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smart meters - should I or shouldn't I?

(89 Posts)
toffeepumpkins Thu 09-Nov-17 13:28:00

I've had an email from my energy supplier to say that the style of gas and electric meter that I have (the normal ones) are being phased out and that they are in my area replacing them with smart meters and to make an appointment.

Do I have to agree? Both meters are outside so presumably they can just turn up and do it without my agreement? I don't want a new meter, the ones I have got are fine as in they both work and so don't need replacing.

scaryteacher Thu 09-Nov-17 13:29:07

It's not compulsory to have one, so if you don't want one, don't have one.

Why wouldn't you want one though. They are brilliant as they make you very aware of how much energy you are using and you don't have to pay for them. Plus no more sending off metre readings as they automatically go through to your energy provider from the meter. Do you not want to keep an eye on how much you are spending energy wise? Mine has been a real eye opener.

toffeepumpkins Thu 09-Nov-17 13:32:14

We hardly use any energy really and I doubt we could cut it any more - gas and electric are both less than £40 a month as we always make sure we switch everything off and only have the heating on when absolutely essential.

TheBiscuitStrikesBack Thu 09-Nov-17 13:33:32

You do not have to have one. The government has said that power companies need to use “best endeavours” to ensure everyone gets one. The hope it that it will stop the constant cry of energy bills being too high, and that all being the fault of the supplier / government...

MrsMcW Thu 09-Nov-17 13:34:54

I'm having one installed this weekend. My supplier told me they are going to become compulsory over the next few years and that whilst suppliers will fit them for free now, you may get charged for the service in future.

Maybe I'm a total mug, but I didn't see the point in not doing it, if that makes sense.

TheBiscuitStrikesBack Thu 09-Nov-17 13:37:29

They probably will become a legal requirement at some point, but not in the next few years and I would be very surprised if you have to pay for them.

Out of interest, who is your supplier MrsMcW?

dementedpixie Thu 09-Nov-17 13:40:38

I don't want them until they are ones that can cope with a change of supplier. It doesn't bother me to provide meter readings so I don't think that's a good enough reason to get one just yet.

Mxyzptlk Thu 09-Nov-17 13:45:27

Here's a couple of articles about smart meters -

www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/six-reasons-say-no-smart-meter/

www.theguardian.com/money/2016/oct/01/smart-meter-energy-saving-revolution-cut-bills-gas-electricity

Some energy suppliers were telling people their old meters were "becoming unsafe" so had to be replaced. That was not true.

RatOnnaStick Thu 09-Nov-17 13:49:01

I am interested in having one but not until the newer generation ones come out which can cope with changing supplier. This isn't going to happen until at least next year so I won't be going out of my way to get one fitted now.

TheMogget Thu 09-Nov-17 14:00:03

I’m another waiting for them to be capable of changing supplier. It’s not unusual for us to change every year so I don’t want the gaff of having a new smart meter fitted every year.

milliemolliemou Thu 09-Nov-17 14:07:22

Mxy - thanks for the info. Have just had an offer and will certainly postpone.

internetCrazies Thu 09-Nov-17 14:08:01

It's really not a big deal. It just ensures that bills are exact and people aren't over or undercharged. Meter readers won't be needed any more and the power companies can get customer's realtime usage information.

It won't cost you a penny more and your meter boxes will remain exactly the same. No extra wiring other than the fitting and if as you say the boxes are outside then it will not disrupt you at all other than a short power outage lasting minutes.

Go for it.

bigbluebus Thu 09-Nov-17 14:10:47

I refused one having read on here that you'd need another new one if you changed supplier. I have actually changed supplier this month so lucky I didn't bother getting one. My meter is also outside and I read my own meter and submit the readings, which is not a problem for me so I saw no advantage. I knew where the bulk of my electricity was used - and he is away at Uni most of the year now so it's not a problem grin

Tianc Thu 09-Nov-17 14:12:34

It's really not a big deal. It just ensures that bills are exact

If only.

Unfortunately, smart meters do a very great deal more than that. My big thread on this is a few years old now, but the fundamentals haven't changed.

Anyone having a gas/leccy meter replaced with a Smart Meter? Something you need to know
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/other_subjects/1327330-Anyone-having-a-gas-leccy-meter-replaced-with-a-Smart-Meter-Something-you-need-to-know

WhirlwindHugs Thu 09-Nov-17 14:15:11

We said no, not willing to risk being cut off if they suddenly decide we owe them loads of money etc.

BeyondThePage Thu 09-Nov-17 14:18:44

my meter is in year 15 of a 35-50 year lifespan - would not be very green to get rid of it just for the sake of replacing it.

Am also not too keen on the "smart" aspect. The possibility of being made to sit in the cold and dark in the winter unless you pay a nominal amount to a NKorean/Russian hacker (#NHS_hack remembered).

Plus the fact my meter cupboard would not allow a signal to be sent as we have 18 inch thick stone walls - meaning that we'd need some sort of booster somewhere.

MrsMcW Thu 09-Nov-17 14:19:10

TheBiscuitStrikesBack - I'm with Southern Electric / SSE.

DeleteOrDecay Thu 09-Nov-17 14:27:00

We have one and it’s good but I wish I had waited now until they bring out a design that can cope with switching suppliers.

scrabble1 Thu 09-Nov-17 15:15:23

I can't help but be suspicious that this is some giant EU idea that is making a lot of money for someone somewhere ??

RicottaPancakes Thu 09-Nov-17 15:21:09

No you don't have to have one, but the energy companies talk as if you do!

You can still "keep an eye" on how much energy you use, that is what the meter does after all! That's not a reason to get a smart meter. Plus you knwo if you have got the lights on/put the washing machine on etc! Don't think you need a smart meter to tell you that you are using electricity or gas!

GrockleBocs Thu 09-Nov-17 15:25:14

There were security alerts out (as in easy to hack) on at least one current smart meter a month or so ago.

DunkMeInTomatoSoup Thu 09-Nov-17 15:28:01

Smart meters are to be in situ by 2020.

Im not sure why anyone has a problem with them?

Gatehouse77 Thu 09-Nov-17 15:30:13

We have said no. To date, anyone I know in the industry refuses them too. I have no problem sending my meter reading once a month.

MuseumOfCurry Thu 09-Nov-17 15:32:43

If my bills were only £40 I wouldn't be in a big rush to get one. Do you object on grounds of privacy?

I, on the other hand, am desperate for one because our bills are out of control.

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