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British Gas smart meter reviewer feedback thread. Non testers: Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for your DCs to be in with a chance of winning £100 worth of John Lewis vouchers NOW CLOSED

(116 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Sep-13 13:52:52

This thread is for the 3 Mumsnetters and 2 Mumsnet Bloggers who are testing the British Gas smart meters in their home.

Non testers: Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for the next generation how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions? Do you think its something children should be taught about at school? Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread by 18th October will be in with a chance of winning £100 worth of John Lewis vouchers

Testers: We'd like you to post at least 3 sets of feedback on this thread - once a month for 3 months.

Below are a few questions for you to answer but please also add any other comments you may have to the thread. You may want to answer some questions now and some at the end of the trial period.

General questions

- How did you find the installation of the smart meters? Was it any more or less complicated than you were expecting?
- What are your first impressions of being upgraded to smart meters and having a smart energy monitor?
- Has the smart energy monitor that comes with smart meters helped you keep track of your energy consumption?
- Has the smart energy monitor helped your children to understand/be more interested in energy? If so how?
- If it came up in conversation, would you recommend getting a smart meter upgrade with British Gas to your family/friends? If so why? If not why not?

Month 1: Finding the activities that use the most energy
This task is all about educating the future generations about the cost of energy wastage to both the environment and your household bills.
This month we'd like testers to try to discover which activities in your home use the most energy:

- Have each member of the family write down the 3 activities they think use the most energy in the home. What were these?
- Ask your children to guess how much gas or electricity they think each activity involves - please let us know what they said.
- Ask your children to turn on various domestic appliances in turn and record how much electricity is consumed and how much it actually costs by looking at the smart energy monitor. You can do the same for gas appliances, but it takes a bit longer (30 minutes - due to the way gas volume is measured and translated into kWh) for the figures to be displayed on the smart energy monitor.
- Which activity used the most energy? Did this surprise you? Will you and your family change how you use gas or electricity appliances in the future or not? If so, how? If not why not?

Thanks and good luck,

Katie @ MNHQ

Chelseamamma Mon 14-Oct-13 19:30:32

Tester:
We have had our Smart meter since August and it has been invaluable.
We have tots and teens in the house and it's the teens that are learning the most as they have a habit of leaving lights on, phones charging and consoles on (downloading updates apparently).
We have set our monitor to "challenging" and although we have failed on a few occasions we have also had success!
It will be interesting to see how we get on in the winter months and I've stubbornly refused to put the heating in yet adds another jumper
www.chelseamamma.co.uk/2013/10/british-gas-smart-meter.html

Ruby6918 Wed 16-Oct-13 17:14:11

i am trying my best to each my children about the environment, we have built a nest for wildlife, i grow some vegetables pots, i have no grass!, i freeze portions of food for meals at a later time, i wont allow them to litter and we bring a bag and bring our rubbish home with us, i turn off all switches that arent being used and they walk to school every day, i also use charity shops a great deal for clothes and also donate ones that they have grown out of, i only do a full wash at any time and use only green detergents, im trying but sadly a lot of people throw rubbish everywhere and dont even try to re cycle i think its up to parents to bring our future generations up to love our world.

MollyRoses Wed 16-Oct-13 18:01:37

I think creating a greener environment is INCREDIBLY important and younger generations should be educated on it so it is not somethign to think of as 'oh that's a green way to do something' but an ingrained practice. I am astounded at the amount of 20 somethign year olds that think the planet is magically going to sort itself out therefore they do not need to recycle/save energy etc.

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 18-Oct-13 09:06:49

It would be nice if schools could promote environmental awareness more but they probably have enough to do. Maybe British Gas could use some of their profits which are bound to go up now they have hiked up their prices to set up a funding scheme to enable schools to educate children on energy waste and carbon emissions.

Autismmumma Fri 18-Oct-13 13:04:31

I'm a tester and had our meters changed to smart meters, my first post:
http://www.autismmumma.com/just-how-smart-are-smart-meters

InkleWinkle Fri 18-Oct-13 20:45:12

General questions

- How did you find the installation of the smart meters? Was it any more or less complicated than you were expecting? - Less complicated, took less time than expected, installer was very pleasant
- What are your first impressions of being upgraded to smart meters and having a smart energy monitor? - first impression is that it's a shame the monitor has to be constantly plugged in using electricity!!
- Has the smart energy monitor that comes with smart meters helped you keep track of your energy consumption? - yes it has to the point that we are sooooo paranoid about the figures!
- Has the smart energy monitor helped your children to understand/be more interested in energy? If so how? - yes the 9yr old always has a sneaky glance at it on the way past and has started now going back to the room she's just left to switch off all the stuff she left on. This is now rubbing off on the 3yr old although she doesn't understand why. I think because it has a £ value it makes it more real for them.
- If it came up in conversation, would you recommend getting a smart meter upgrade with British Gas to your family/friends? If so why? If not why not? Yes I would because even if money isn't an issue there are still ways to cut back.

