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Smart Meters - to think ALL energy companies should print this on their websites

(31 Posts)
evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:17:10

And in the letters they send telling you they WILL install a meter ...

Well done British Gas! (and I'm not with them or working for them)

www.britishgas.co.uk/help-and-advice/Meters-meter-readings/Smart-Meters/the-smart-meter-revolution/Do-I-have-to-have-a-smart-meter.html

Do I have to have a smart meter?

No. The Government requires suppliers to roll out smart meters as standard to homes and small businesses across Britain by 2020 but there is no legal obligation on individuals to have one. At British Gas we’re committed to upgrading all our customers by taking steps to reach everyone.

What if I don’t want smart meters?

Just let us know about it. If one of our customers informs us that they’re opposed to having smart meters installed, we’ll simply take them off our roll-out list. This might mean missing out on the benefits of having smart meters – being able to see the energy you use at a glance and its cost in pounds and pence (which Oxford Economics estimate could save an average 5% off annual bills - equivalent to £65), no more estimated bills, not having to submit meter readings, and personalised insight into your energy use.

British Gas has rolled out over one million smart meters and we get really positive feedback from customers about the control they have been able to take over their energy.

If you’re a British Gas customer and want to be removed from the roll-out, or want the smart meters that are already in your property removed, you can get in touch with the Smart Homes Customer Service team on 0800 980 6121, and our advisors will be able to help with this. Lines are open Monday - Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 8am to 6pm.

AdoraBell Sat 16-Jan-16 14:22:09

YANBU, but can I ask what the problem is with smart meters?

Serious question. We recently returned from overseas and I'm not up to date.

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:33:27

Many people take the view that the only 'benefit' of Smart Meters (which are presented by most energy companies as compulsory) as per the BG quote - is not having to read your own meter to get accurate bills.

That a cost nationally of £11 billion pounds, which will be passed on to householders through their bills, is a bit expensive for a little plastic screen to put on your kitchen worktop and watch the electricity your kettle uses when boiling.

'Course you might then decide not to have that cup of tea.

That having this presented to you in a Big Brother compulsory manner is not acceptable and so, many people have taken against smart meters.

Lots of people are happy enough going on as they are.

mamacasshadahairyass Sat 16-Jan-16 14:33:58

I don't fully understand the need for smart meters. I have a reminder on my phone to submit a meter reading each week. I know that we use exactly the same amount of gas (4 digits on the dial!) and pretty much exactly the same amount of electricity week in, week out (with obvious variations between summer and winter months). A new meter isn't going to tell me anything I don't already know. It seems to me that they are only of benefit to the supplier.

DH and I use the electricity that we need. Neither me nor DH leave lights on in rooms we're not using, don't leave things charging or on standby overnight. Wifi, tv etc get turned off at the wall every night. We have energy efficient electrical stuff, don't have the central heating blasting day and night (DH is very much of the "put another layer on" school of thought).

Can someone explain how having one would help us?

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:35:11

I won't even go into the whole huge issue of information gathering - that's annoyed so many people and is such a huge subject, google's your best bet there.

Lucsy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:38:03

They have saved me a lot of money.
See the charts. Smart meters were fitted in April and I love them

Foxyloxy1plus1 Sat 16-Jan-16 14:38:52

The problem with smart meters is that they don't work- at least in our experience. We've had one for about a year and it has never worked. We had an aerial fitted in an attempt to get the various relevant 'bits' to talk to one another, but they still don't, we still hav to read our meters and we still have someone come round to read it officially.

We're leaving it now, until the utility company realise and decide what they're going to do.

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:40:39

@mamacasshadahairyass

I know! This is the thing that really bugs me too!

Like, I'm so careless with my money that I just leave electrics on all over the place, and I never read my meter - ever - so I always get huge bills that I'm too stupid to do anything about myself - BUT - if I have a Smart Meter - I'll see all my stupidity on a little screen and will change my crazy ways!!! Yeahhhhh!

Or, we could all just tell the energy companies when our peak usage is and bend over and let them shaft us with higher bills now.

Which might be the real reason for smart meters - although everyone actually knows when national peak time usage is anyway BUT the Smart Meter will measure individual peak time usage so I will get a personalised shafting because I will be unable to change my peak time usage because they will just change it on an individual basis.

Sounds A-OK to me.

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:42:23

@ Lucsy - so, how did you not know you were using too much energy?

Cindy34 Sat 16-Jan-16 14:46:22

Can I ask if the meter replaces the ancient timeclock? My timeclock uses 4 units per day just for operating the timeclock... I don't get that refunded, I can't adjust the timeclock, I have to put up with Eco7 not working at the times it should - last engineer visit, the engineer said it was in my favour and left.

So it it replaces all the old kit and does not consume much power itself, certainly not billable power, then is it not an improvement?

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:47:08

@Lucsy - How did you manage to cut like 60/70% off your winter gas and electric usage and not notice a difference?

Were you leaving all your windows open? Heating the street maybe?

Or go from being at home all day to being away all day?

That's not just cutting out a cup of tea.

Lucsy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:48:43

Mostly it was a leaky house. So lots of draughts
Halogen light bulbs in the kitchen

Training children.
It's taken a lot of effort to get the bills received and the smart meters beeping have really helped.

My house is large 3 bed detached
What was really interesting is that the things I was doing to save money actually in some cases were costing me more.
Again the meters helped me find out what.

Lucsy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:50:42

I'm actually warmer this winter than I was last year.

I've done lots and lots of things that have helped too many to list probably but the cumulative affect is obvious in the bill.
It was having the real time consumption data that has made this possible though.

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:51:05

@ Cindy34 - you need to check your bill for your unit Kwh unit prices.

