory is that this will encourage some people to move their energy intensive activities to other times of the day but most of us don't live lives that allow that because we're either asleep or at work during those hours so we'll just pay more at the only times of day available to us to do these activities.

Nothing to disagree with there mate. One might add though that we are all paying for these "free meters" but the cost is hidden away in our bills so we don't see it on the principal if we could see how much it was costing there would be a revolution but as things are ministers can lie through their teeth about the cost

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Posted (edited)

The issue with them, is the fact they don't have a great range from the meter outside, to the IHD inside, I have to keep my IHD in a specific place or I loose signal, and due to where I live, if a neighbour leaves the (shared) cupboard open, then I can loose signal altogether.

Other than this, I find it useful and handy to have...

There will be teething problems, as with anything that gets introduced to the wider public, but issues will be worked through time...

if you can only find a handful of people having issues, out of the millions that have been installed, it's not that bad tbh!

I have also connected my IHD to my home WiFi, so it can report back to my energy company easier, and be updated easier..

Some IHD's don't automatically update display of certain things, but this is due to older vs newer versions, I believe they are just starting to roll out V3 in some areas, the V1's weren't very good overall, I have a V2, it works, and is handy but could be a little better :)

You can usually manually set your tariff's and daily limit warnings etc

Edited by Ghozer

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15 hours ago, Ghozer said:

The issue with them, is the fact they don't have a great range from the meter outside, to the IHD inside, I have to keep my IHD in a specific place or I loose signal, and due to where I live, if a neighbour leaves the (shared) cupboard open, then I can loose signal altogether.

Other than this, I find it useful and handy to have...

There will be teething problems, as with anything that gets introduced to the wider public, but issues will be worked through time...

if you can only find a handful of people having issues, out of the millions that have been installed, it's not that bad tbh!

I have also connected my IHD to my home WiFi, so it can report back to my energy company easier, and be updated easier..

Some IHD's don't automatically update display of certain things, but this is due to older vs newer versions, I believe they are just starting to roll out V3 in some areas, the V1's weren't very good overall, I have a V2, it works, and is handy but could be a little better :)

You can usually manually set your tariff's and daily limit warnings etc

Smart meters were first introduced in the UK in 2011 or 12. Plenty of time to get it right.

 

As I have previously said the idiotic decision by Government not to standardise the meters lies at the root of the issue .

 

If you read the Sunday Times you would realise that it is not just a handful of people who have problems  (In a 2019 Uswitch survey, 31% of homes reported issues with their smart meter by the way)

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4 hours ago, BigAl1 said:

Smart meters were first introduced in the UK in 2011 or 12. Plenty of time to get it right.

 

As I have previously said the idiotic decision by Government not to standardise the meters lies at the root of the issue .

 

If you read the Sunday Times you would realise that it is not just a handful of people who have problems  (In a 2019 Uswitch survey, 31% of homes reported issues with their smart meter by the way)

approx 10  years... we're on version 3 of the meter, an average of around 3.3 years per 'version'... That seems about right to find an issue, fix it and redesign, manufacture, and start shipping the new version..

It's how most 'tech' goes, but lots are fixed with software updates.
Not everything can be 100% tested for every eventuality, by a handful of people... it's only when they get out 'in the wild' that problems can arise..

looking into your "31%" of homes reporting issues, it seems most are exactly what I said above, keeps loosing signal (so nothing is displayed on the IHD) - this is due to limitations on the radio frequencies they are allowed to use, and is improved with the new(er) versions, as they have greater range..

Again though, every house/location/property is different, they cannot test for every position/eventuality to cover every possible installation...

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20 minutes ago, Ghozer said:

approx 10  years... we're on version 3 of the meter, an average of around 3.3 years per 'version'... That seems about right to find an issue, fix it and redesign, manufacture, and start shipping the new version..

It's how most 'tech' goes, but lots are fixed with software updates.
Not everything can be 100% tested for every eventuality, by a handful of people... it's only when they get out 'in the wild' that problems can arise..

looking into your "31%" of homes reporting issues, it seems most are exactly what I said above, keeps loosing signal (so nothing is displayed on the IHD) - this is due to limitations on the radio frequencies they are allowed to use, and is improved with the new(er) versions, as they have greater range..

