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Thinking of installing a smart meter

(77 Posts)
Opal Mon 28-Nov-22 19:48:38

I've just received an email from my energy supplier, inviting me to install a smart meter. I've resisted until now, mainly due to the numerous reports of people having problems with the meters once they're installed. However, in view of the current economic climate and in an effort to try to save energy, I'm wondering if now would be a good time to bite the bullet. Do any of you have any views or experience in having a smart meter installed? Thanks in advance.

Jaxjacky Mon 28-Nov-22 20:02:06

Ours is brilliant, no more outside one a month in all weathers to undo the boxes, check to make sure I’ve written it correctly, then email.
I don’t have the display out, it’s in its box, switched off, in a cupboard. We’ve cut back as much as we can, I don’t need reminding!

midgey Mon 28-Nov-22 20:03:56

A smart meter can be really handy for you and the energy company! For you: you can see how much you are using and how much it has cost you in a day and there’s no need to read your meter ( unless it stops working!)
For the company: no need to have meter readings, and if bills are not paid the customer can be remotely switched to a prepayment meter without need for the bailiff and if the need arises electricity can be switched off altogether!
I wouldn’t want to put you off but be aware!!
I do have one.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 28-Nov-22 20:07:14

We’ve never had any problems , but like Jaxjacky I don’t have the screen plugged in, I’d feel guilty for having something on that should probably be switched off.

Aveline Mon 28-Nov-22 20:09:20

We had one installed but it couldn't work out two rates (or something!) It switched off our central heating. After two electricians came from EDF who couldn't find out the problem we had to get our own electrician. EDF gave us back out old meter plus £80 for our inconvenience.

LizzieDrip Mon 28-Nov-22 20:15:44

We have a smart meter and find it really useful. We have the little ‘in home display monitor’ plugged in so we can easily see how much gas & electricity we’re using throughout the day. I feel this gives us a certain amount of control, and has helped us cut down on usage. We have a reasonable idea how much the bill will be each month, so no surprises! The monitor itself uses hardly any power so no problem having it plugged in.

Georgesgran Mon 28-Nov-22 20:23:27

Mine’s in the garage, but as it’s connected to the Octopus App, I can see (if I want to) my usage, and charges for gas and electricity daily, weekly, or monthly.
I resisted a smart meter, but really don’t know why!

karmalady Mon 28-Nov-22 20:37:08

I am with octopus. I never wanted a smart meter but changed my mind and I am so glad. Octopus really looked after me and saw the whole process through from fixing appointment onwards

I have the most up to date version, I think is called smets2. It takes a few weeks to be stable in sending and recording data as there are many digital strands that have to synchronise. It is running perfectly now and I would definitely not be without it. It has made me aware of my energy usage, more than previously as I can see the data straight away

No more kneeling on the soil to read the gas meter or shining a torch to read the electricity meter. Smart meters are brilliant. Installed last month, october 7th

crazyH Mon 28-Nov-22 20:42:47

I have a smart meter - great to see and know exactly what your usage is ….

BlueBelle Mon 28-Nov-22 20:44:15

I ve been having enormous trouble for over a year with Eon next
On their Fb page there are awful awful stories of problems with smart meters so it probable depends on who you are with
I will leave Eon after hundreds of years with them as soon as my government payments are compete They seemed fine until they changed to EONNext when it all went pear shaped

Lynker Mon 28-Nov-22 20:46:20

We had a Smart Meter fitted about 3 weeks ago. After watching it like a hawk for the first few days, I now think it is great. It raises your awareness of the energy you are using and it enables you to control what you use/ spend. We have replaced some old light bulbs for low energy ones and we are now far less likely to leave fans/lights/heating on. Plus no more trips outside for meter readings.

Esspee Mon 28-Nov-22 22:16:22

Nobody has mentioned that they are bringing in a financial incentive to cut back on your use when the grid is under strain. I have signed up for this with Eon next though have yet to receive the details. If you don’t have a smart meter you can’t apply.
I love being able to monitor my usage and we now use considerably less energy as we are aware, for the very first time, just how to get the best out of our solar panels. e.g. I used to load the washing machine early in the morning to have a full day with laundry on the washing line. Now I leave it until later when I have free electricity.

Daisymae Mon 28-Nov-22 22:26:07

Haven't got a smart meter as yet. I do the reading and just take a photo of each one. Not much hassle. Wouldn't have one fitted until the problems are down.

Charleygirl5 Mon 28-Nov-22 22:44:26

I am with Octopus and have had a smart meter for ages. I am partially sighted, could not read my meters, so I had to rely on somebody from the company to read them every 6 months.

It is so easy, my bills are accurate and I can work out how much of each I use daily if I want.

Nandalot Mon 28-Nov-22 23:12:18

Ours is being fitted by Octopus on Weds. so quite relieved by some of the posts on here. There was no real need to do it as meter is easily accessible and I quite like sending my monthly readings in and getting my updated account. In the email suggesting we switch, I think they said this would enable us to use cheaper electricity when demand is low but I could have got this wrong.

Hetty58 Mon 28-Nov-22 23:31:23

They are still not accurate enough - and guess who pays for them to run? I have no real problem reading meters (just take a picture on my mobile) and working out my bills.