Month 1: Finding the activities that use the most energy
This task is all about educating the future generations about the cost of energy wastage to both the environment and your household bills.
This month we'd like testers to try to discover which activities in your home use the most energy:

- Have each member of the family write down the 3 activities they think use the most energy in the home. What were these? Washing machine, dishwasher, electric heater in conservatory.
- Ask your children to guess how much gas or electricity they think each activity involves - please let us know what they said. Guesses were wildly out (she's only 9) so not worth reporting!
- Ask your children to turn on various domestic appliances in turn and record how much electricity is consumed and how much it actually costs by looking at the smart energy monitor. You can do the same for gas appliances, but it takes a bit longer (30 minutes - due to the way gas volume is measured and translated into kWh) for the figures to be displayed on the smart energy monitor. Sorry, don't have a note of actual figures - will do this for next time & report back.
- Which activity used the most energy? Did this surprise you? Will you and your family change how you use gas or electricity appliances in the future or not? If so, how? If not why not? Surprisingly washing machine / dishwasher were reasonable. Electric shower is not reasonable! Was costing about 20p each for shower - are now much quicker in the shower!!
We are very surprised how much lighting is esp. halogen spotlights. And I can't believe how much gas costs. Obviously I did know because we get bills! but I can see it racking up on the monitor now and it scares me! Has definitely made me think twice / thrice about putting the heating on so far!

InkleWinkle Fri 18-Oct-13 20:58:59

Also meant to say don't know how much electric heater in conservatory actually costs because I've been too scared to try it!!

Non-Tester- Being Green is something that I try to instill in my DD.
It's definitely something that should be covered at school, we're currently trying to raise money through the PTA to get solar panels fitted to the school. (I quite fancy them for my house as well!)

I don't think that this country has invested in Biomass as much as it should and we should be following places like Germany who have this 'Algae Powered' building

link

I would move to an energy supplier even if they were slightly more expensive than what I pay at the moment if I knew that they were investing strongly in biomass.

aristocat Mon 21-Oct-13 12:54:23

non-tester.

Yes, being green is very important and it is our responsibility to set the example as parents. It is a topic that is covered at my DCs schools and should also be discussed at home. I have seen posters at school (written by the pupils) to save energy and turn off the light smile in the ladies.

Future generations need to be educated about energy waste and carbon emissions. Mine know to turn lights off when leaving a room, recycle, walk instead of using the car, not to drop litter etc and I would hope that this will continue.

FreeWoooooooo Sat 26-Oct-13 21:01:37

Non tester

It's surely a no brainer that we should reduce our energy usage both to save money and to save the environment. As my DD grows up we will be teaching her about both elements. I remember my parents reminding me to turn off lights, not leave things on standby, recycling etc and I've continued with their messages as I've grown up. I'd actually be fascinated to have a smart meter as I'm not sure what appliances use the most and I'd be keen to reduce my usage by even more. If my DD is anything like her dad she'll be fascinated by the gadget!

poopoopoo Sun 27-Oct-13 09:57:05

Tester- Challenge 2
•When do you and your family consume the most energy?
We consume the most energy on weekday evenings around 5pm and on Saturdays at around 12:00 and 18:00. This is because of cooking and heating water for baths.
•Challenge each family member to change the time they use at least one appliance (gas or electricity) - please tell us which family member chose what, and how they’re going to change the times at which this is used.
This is a bit tricky because the only thing the kids use is the TV, and me and my husband use the PC. The kids have agreed to not turn the telly on as soon as they get home, this means homework can be done first. I have decided to do the washing overnight, so put it in the machine last thing before going to bed. My husband finds this challenge the hardest; we have challenged him not to use the computer as soon as he gets back from work.
•How did you and your family find making these changes? Was it easy to adapt to or not?
It was quite easy, we are getting on ok with it, the kids are happy as long as they have my attention and help with the homework; otherwise they tend to switch on the TV! I have to remember to get the washing out and hang it first thing in the morning and avoid the using the tumble dryer as much as possible.
•Do you use your smart energy monitor more than when you first had smart meters installed or less?
We are using it about the same, checking every now and then to see what is going on. I am more concerned now prices have risen and try to turn off lights and cut down energy use where possible. I just make it part of everyday life to try and be responsible (we can't afford not to be careful- for the planet and for our bank balance!).

