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to think Smart Meters are just an invasion of privacy?

(84 Posts)
evrybuddy Sat 24-Oct-15 08:29:20

Just had a letter from NPower saying they want to install Smart Meters.

The basic premise seems to be they will collect all data on my gas and electric usage - and in exchange for that...

They will then tell me what my gas and electric usage is and when I'm using it!!!

And I can make of that what I will - and get up earlier and boil the kettle at a different time or get the kids up at 3 in the morning for cheap electric baths or whatever.... in other words I already live a way that suits me, at a gas and electric cost that suits me and I use gas and electric at times when I have to.

Okay, I understand that this may clear up the situation about the man living secretly in my loft and coming out when I go to work and watching TV infrot of the gas-fire all day...

Just what is the point of this huge endeavour?

Just more snooping or what?

Anybody rejected a meter?

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sat 24-Oct-15 08:35:19

I have one, they are very handy.

They do automatic meter reading so nobody has to come and do it, it tells you how much you are spending so you can see how high your bill is and adjust accordingly if its getting a bit high, and you will never get an estimated bill again.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 24-Oct-15 08:36:28

I have had smart meters for 5 years I find the usage data very helpful particularly the graph that tracks against external air temperature. I run my heating lower because of these graphs showed me I was reacting how I felt rather than real cold.
They only narrow gas to every 2 hours and electric to every half an hour so don't see them as an invasion of privacy. Plus I only pay for what I actually use each month rather than estimates and then ending up with being hugely in credit with the energy company and having to fight to get my money back.

wonkylegs Sat 24-Oct-15 08:36:36

We actually requested one from our provider Ovo. It's given us drastically better bills (they always over estimated by a lot) and its stopped DH forgetting about the kettle and reboiling it several times once he realised quite how much of a spike it caused on the graph.
DS is better at turning things off as well when I told him I can spy on what he's using (he hasn't realised yet I can't tell different appliances apart)
It's also let us monitor how much of a difference the energy efficiency measures we've done (insulation, DG, lighting, controls etc) have made.

OddBoots Sat 24-Oct-15 08:39:31

I am more concerned that they can be hacked and taken down. Imagine what happened to TalkTalk but with your household energy.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 24-Oct-15 08:46:26

You can't reject them, the meter doesn't belong to you therefore you can't stop them changing it for the newest model. I work for gas/electric company smart meters will stop a lot of issues with incorrect billing/disputed bills etc. It will stop all the people who call to dispute an estimated bill but flat out refuse to go read the meter to get an established bill. They will also cost a lot of people their jobs.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 24-Oct-15 08:47:35

Accurate not established.

ENtertainmentAppreciated Sat 24-Oct-15 09:27:05

My supplier sent a few letters saying I had to have one, as I knew I was changing supplier at the end of a fixed rate, I ignored them.
The new supplier hasn't mentioned one, but I do send in a monthly reading anyway and they adjust the DD every now and then.

Tianc Sat 24-Oct-15 09:40:22

You CAN refuse a smart meter.

Which? Consumer Rights: Do I have to accept a smart meter?.

And see thread about smart meters: Anyone having a gas/leccy meter replaced with a Smart Meter? Something you need to know

You can monitor your own energy use with a clip-on meter - some libraries even lend them out.

Tianc Sat 24-Oct-15 09:44:53

Although according to that Which? article, there's no standard way to ensure that a meter changed for age/safety reasons isn't a Smart Meter. You just have to push for a non-Smart one with your electricity provider and see what solution they offer.

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr Sat 24-Oct-15 09:47:31

Smart meters are very useful to burglars, hack the data, and they can immediately know what houses are empty when.

VulcanWoman Sat 24-Oct-15 09:52:38

CO OP energy don't have Smart Meters yet.

Tianc Sat 24-Oct-15 09:55:51

IIUC, it's the inability to come up with a standard design safe from hacking that keeps delaying the official roll-out.

Which if true is hardly surprising. The utility companies started with the functions that were important to them, done the cheapest way, and tried to bolt on security afterwards.

But you can't bolt on security when introducing a new, fundamental vulnerability in critical national infrastructure.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 24-Oct-15 10:16:19

Everyone will have one eventually as once rolled out nationally (a long time in the future) they will stop making the standard meters.

evrybuddy Sat 24-Oct-15 11:08:42

Of course, the other way to avoid large 'estimated' bills is to take your own reading and give it to the supplier.

