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News & politics

Smart meters

(28 Posts)
Anyone7 Tue 22-Oct-19 16:09:13

Hello all, I’m sure this is an old topic but I can’t find it.
Has anyone heard anything negative about smart meters?
Our supplier has offered to fit ours for free and just thought I’d see if I could glean a bit of info about others experience of them from here.

Shez1955 Tue 22-Oct-19 16:16:48

Make sure they are going to fit a smart2 (2nd generation) as they are supposed to be transferable if you change suppliers. Smart1 didn’t always work with a new supplier. My smart2 is fine although the display is currently not showing correct usage.

shysal Tue 22-Oct-19 16:26:18

Mine lives in a drawer and I have never looked at it!

newnanny Tue 22-Oct-19 16:36:36

I use them in my byl to be sure tenants don't leave owing money to utility companies. If you get a Utilita smart meter they do not charge a daily standing charge that other smart meter companies do. They are cheaper. If you get a recommendation you can get a £20 Amazon voucher too.

Fiachna50 Tue 22-Oct-19 16:44:36

I wouldn't have one. Ive heard they can put you on any tariff the company wants and that they may charge you more at peak useage times. Check out the online newspapers, in particular the Daily Mail had some articles about folk practically being blackmailed into having one. They also don't work properly with solar panels and they will restrict your ability to switch supplier. I don't trust them and won't have one in the house. My niece had one and it drove her nuts, she was also convinced her bills increased, she ripped it out.

Wheniwasyourage Tue 22-Oct-19 16:44:47

There have been threads about this before, so I know I'm not the only one who knows when I switch something on that it will use power and who doesn't leave things on standby or leave lights on in empty rooms. Therefore I can't see the point in our having a smart meter, and in fact we have never yet been offered one.

shysal, don't think you're the only person who never looks at the smart meter, at least not once the novelty has worn off. smile

newnanny, your reason for having one does make sense!

Jane43 Tue 22-Oct-19 16:48:02

We fail to see the value of them and we will resist having one as long as we can as at the moment there are more disadvantages then advantages. We are careful with our use of gas and electricity and submit meter readings online regularly so are fine without one.

Anyone7 Tue 22-Oct-19 16:49:13

Thanks. Good to know about the 2nd generation ones that will still work if I change suppliers.
Also, I didn’t know anything about a daily charge??
Glad I asked , got bits of useful info smile

growstuff Tue 22-Oct-19 17:00:23

My landlord doesn't want me to get a smart meter, but I don't really understand why not. Maybe somebody could explain the disadvantages.

BTW I do always pay my bills and am always in credit.

Wheniwasyourage Tue 22-Oct-19 17:00:54

No, the daily charge was new to me too, and a bit annoying as we are all paying through our bills for the installation of smart meters, whether we want them or not! angry

Calendargirl Tue 22-Oct-19 18:55:00

We have solar panels, and I understand that smart meters do not work properly with them.
I send meter readings monthly to my provider. I see no reason to have a smart meter.
There is another thread running - annoying tv adverts- well, I find the smart meter one with children thanking you for having one extremely annoying.

newnanny Tue 22-Oct-19 23:01:52

We do not have a smart meter as we prefer to pay by direct debit and one that uses renewable energy but I do worry about what if a tenant left owing money on the bill so we put them in btl just to save us any hastle really. The added bonus for us if is a property is being renovated we do not have to pay daily charges which are several pounds each week for not using any electricity or gas. We also got a £20 bonus for each house we put on with Utilita.

newnanny Tue 22-Oct-19 23:04:53

@growstuff the main disadvantage of a smart meter is that if you run out of electricity or gas you have to go to a pay point to add more credit to your account. If it is cold and snowy or if you are unwell in bed with the flu you may not want to go out. There is only a small amount of emergency electricity and gas you could get by pushing button. I can't think of any other disadvantages.

growstuff Wed 23-Oct-19 01:55:47

Couldn't I just continue to pay by direct debit? My landlord doesn't want me to switch anyway, so I won't unless I'm forced to. However, if I am forced to switch, that sounds like a major disadvantage. At the moment I pay by direct debit. The amount is fairly accurate for electricity, but less so for gas, which varies according to the season.

