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Do I want a Smart Meter?

(26 Posts)
AGrinWithoutACat Tue 14-Feb-17 19:17:25

Just had an email from my current energy supplier announcing that Smart Meters are now available in our area

What I have read suggests that they are positive in helping people understand their energy use better but - are their any downsides that should put me off?

Thank you for any comments and experience you offer

SwedishEdith Tue 14-Feb-17 19:20:24

They're nice and small.

AGrinWithoutACat Tue 14-Feb-17 19:30:53

That sound like a plus point smile - each of the current meters has its own cupboard just now that I can't use for anything else

PossumInAPearTree Tue 14-Feb-17 19:35:44

I've heard if you change supplier the smart meter won't work with a different supplier. Not sure if that's true? But it puts me off a bit.

Blastandtroph Tue 14-Feb-17 19:42:40

Heard the same as Possum. Worth checking out if you plan to switch supplier in the future.

specialsubject Tue 14-Feb-17 19:44:52

The understanding energy use is a red herring - all meters show use which you can track, and sending a monthly reading to your supplier will show you costs if you don't want to work them out.

The smart meters will be mandatory eventually so until then, why have the aggro?

ineedamoreadultieradult Tue 14-Feb-17 19:45:43

No they are a nightmare especially if you regularly change provider. The energy companies have not invested enough in their software to keep up with smart meters.

PossumInAPearTree Tue 14-Feb-17 19:48:28

I'm holding fire until they work between companies I think.

Wiifitmama Tue 14-Feb-17 19:55:35

We just got a letter about this too. Our area is currently unmetered and they are now metering everyone and have said it will be a smart meter. We are not being given a choice. This is Thames Water.

specialsubject Tue 14-Feb-17 20:00:19

I think the op is referring to electricity and gas, not water - although compulsory metering for thames water isn't a surprise, watch your bills rocket now.

BTW smart electricity meters need mobile network coverage, so there won't be one at my house.

SoMuchWaiting Tue 14-Feb-17 21:35:21

I really like my smart meter, we're with OVO energy and the app is great. We had it installed as soon as we switched and have stuck with them so we've had it for about 18 months now. It's made me very aware of my energy usage and some days I even try to beat my usage of the previous days/weeks (get it lower obviously, not beat it to use more). If we change provider then I'm sure I'll be able to ask the new company to install one for me, won't I?

OddBoots Tue 14-Feb-17 21:39:46

" If we change provider then I'm sure I'll be able to ask the new company to install one for me, won't I?" Probably, but you may have to pay for it.

DJKKSlider Tue 14-Feb-17 21:42:50

We have a smart meter, we're pay and go on gas and electric.
I found smart meter good for:
Online top ups for gas and electric so no more trips to the offy for £10 gas.
Shows current energy usage in KW/h or £
Shows a visual graph of current usage which is interesting, the kettle makes it shoot right up to orange!!!
Shows what you've spent as a running total, right now, today, we've spent £2.76 which is £1.99 on gas and 77p on electric.

It also, which sounds dumb, is now a very accurate kitchen clock that keeps time to the internet. This helps when cooking grin

ExplodedCloud Tue 14-Feb-17 21:45:39

We had a good thread on this the other day - will see if I can find it. Anyway, the tech is old, insecure and can interfere with your WiFi signal. You can buy a cheap little meter that clips on to a cable and tells you the same stuff without the worries that it ties you in to a supplier or exposes vulnerabilities.

ExplodedCloud Tue 14-Feb-17 21:47:15

This was it

PossumInAPearTree Tue 14-Feb-17 21:49:34

Dh has bought one of those clip in readers. So same actual meter in the box but little widget on the worktop saying what's been used, etc.

ssd Tue 14-Feb-17 21:50:42

thats interesting our wifi has been rubbish since getting a smart meter but we didnt tie the 2 things up

MaryWortleyMontagu Tue 14-Feb-17 21:55:20

As far as I know all the smart meters that are currently installed are first generation smart meters. This means that they will only "talk" to the energy company who supplied the meter. If you switch supplier, even if the new supplier supports smart meters your meter will not be able to talk with your new suppliers systems. The second generation meters which will be able to do this are apparently coming on board next year. Why on earth they didn’t delay the roll out until the second generation meters were ready I don't know. So now if you switch supplier with a smart meters your meter will become a "dumb meter" and you will have to submit meter readings again. It's not just the hassle to do this again, but it is more difficult to do so as the reading only displays on your screen for a short time period before it starts displaying other information. I think the idea is great in theory (and it was great for the time period when the smart meter actually worked to have the readings dinner automatically) but the implementation has been poor.

girlandboy Tue 14-Feb-17 21:58:14

We've had several letters informing us that we need a smart meter installed. I'm ignoring them now, because after 6 failed visits which included the area manager and several engineers standing in my dining room and scratching their heads, nothing has happened.
1. I've told them repeatedly that the mobile phone coverage with their provider is rubbish here.
2. My house is a listed building so they can't put the meter on the outside.
3. My house walls are 3ft thick stone and the signal won't go through.
4. There's no room for the smart meter in my meter cupboard because of the old lead gas pipe being in the way, and no-one will take responsibility to move it.
I could go on.........

They all mutter together, tell me that they'll be in touch with a solution, and then I get the standard letter through the post that they need to put in the smart meter.

It's not happening!!

specialsubject Tue 14-Feb-17 22:01:44

Looks like the whole thing is a cockup of ocean going proportions. If only the money had been spent on generation and insulation.

DJKKSlider Tue 14-Feb-17 22:01:59

Fwiw, we've had no issues with ours at all.
It took a while once for our top up to go on, they gave us £10 topup as compensation, but that was it.

ExplodedCloud Tue 14-Feb-17 22:36:45

Mary the government insisted on the rollout even though the problems were raised.

ssd If your router is too near the meter it can cause problems.

AGrinWithoutACat Tue 14-Feb-17 22:52:57

Interesting and food for thought - thanks everyone

I suspect that they may not work in our house as we get a very poor mobile signal

Def don't want anything that would interfere with wifi as router lives on top of the electric meter cupboard and not knowing till after its installed would not be fun

Tianc Tue 14-Feb-17 22:56:58

Direct link to my old summary thread about this, with lots of referenced details about the rather important stuff electricity companies don't mention:
Anyone having a gas/leccy meter replaced with a Smart Meter? Something you need to know

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Wed 15-Feb-17 09:18:19

My dh has gone into this a lot, and recently attended a professional's talk about it. We've had one for some time, but there is not yet the means for it to be any use if we switch suppliers.

That should be coming eventually, but probably not for a year or two.
Advice from those who really know what they're talking about is to wait for the next generation of smart meters, that is if you think you might be switching suppliers in the not too distant.

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