They are promoted as somehow saving money - but, of course, they don't. Nandalot, the plan is, indeed, to make electricity cheaper when demand is low - and more expensive at peak times. It's not a problem for me, as I have the luxury of using the most at midday - but impossible for parents of young children.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 29-Nov-22 06:49:25

I don’t know why a family with young children can’t use their more expensive electrical equipment in the evenings if it’s cheaper? I always did the washing in the evening so that it was ready to go out on the line in the mornings and most of my batch cooking was done in the evenings so that it was ready to go into the fridge for the next couple of days.
As most parents work I would think it even more likely that heavy use is in the evenings.
They can save you money if you can see where you are wasting electricity, a ex colleague of mine always left all of her lamps on during the day, in Every Room! Summer and Winter, and never hung her washing out it always went into the Tumble Dryer, she stopped that when she got her smart meter.
Plus I can go online and see exactly what I’m using as I use it each day, my account also compares price and usage with other days, months and years. I’m with OVO.

karmalady Tue 29-Nov-22 07:15:26

My TD is most definitely an energy eater. I used it twice last week, only to finish off two wash loads that did not properly dry outside. It is a modern efficient condensing TD. I would still use my TD at times but certainly not if, like now, I am on a savings misssion. I would never have realised how much energy it used without the smart meter

Nandalot, smart meters are very accurate, rest assured with octopus. They will look after you and any teething troubles will be quickly sorted.

Ashcombe Tue 29-Nov-22 07:36:35

My smart meter was fitted a couple of years ago and I wouldn’t be without it! After a “discussion” with my supplier (Good Energy) they were persuaded to bill me each month for the amount of gas and electricity I’d actually used. They wanted to set a monthly amount year round to allow for Winter usage. I prefer to pay for what I’ve used and they now know exactly how much that is!

Like other posters, in the past I had struggled to read my meters, both being in awkward places. Now I like seeing how much my energy use is costing me each day.

Hetty58 Tue 29-Nov-22 07:58:36

Oopsadaisy1, I'm not talking about the old Economy Seven hours. The proposed new scheme peak hours are around 7 - 11 am and 5 - 9 pm, after school, dinner, bath etc. times.

Pensioners can use the cheaper daytime rates, of course. I don't need a smart meter to know the kWh of appliances - but, it seems, others do.

There's a general assumption that smart meters are 'accurate' - evidence? I expect they're getting better, but I'll wait. Their advantages are mainly for suppliers, with cuts in staffing costs.

As there simply won't be gas in the future - only electricity - I think battery storage for solar panels will be in demand!

choughdancer Tue 29-Nov-22 10:57:25


Nobody has mentioned that they are bringing in a financial incentive to cut back on your use when the grid is under strain. I have signed up for this with Eon next though have yet to receive the details. If you don’t have a smart meter you can’t apply.
I love being able to monitor my usage and we now use considerably less energy as we are aware, for the very first time, just how to get the best out of our solar panels. e.g. I used to load the washing machine early in the morning to have a full day with laundry on the washing line. Now I leave it until later when I have free electricity.

I was a resister, but now am converted! Like Esspee, it helps me get more from my solar panels, and also see what uses most electricity. It has certainly helped cut my energy usage. I bought an air-fryer after reading about other people's experience of them on GN, and I can see on the smart-meter how much energy it saves compared with my oven.

Esspee Tue 29-Nov-22 12:01:53

choughdancer. I did exactly the same, ended up buying an air fryer, the kind like a mini oven to be able to do roasts and bake while being able to see what’s going on inside. We plug in the car whenever it tells us we are feeding electricity to the grid too. We get paid for generating whether we use it or export it so it would be silly not to take advantage.
Hetty58 doesn’t seem to realise that cheaper tariffs for off peak use will only be available to those with smart meters.

Callistemon21 Tue 29-Nov-22 12:09:04

We're on our second as the first one never really got going.

It does save DH having to go out, read the meters and report to the utility company.

However, it does seem to be erratic. It tells us off sternly that we have exceeded our weekly budget - but who set the budget? We can't seem to change it.
The other thing is that sometimes, late at night when all is quiet, no appliances are running, no heating on (not even a freezer as I listened to it), few lights on, the orange light is on warning me that we are using a lot of electricity.
I'm sure our meter is connected to the street light.

Calendargirl Tue 29-Nov-22 12:09:36


I, too, like to do my washing first thing to get it out on the line, (I have solar panels, no smart meter), but if you do it later, unless it’s a good ‘drying’ day, how do you get it dry?

My DIL always seems to be having her washer on late in the day, hangs it out, but to me it doesn’t have time to get dry, except on a ‘good’ day.

SusieB50 Tue 29-Nov-22 15:45:15

I am with EDF , my Home Screen has never worked properly since it was installed over 2 years ago . Don’t think the actual meter is working all the time now as well, as on the App I have installed it has been saying the reading is estimated for the last 3 weeks . I have been in contact with EDF several times by WhatsApp only ( no possibility of actually speaking to anyone!) who now have asked me to read my meters , which I can’t do as I can’t lie on the floor anymore! Grrr