I don't really see that as a hardship or not having to do it as a benefit and as a return on a muti-billion pound investment I'd want a bit more than that.

I can't see myself watching a meter for entertainment to 'learn' not to boil the kettle twice or overfill the bath with hot water.

There's more in in this for the supplier and the state than just giving customers something to do when there's nothing on TV.

Thanks for the CO OP energy tip - will look at them.

Any other suppliers not rolling out smart meters?

Especially as NPooer are doing it early.

RoseDog Sat 24-Oct-15 11:14:46

I have one, I think everyone will have one eventually, it's not helped me lower my bills as I live now as I did before the meter was fitted, the monitor did break not long after being fitted and took weeks for it to get back on turned out there was a fault with my particular model!

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 24-Oct-15 11:22:07

You would think so buddy but there are a lot of people who think they shouldn't have to read their own meter but also shouldn't have to let the engineer in to read the meter either but somehow the energy company should be able to Bill them accurately. I know I speak to them every day.

evrybuddy Sat 24-Oct-15 12:07:12

Just checked CO OP Energy website and they are on the Rollout of Smart Meters - so no escape there!

Of course, I get that some people won't provide meter readings when they should.

Not really everybody else's problem thought - don't accept that there's any benefit for me/or others in subsidising a multi-billion pound database to get accurate meter readings - because Dave Dozy doesn't bother reading his meter - I'd much rather Dave Dozy and I were free to deal with our meter readings as we see fit and the companies can send him an estimated bill if they like and he can pay it if he likes.

If Dave Dozy pays more because he doesn't read his meter - he's not going to change his behaviour if you give him a smart meter to ignore too.

Lots of data from other countries saying smart meters have no effect on bill size - people don't change behaviour.

Education would change people more effectively and more cheaply - if it's possible to change people.

Also seem to be issues of high strength radio signalling/wi-fi signal penetration of houses and how this affects health - simple answer being - nobody knows and won't until years in the future as there's no testing - just doing.

VulcanWoman Sat 24-Oct-15 12:25:44

There is no legal obligation to have the meter apparently.

evrybuddy Sat 24-Oct-15 12:49:11

Apparently that's the case VulcanWoman.

I'd be interested to see the response anyone has had to refusing installation.

All the boomf NPower sent me is presumptious and asserts that they WILL be instaling a Smart Meter when they decide to.

There is no information on their leaflets or on their website on how to refuse or opt out - why is this?

VulcanWoman Sat 24-Oct-15 13:03:46

I wish I could be totally energy efficient with solar and wind power then I might think about selling excess energy back to them. thlgrin plus they can stick their foreign gas.

evrybuddy Sat 24-Oct-15 14:47:54

The energy market is totally rigged in my view and the relationship with the state is opaque but probably corrupt.

How long have the energy companies dodged competition investigations, inquiry after inquiry, all failing to reveal the price-fixingly obvious

One govt dept after another failing to get to the truth of energy pricing - why?

In this age where every new-build property should come with integral solar panels - they don't.

Suddenly there are no more subsidies.

Because if we're all able to produce our own energy - then what's the point of the energy companies.

It's like that old tale that Ford or some big oil company developed a method of running cars on an alternative fuel and hushed it up because it would put them out of business.

Well, now there is a method of generating energy without recourse to the giant energy conglomerates - but oddly, the government want to discourage it.

Why is that?

VulcanWoman Sat 24-Oct-15 15:20:13

Exactly, money and greed per usual.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Sat 24-Oct-15 15:23:35

Ours doesn't work, has never worked and the energy company doesn't know why it doesn't work. No one seems in a hurry to find out why either, so we continue with the old system.

specialsubject Sat 24-Oct-15 15:38:25

sod the conspiracy theories. It is much simpler than that.

The truth is the UK is going to have severe energy problems over the next few winters due to years of fuckwit energy policy. Investment in useless renewables, closing down of coal/gas fired stations with no replacement (EU policy) and greenie idiocy/refusal to give business to UK firms means no new nuclear stations.

smart meters are to manage demand. Because we are going to need to do that.

a burglar doesn't need to hack your meter to see when you are at home. Look around you. You KNOW which of your neighbours are out.

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