Again though, every house/location/property is different, they cannot test for every position/eventuality to cover every possible installation...

Hmmm... :huh:


Maybe not...
... but surely, at the time of installation, it's possible to test if the location is suitable? :suspect:


So the installers will have a good idea of whether the meter is going to work correctly or not?


It's quite possible that some smart meters are still being installed knowing that they are not going to work properly.


If the smart meter fails miserably, what real problem does this cause the energy company?


People just have to read the meters themselves and send in their readings...
... just as they would have to do anyway with the old meters.


The bottom line is that the energy companies don't really care whether the meters work correctly or not...


... they're still included in the installation targets set. :roll:

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Mr Bloke said:

Hmmm... :huh:


Maybe not...
... but surely, at the time of installation, it's possible to test if the location is suitable? :suspect:


So the installers will have a good idea of whether the meter is going to work correctly or not?

 

tbh, I kinda agree, there should be some 'range test' type tool they could use to test if it'll work properly..

I know when the guy installed mine, he said he wasn't sure if it'd work due to the distance/position etc... (and the fact it's outside, i'm on top floor (of 2) and it's through a brick wall as well) - but we found a place in the corner of the kitchen it gets signal 95% of the time (Unless like I said in my first post)

This was my choice, cause he said "I can still do it, but cannot guarantee it'll work", I said it was ok, and to continue....

I wonder what % of people with issues were warned of potential problems, but still agreed to continue..
I wonder what % were not warned of potential problems...

etc..

7 minutes ago, Mr Bloke said:


If the smart meter fails miserably, what real problem does this cause the energy company?


People just have to read the meters themselves and send in their readings...
... just as they would have to do anyway with the old meters.


The bottom line is that the energy companies don't really care whether the meters work correctly or not...


... they're still included in the installation targets set. :roll:

No, When people talk about faulty smart meters, they are generally talking about the IHD (In home display) which wont display their usage/balance/credit remaining etc...

the 'Smart Meters' themselves (that replace the older gas/electric meters) use the old 2G/3G mobile bands to communicate directly back to your energy supplier(s)... These will pretty much always work, even if they loose 'signal' (for whatever reason, bad weather as an example?) they remember the data, and send it at the next opportunity...

I'm not sure about other ones, but my actual meter (not the in-home display) does not display anything beyond a single letter, so I wouldn't be able to give any sort of reading manually any ways, They would want me to use the IHD (in home display) - which is where (as I have been saying) most of the issues lie, not the 'smart meters' themselves...

Edited by Ghozer
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Posted (edited)

If you want to know where savings can be made, you need a means of measuring energy use. That's a smart meter ihd or plugin meter.

 

They are very useful, (even more so now), if you actually use them.

 

The rollout and non-standardisation and design of ihd's was inept, but they are still useful.

 

----

 

Meters generally have a keypad, hit a number to cycle through the readings.

Edited by fools

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3 hours ago, Ghozer said:

tbh, I kinda agree, there should be some 'range test' type tool they could use to test if it'll work properly..



 

There is, and my energy supplier has sent three teams to install a 'smart' meter - each team spending up to three hours trying to get them to work, and failing miserably, as they have at the other three cottages in the row. The meters are in stone-lined cellars, under stone floors, and the test equipment they use has told each one 'it's not gonna work', which they report back to control, just to be told 'it's gotta work' - nope, so they put the old manual one back - a good 20 man-hours wasted.

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There no doubt will be some huge tory part donater raking in a an equally huge retirement wedge from this useless  garbage.

 

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10 hours ago, staninoodle said:

There no doubt will be some huge tory part donater raking in a an equally huge retirement wedge from this useless  garbage.

 

please don't forget that it was Ed Milliband who is responsible for smart meters way back in 2008 and the way it was set up and if I remember he is a Labour supporter but please don't let your prejudices get in the way of a good arguement

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