Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Smart Meters

(113 Posts)
Lilypops Sat 16-Mar-19 10:51:19

In order to change my supplier to a cheaper tariff, I have to agree to have a Smart meter , are they useful, is there any catch in them ,DH is suspicious of them , Any GN had any experience of them , Would you recommend them , Advice appreciated , Thankyou ,

tanith Sat 16-Mar-19 11:02:44

I can’t see any benefit myself as I’m mindful of how much energy I’m using regardless. As I understand it you can’t be made to have one installed and if you do once you change suppliers again it probably won’t work.

Witzend Sat 16-Mar-19 11:07:49

AFAIK the trouble with them at present, is that if you change suppliers, the one you have will not be compatible.

Dh has been ranting for ages about the futility of the govt. encouraging them until such a basic matter has been sorted out.
Other than that, I don't see any particular objection.

Charleygirl5 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:10:03

I have a smart meter - mainly because of eyesight problems I could not read my meters which are outside.

I deliberately waited an extra 6 months so that the meter installed will be able to be used if I move suppliers.

I am like tanith I know how much I am using. To begin with, it was a one minute wonder- now I never notice it as it sits unobtrusively in the corner of the kitchen on the work top surface.

Bagatelle Sat 16-Mar-19 11:21:41

I think there is more freedom to switch if you haven't got a smart meter. I have no problem with the one I have so I'm holding off for as long as I can.

Chewbacca Sat 16-Mar-19 11:30:15

I was with First Utility for years and when my contract came up for renewal, they said that my monthly direct debit would have to increase, even though my usage hadn't changed, if I didn't agree to have a smart meter. I took my business to Bulb, paid slightly less per month, and no smart meter.
There was a discussion about energy companies doing this on Radio 4 Money Box recently.

Lilypops Sat 16-Mar-19 11:31:09

I am with Eon, and I said I was going to leave them as I had found a better , cheaper deal, Eon came back with a reduced price but I had to agree to the smart meter, I didn't have one before so why are they making me have one now, also how is they can suddenly reduce the tariff when you say you are leaving them ,

Lilypops Sat 16-Mar-19 11:34:47

Chew baca, First Utility is the company I am going to change to, but they haven't said I have to have a smart meter, well up to now they haven't , my direct debit will be £13 per month cheaper with FU,

Eloethan Sat 16-Mar-19 11:53:32

People are being pressured into having these meters, with suppliers often implying that it is mandatory. It isn't.

I would not have one and I think the whole project has been misleading. It has recently been estimated that the savings for the average family of having a smart meter are £11 per year. Hardly worth the bother, given that if you change supplier your smart meter may not work.

Although the energy companies pay for the meter and its installation, ultimately it is the customer who pays through increased bills.

A 2018 Guardian article quotes from a report carried out by MPs. This includes the information that the £11 billion cost of this project is increasing at the same time as targets are not being met. Also:

“Without urgent action, however, it [the report] believes the roll-out could become yet another large-scale public infrastructure project delivered well over time and budget, and which fails to provide the expected consumer benefits.”

www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/21/smart-meters-to-save-uk-households-only-11-a-year-report-finds

Charleygirl5 Sat 16-Mar-19 13:08:39

Eloethan the updated smart meters will work if you change companies.

Mine is a boon because I am partially sighted. so no longer struggle with outside meters and a torch.

RosieLeah Sat 16-Mar-19 14:37:56

This has been a timely thread. I'm with E-on, who want me to have a smart meter. They asked me to phone to arrange a date to have it installed. I rang but was put on hold. As it wasn't a free number, I didn't wait. Now I see that it isn't compulsory, I'll bide my time.

BlueSapphire Sat 16-Mar-19 15:35:20

E-on keep writing to me too about installing a smart meter, and they make it seem as if they're compulsory, but they're not; so I am standing my ground and refusing to have one.

Lilypops Sat 16-Mar-19 15:56:53

WI hbenow heard that smart meters are not compulsory , the energy companies are fined by the government if they don't offer them to customers ! They contact you to say we will come and fit one and all you have to do is refuse if you don't want one ,, Having said that maybe it might be a good idea,no more scrabbling around in cupboard under the stairs with a torch to read the meters ,torch in one hand ,pen and paper in the other,,

Lilypops Sat 16-Mar-19 15:57:46

Sorry for typo , I meant , I have now heard that ,,

Scribbles Sat 16-Mar-19 16:12:01

Eon offered us one about two years ago and we agreed because reading the meters is such a faff plus, at the time, we were frequently away and, therefore, likely to receive wildly inaccurate estimated bills.

The thing sits quietly in the hall, mostly ignored but making me grind my teeth when I spot it showing a red light because someone is using the power shower or I've just turned the oven on. For heaven's sake, these are normal activities and that red light always feels like a rebuke!

M0nica Sat 16-Mar-19 17:48:24

The purpose of smart meters is to bring an end to estimated meter readings, and no waiting in tor meter readers.

They do not help you save fuel because if you do not waste fuel anyway, there is nothing to save and if you are careless with energy, you may cut down for a bit but soons slip back to your wasteful habits.

Just make sure that it is a second generation meter not its earliest incarnation. Early meters were only smart for the fuel supplier who fitted it. Change to another supplier and thr meter reverts to being an ordinary meter.

Generation 2 smart meters will work with all suppliers.

Lilypops Sat 16-Mar-19 19:54:13

Thankyou all for your helpful advice , especially Monica , I will make sure it's a second generation meter if I have to have one ,

SpringyChicken Sat 16-Mar-19 21:43:00

We have a smart meter - the plus is that we don't have to read the meter and submit readings. We stopped looking at the separate consumer display so unplugged it (to save electricity).

Happychops Sat 16-Mar-19 22:07:32

We have a smart meter and as we both work it is so good not missing the meter reader and having to phone or email readings to the company? I was aware of what I was using for the first couple of weeks looking at the consumer display and then stopped using it. I use what I need and as we are pretty careful I don’t think about it anymore.

harrigran Sun 17-Mar-19 09:16:35

We have refused to have one fitted, they kept ringing and pestering us and DH lost his temper. He told them he is old and very sick and he is not worried about heating bills. The jobsworth on the phone wouldn't accept that it was virging on harrassment.

BlueBelle Sun 17-Mar-19 09:22:35

I have refused a smart meter I don’t like to be ordered to have something I don’t need I know how to monitor my electricity and will continue to refuse unless it becomes compulsory

GrannyAnnie2010 Sun 17-Mar-19 09:40:31

"Why should I have a mobile phone, when my landline set works well. Why should I get a computer - my typewriter works well enough with the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Why should I get central heating - the coal fire is fine."

A smart meter is a more efficient way of letting our energy suppliers know how to bill us, and they use the data to plan for our usage more effectively.

Don't be suspicious of it.

Framilode Sun 17-Mar-19 09:41:04

When we moved into this house a year ago we agreed to have one in exchange for a lower tariff. Eventually, they turned up to install it, said there was something needed doing to the electric box which they would sort out in the next couple of weeks and disappeared. We have heard no more.

Disgruntled Sun 17-Mar-19 09:42:16

I've refused a smart meter (several times) as I have heard of them having ill effects on health.

GabriellaG54 Sun 17-Mar-19 09:44:02

If you have poor eyesight and cannot read your meter, take a screenshot with your mobile phone and enlarge it OR email the screenshot with your name address and account number to their customer services department. Their email address is online.