Gransnet forums


smart meters

(19 Posts)
travelsafar Thu 31-Aug-17 07:46:06

I have been recieving information about smart meters and wondered if any one can tell me if they are effective in reducing your electric bills.

I have also been told that they can interfer with Wi Fi signals, anyone experienced this?

Would very much like to know plus or negs before maybe having one installed.

yggdrasil Thu 31-Aug-17 08:08:48

Do you watch your usage anyway? Switch unused lights off, etc. Then you probably don't need a smart meter. They will tell you if there is a power cut, but you know that because things stop working smile . They pass your usage straight to the company so no-one needs to read a meter, but they send men round anyway.
There have also been not a few cases of meters being installed badly and causing fires
Despite several pester calls from my supplier, I have refused to have one. But someone else may well come up with a good reason for you to do so!

Maggiemaybe Thu 31-Aug-17 08:16:11

We had them installed by First Utility two weeks ago. Both meter screens have been completely blank ever since and the monitor provided shows that our next estimated bills will both be £0. confused

FU (yes, I now see the joke) aren't at all interested apart from claiming that the smart meters can take up to 28 days to connect. The engineer fitting the things, on the other hand, said (after the work was done angry) that the signal was very weak in our cellar but they made the decision to go ahead anyway and might well have to come out again to put the standard meters back.

So we now have no idea at all what these meters are registering, and are looking at yet another day of being stuck at home while new meters are installed (the work took five hours).

And having looked at the monitor, all it will do if it does miraculously start working is show us how much energy we are using at a particular time, which doesn't seem particularly useful or high tech.

From our experience, I'd say if it ain't broke, don't let them fix it.

Maggiemaybe Thu 31-Aug-17 08:26:22

Oops, sorry, the work took three hours, not five. Can't add up this morning!

illtellhim Thu 31-Aug-17 08:29:52

FU installed ours about 18 months ago, Never had a problem, don't interfere with the WI-FI, they use mobile 'phone signal and you certainly don't save any money.

Hope this is helpful. smile

tanith Thu 31-Aug-17 08:38:18

I saw no benefit to me from having one so it won't be happening. We are already careful to conserve our energy use.

hildajenniJ Thu 31-Aug-17 08:39:00

Scottish Power fitted our smart meters about a month ago. It took the very nice young man about 45 minutes. He found a problem with the electricity meter and had Northern Power Grid round to correct it within the hour. The meters work fine and the monitor is sited on the windowsill nearest to the electricity meter. It works well, and was giving us information as soon as it was plugged in! It is interesting to see how much we spend on various appliances. I thought tumble driers were expensive to run, but checking the readout before and after running mine for an hour I found it cost me about 5p. All in all, I was very happy with the service and watching the monitor readout is interesting. I have no heating on, and just the echo dot running. Here's the readout since midnight.

Maggiemaybe Thu 31-Aug-17 09:15:01

I have also heard that more detailed and useful smart meters will be available from next year, so it might be worth getting more information about these.

GrandmaMoira Thu 31-Aug-17 11:27:50

I have asked for a smart meter because my meters are in an inaccessible place and difficult to read so this will save having estimated bills which are always higher than the true reading. No-one else seems to have this issue.
I'm also hoping there is something accessible or portable which will show me how much appliances are using.

LadyGracie Thu 31-Aug-17 11:44:08

Ours was fitted by British Gas about a year ago, very informative, it hasn't saved us anything as we're not excessive with usage anyway.

grannysyb Thu 31-Aug-17 12:03:40

If you change your supplier they might need to put different meters in as they are not all compatible. I turned down the offer from F U as I read the meters every month myself,not difficult.

M0nica Thu 31-Aug-17 16:20:55

Total waste of effort. Each smart meter is specific to the company that supplies it. Change energy suppliers and it can only function as a bog standard meter.

The theory is that if we have all our consumption information at hand we will work hard at reducing our energy use. That assumes
1) that you do not already run your system as economically as possible, turning lights out, keeping the thermostat as low as possible
2) If you are casual and wasteful with energy, you will suddenly start checking your readings and rushing round turning lights off etc. Leopards do not change their spots after a few days/weeks or excited activity, interest wanes and the family reverts to its usual casual attitude to lights on etc etc.

cornergran Thu 31-Aug-17 17:02:54

We have decided we can live without one for now. We are careful with usage, have been for years. I also suspect Mr C would become obsessed by the monitor hmm

Nonnie Thu 31-Aug-17 17:12:28

MOnica I think I heard that they are now standardising the meters so they will work if you change supplier but ours is too old for that.

The only use we find is that no one has to come and read the meter. No, not saved anything because we don't need to look at a screen to know what we are using! Surprises me that anyone does. We are of the generation who always switch off lights and unused devices so cannot see that looking at a screen is going to save money.

We switched ours off to save electricity and they still get the meter readings. Don't actually know where it is now.

M0nica Thu 31-Aug-17 17:53:15

I know standardised meters are coming in, but I understood not for a couple of years.

Presumably the energy suppliers will then have to go round all the premises where they fitted supplier specific smart meters and replaced them with the new standard smart meters. ....... and who will be picking up the cost of doing this? Us, of course.

MissAdventure Thu 31-Aug-17 17:55:37

I never realised that changing supplier would render them, well.. not 'smart'.

travelsafar Thu 31-Aug-17 18:40:34

thanks for all the replies, i hink for now i will leave well alone.

bikergran Thu 31-Aug-17 19:00:28

I think when they were first introduced...they implied that they would save "us" money! hmm

I believe all that they do is let you monitor your up to the individual to save money..I have read (not sure if its true) that it has costs £1,000s n £1,000s to install and produce these meters...and that Joe bloggs will pick up the cost one way or another..cant rem where I read it..think it was on somethng like Yahoo news..

M0nica Thu 31-Aug-17 19:52:51

millions more likely.