No idea how that would work on a smart meter - it's an electronic device as is the free-standing screen - so they will use power somehow and at some cost.

It's probably not significant enough to base your decision on - it might take many years to get your 'money back' but that' a personal thing based on what you value most.

Lucsy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:51:28

And no. Nothing as obvious as Windows or not being at home all day.

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:54:55

But Lucsy - I know when my heating is on or off.

The meter won't tell you your windows are open or draughty.

A meter is a usage measuring device - it doesn't tell you to switch off the batroom light or close the bedroom window.

I kinda take responsibilty for that stuff already - and I don't see why I should pay for someone else's learning project.

Bills as high as yours were would have taught me a lesson very quickly - long before the smart meter came along.

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:58:36

Nothing as obvious as having open windows - with what? 60 to 70% savings...

I can't see that - so an average annual bill went from say £1000 gas and £1000 electric down to less than £400 on each and you didn't realise that you were using too much energy?

What did you think when you were getting those high bills?

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 15:01:57

But you know, fair dos, maybe you needed a meter showing you that to learn the value of energy and money.

Good luck - you should pay for the meter to be installed because you will get value from it.

I don't feel I need to learn that lesson.

And I don't need it foisted upon me by implied compulsion.

And is people want to light up the street at their expense - I say go for it - it's not my role to teach you - and it's not your role to teach me!

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Sat 16-Jan-16 15:04:53

I have no intention of getting a smart meter either. My main concern is the peak usage/higher rate issue that I suspect will be a consequence of having a smart meter. And the lack of security that comes from their usage - I can't remember where I read this but I can remember reading an article which goes into the fact the security of these devices i.e. making them 'hack-proof' was quite far down the list of priorities when they were developed. If I can find the article I'll link, but nothing about smart meters appeals to me at all. So I'll happily submit my readings every month to keep my bills accurate & up to date. It's not exactly an arduous task to look at the meter & type the digits in.

RaspberryOverload Sat 16-Jan-16 15:14:44

I've no intention of having a smart meter either.

We are already low energy users, so I refuse to pay for the privilege of having that confirmed. I'm also not comfortable with the security of the data being sent back to suppliers, or with the possibility that suppliers will just use the data to hike your bills up.

Lucsy Sat 16-Jan-16 15:17:55

Evry
With respect I'm very good at budgeting money. I live on a very tight budget indeed.
My house isn't small, and it's very expensive to heat and run.
I can assure you I do know the value of money and energy and I did not ask for the smart meters, they were offered.
In the context of a disabled person at home all day, my original bills were not totally ridiculous, especially given the leaky house which I could not afford to repair.

If you don't want one, then as you said, you don't have to have one.
I used to take weekly meter readings. But this did not show me where the money was going.

caroldecker Sat 16-Jan-16 15:21:52

The fitting cost will be shared across all users, so not getting one will not top you paying for the rollout.

evrybuddy Sat 16-Jan-16 15:32:37

@ Lucsy

That's fine - I don't mean to sound abrupt - a bad habit of mine!

But to be fair - and it sounds as though I live in a much, much smaller house than you - if I was able to save more than 50% off my bills it would be hysterical

This article in the Telegraph reckons an average saving of £26 per year per household is achievable
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/energy-bills/11975065/Smart-meters-will-cost-11bn-but-youll-be-lucky-if-yours-saves-you-30.html

But you must have saved hundreds if not thousands of pounds.

That's some serious usage and wastage - your savings would be more than my whole usage and I live comfortably.
I'm home a lot with heating on and have baths etc

I'm trying to imagine a situation where my usage was double its current level - in order that I would be able to cut it back to a point where I could imagine being able to save 50%

I don't think I could do that without leavings doors or windows open and going up to 24/7 heating - that's what I mean about it being hard to imagine that level of over-usage

It's very hard for me to understand how someone can be using enough energy to then be able to cut back and use less than half their previous energy and feel warmer and all of this from a smart meter - which only measures usage - does not offer instructions on insulation, or condensing boilers or energy saving lightbulbs etc etc

zipzap Sat 16-Jan-16 16:20:35

The other thing to remember is that - up until this week - we've had a ridiculously mild winter so far. Lots of days in December were really mild - to the point that we found that when we were getting chilly in the evening, we'd go to turn the heating up and realise that we hadn't had it on all day, and not noticed (dh and I work from home). So we'd just put it on for an hour or two in the evening and that would be enough - whereas in previous years (and we've had some quite harsh ones in the last couple of years) we'd have it on for much longer.

Needing heating on for a fifth or a quarter of the time that you needed it on for this time last year is going to make a significant difference to the amount that you need to spend on your heating that would have happened regardless of how many changes you've made.

Another example - I like to take a warm drink to bed with me at night. I tend to zap it in the microwave, having run the water from the tap into my glass. Last month - it took 1 minute and 10 seconds to warm it up. This week - needs an extra 20 seconds because the water coming into my house is so much colder. Multiply that up by many litres for a hot water tank - again, it's meant that it's cost much less to heat the water up so far this year compared with last year, even if everything else stays the same.

That's not to say that making other changes isn't also a good thing - it's just that this year the differences in energy bills for the last quarters of 2014 and 2015 are going to be very different anyway for many people.

Myhousetoday Sat 16-Jan-16 16:33:18

YANBU but at least some do: it was made very clear to us that it was entirely optional. Starting with the first notification letter. And we had to opt in. We're not with British gas. And happy with the smartmeter that we did have installed.
Of course it's preferable for them to have easy access to your readings. I was so fed up of getting emails and phone calls to supply readings, I don't think they sent anyone to read a meter in 8 years!

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