I check the readings regularly and always make sure that I'm in credit, which means I sometimes receive a refund, but I could choose to pay an average amount over the year, so that it balances out. I'd be highly miffed if I had to go out in the snow and ice to top up or keep my heating down at a time when I need it most.

(Hope that makes sense.)

growstuff Wed 23-Oct-19 02:06:18

SSE was fined £700,000 by Ofgem for failing to install enough smart meters. Presumably all customers will now have to pay the fine through their bills. 400 people at SSE are being made redundant as a result.

I really don't understand this. Do people really use less energy if they have a smart meter? What's the advantage of them to the power companies and the government?

mumofmadboys Wed 23-Oct-19 05:56:17

Some ot the info on this thread is inaccurate. A smart meter is nothing to do with having to pre pay for electricity or gas as new nanny suggests. That is a pre payment meter which are sometimes in rental properties or for people who have a history of difficulty keeping up with the bills. We have a smart meter and I find it very useful. We live in a big house which can be expensive to heat. I can keep an eye on how much we are spending each day and it encourages me to turn down the heating. I am sure our smart meter saves us money by making me more careful.

Beckett Wed 23-Oct-19 07:36:23

I also have a smart meter - I find the monitor very useful. Fiachna50 How did your niece "rip it out"? I am guessing she just disconnected the monitor - that would still have left the meter itself in situ.

I haven't found my bills have increased but it has made me aware if I leave things switched on when not needed.

Sara65 Wed 23-Oct-19 07:48:03

Our energy supplier came to fit a new metre, I took a day off to accommodate him. When he finished, he said we couldn’t pick up a signal, so am still not using it several years later. He told me it was government policy to fit them, regardless of whether or not they worked.

craftyone Wed 23-Oct-19 07:51:51

New build and already fitted with a british gas smart meter. I was never ever going to have a smart meter btw. I changed from BG to octopus and the smart meter no longer works. I had pulled its plug anyway because I either need to use energy or I don`t. I would find it useful now, only for automatically sending readings in. The gas meter is very low and I have to kneel on soil. I would never have the meter switched on, no need for me

charliebrown Wed 23-Oct-19 08:24:57

We have had a smart metre for quite a while now and hardly ever look at it. Now we have been informed that this needs to be updated as our current one might not work for much longer. We are confused. I think this a Government initiative for every home to have one fitted, but if our current one is being replaced what will happen to the ones they remove. Surely they should continue fitting new ones and leave the current ones alone. I presume they will go into landfill?

Charleygirl5 Wed 23-Oct-19 08:27:16

I am in agreement with mumofmadboys. Mine is helpful and useful. Also, I am partially sighted so I no longer have to attempt to read my meters.

I have solar panels and I do not see what the problem is. Provided a second generation meter is fitted all should be well. I would not be without mine now.

Lovetopaint037 Wed 23-Oct-19 08:34:51

We have had ours for some years so probably not one of the transferable ones.
I like it as it doesn’t have to be read although once in blue moon someone turns up to check it.

growstuff Wed 23-Oct-19 08:35:08

Thank you for the clarification mumofmadboys. I really couldn't understand why a smart meter would mean I'd have to prepay. I pay by monthly direct debit an amount the power supplier estimates and the bill is issued three monthly. The amount is adjusted annually. I guess that's the method many people use and I was a bit baffled.

My understanding is that a meter sends a signal with a reading rather than asking customers to send one online and/or sending a meter reader out. There is no change to payment method. Am I correct?

B9exchange Wed 23-Oct-19 08:43:30

I would not have one for two reasons

1) they are too easily hacked, see

2) I would no longer have a marriage, DH is obsessive enough about turning down the heating and turning off lights just as I am about to go upstairs. Give him the chance to prove he was saving 1p and all hell would break loose!

Fiachna50 Wed 23-Oct-19 09:46:36

Beckett, my niece said her bills definitely went up, she phoned and phoned AND phoned for assistance, felt the company wasn't interested. Yes she took it out the wall by plug or whatever means Im not too sure. Says her bills have gone back to what they were before and I think she changed supplier and told other company what they could do with their Smart Meter. I know she had issues with it for months on end.