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 07-Nov-13 14:16:14

Non tester:

I think it's vital that we teach our children about these issues. DD is only 2.5 but I do try to talk about recycling, picking up litter, switching off the TV etc. She knows I must pick up after our dog.

We have had a log burner installed as have access to free wood, so we are desperately trying not to use our central heating until it gets really cold. We have installed energy saving lightbulb everywhere we can. DD knows that we walk lots rather than using our car for short journeys too.

sharond101 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:27:48

MY DS is too young to talk himself yet but we will lead by example and explain why we recycle, save energy etc. I hope schools do more to educate children as it's a given now everyone needs to do their bit.

watsoa Fri 08-Nov-13 12:08:04

I hope that schools are taking environmental concerns seriously by ensuring that children are educated in energy saving, recycling etc.

Tusty Fri 08-Nov-13 21:00:33

Non tester

I think it's really key for youngsters to be taught, whether at home or school. School's more realistic as not all families would have the same understanding or inkling to teach them. I think carbon emissions is a lot more complicated (working in resource management, it's hard even within the area we work in!) so waste/value is a more realistic area to be encouraging interest in.

My son's 2 1/2 and I automatically tell him we turn off lights (he closes doors automatically), turn off taps, keep fridge door shut etc, and to be honest he seems better trained than my husband who still refuses to recycle! I think if it's engrained behaviour that they grow up with it continues into adulthood.

CathBookworm Sat 09-Nov-13 10:10:44

I think it's essential we teach the next generation how important it is not to waste energy, and should definitely be taught in schools. My son is too young to understand yet, but we will hopefully teach him about the importance of recycling, switching lights off, after all the small things are important too, and you teach by setting a good example.

Its really important and we have spoken about it and why it is important. i think they should incorporate more to do with energy saving into school curriculum as it all helps to build a bigger picture on why its important.

tinypumpkin Sat 09-Nov-13 15:00:17

It is so important that children are aware of environmental issues. even our two year old knows to recycle things (not always correctly!) This is our future and it is important that children understand why energy saving and recycling are so important. I do think that this is something that should be focused on in school as well as at home of course. We are all responsible.

lisej Sun 10-Nov-13 15:46:54

This is something that I've just realized that I don't think about enough, especially in regards to educating my son about the impact on the environment. I need to find out more and talk about it more at home.

nickyh173 Sun 10-Nov-13 21:10:41

We use extra clothes and blankets to keep ourselves warmer, as the bills go up the extra layers go on!

elizaco Mon 11-Nov-13 10:43:30

I'm a non-tester.

I definitely think the younger a child is introduced to green issues the better. By being led by example at home (walking rather than using car, recycling, using less electricity etc..) and by being taught at school.

mumsbe Tue 12-Nov-13 10:20:07

Hi i think children and parents should be taught about recycling and carbon foot print. We discuss this topic however there is probably a lot more i should know. My daughter always walks when we can and we recycle all that we can

Everhopeful Wed 13-Nov-13 11:26:15

Non-tester

It's vital that this is covered, probably in PSHE lessons, though perhaps as a topic in language classes. Our children also hold their future in their own hands: we can only help them. DD has reached the age where she's more likely to listen to people at school than me, teachers or pupils and really hasn't cottoned on properly at all. Most people reckon we live in a fridge compared to them, but me and DH believe in sticking on another jumper (though DH has a weak spot about turning lights off) and both DH and DD reckon I'm a recycling obsessive. We try to set a good example, but deeper exploration is better done in class where everyone has to listen to the teacher and then explore the concepts more themselves. If I try the same thing, it's evident to me I'm just preaching to someone who wants to go and do something else: it's a dead loss.

Babycarmen Wed 13-Nov-13 16:04:23

I think it is extremely important to teach children about the environment. My DD is 6 and she already knows why we need to turn lights off when they are not needed, and to recycle.. And she finds it all interesting! I think schools should do more from a younger age to encourage this though.

HootyMcOwlface Thu 14-Nov-13 13:34:23

Non tester.
I think its important to talk to your kids about living a greener life in a relaxed fashion, by dropping in ideas in everyday conversation and following through on them,. E.g. switching off lights, using more energy efficient bulbs, not wasting water etc..
Children learn these things at school but they'll get practical ideas and pick up habits for the future from the way their family lives.

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