Gransnet forums


Smart meters

(20 Posts)
Annika Wed 18-Jan-12 11:22:09

I have just recived a letter from my energy supplier informing me that I am one of their lucky customers that will recieve a free smart meter ,fitted free of charge. They assure me that it will take just up to two hours to install. Once installed I will no longer have my bills estimated, (I never do as I read my meter once a month and send the readings via my on line account ).
Has any grans/grandads had a meter like this installed, and is it all its cracked up to be ?
One of the `selling points` is the fact that I can see how much gas/ electricity is being used, now call me old fashioned but if something in our house is `on` and no one is using it it gets turned off !! I dont need a meter to tell me that !!!!!!!!
Also if I were to change my supplier would it mean another smart meter would have to be installed . hmm

absentgrana Wed 18-Jan-12 11:44:35

It's government policy for all homes to have smart meters installed during the next few years. They save the energy suppliers a considerable amount of money as they require far fewer staff (more unemployment?) but there is not a guarantee that any savings will be passed on to customers. Also, the cost of the smart meters will be incorporated into energy bills. Like you Annika, I can't see why a smart meter would make me use less fuel as if something is not in use, I turn it off. Nevertheless, I still have meals to cook, laundry to do, gransnet to check… However, the other part of the plan is that there will be a variety of tariffs so it might be much cheaper to make stock or do the ironing at three o'clock in the morning than at peak times. I think smart meters, like the meters we have now, are usable by all energy suppliers, but have no idea how they would work for those people who have cards and keys (and the highest tariffs).

FlicketyB Wed 18-Jan-12 21:19:32

Research has shown that even among those that do leave lights on and heating turned high the Smart Meter effect only lasts about six months and then they just ignore the meter and go back to their old habits.

As for doing domestic chores in the wee small hours, we would presumably need to put timer plugs on any appliance that was to run when we were asleep, well I know there are night owls out there, but I am not one of them, and in my house the plugs for the dishwasher and washing machine are at the back under the work top they are housed under and I really cannot see myself heaving either machine out of its hole just so that I can r-e-a-c-h right over the top to set the timer on the plug every time I want to use it. I have certainly not seen any washing appliances on the market that incorporate a timer.

Annika Wed 18-Jan-12 21:27:47

I will not drag myself out of bed to do the ironing in the wee hours of the morning to do the washing just because it may be a little cheaper
It has been my experience that I have never saved any thing like the amount of money that energy suppliers have promised

Zephrine Wed 18-Jan-12 21:39:33

FlicketyB My washing machine (Zanussi) has an up to 9 hour delay switch on it. I don't know if any other makes have.

Annika Wed 18-Jan-12 22:17:48

My washing machine is in the kitchen , and my bedroom is over the kitchen ,if I were to set the machine to turn on in the middle of the night I would be shaken out of bed when the machine goes into a spin ! grin

yogagran Wed 18-Jan-12 22:24:27

My washing machine (LG) has a timer and I use it frequently as we have a slightly cheaper rate of electricity overnight. I can set the machine to finish its cycle at a pre-determined time, so it's done its load by early morning.
The dishwasher is a Bosch and that too has a timer. It runs overnight on off peak electricity. It also means that I don't have a noisy dishwasher running during the day. Lets just hope that neither machine springs a leak - apparently these modern machines have a "fail safe" water inlet thingy

Zephrine Wed 18-Jan-12 22:24:37

Could be interesting wink

yogagran Wed 18-Jan-12 22:25:59

Sorry Zephrine - my post got in between yours and Annika's

Zephrine Wed 18-Jan-12 22:26:04

For Annika that is.

Zephrine Wed 18-Jan-12 22:26:29

oops, we did it again!

yogagran Wed 18-Jan-12 22:26:51

Please can we stop talking over each other zephrine .... grin

yogagran Wed 18-Jan-12 22:28:05

Think I'll set all my machine timers now and go to bed!

Cyril Wed 18-Jan-12 22:53:57

We are once again being sold a pup. None of this latest scheme to introduce Smart meters is for the benefit of customers. They just say it is. It is another way of increasing profits by reducing staff and paperwork. They also aquire the means of knowing how much electricity is being used, as it is being used, as they already do with a key meter.

Remember all the hype we have been hearing for so long about how efficient the latest gas boilers are? Anyone who has one of these ugly lumps fixed to the wall knows that it takes a long time for the water to get hot coming out of the tap. Did you know that it is in fact cheaper to boil a kettle if you only need a litre or so of water (plus one of cold) to wash up and suchlike? The two or three gallons of water that is allowed to run down the drain when you do not need a lot of hot water gets wasteful, and expensive, when charged through a water meter. Add in the costs of frequent repairs and the annual safety check and it really starts to add up. By the way, what use is an annual safety check if you already have a carbon monoxide detector? We all know that any certificate is only valid on the day it is written. MOT, CRB, Etc.

My Dad always told us to find out who compiled the information and what he was selling. In this case there is a more efficient use of gas, but at what cost in other ways?

Annika Wed 18-Jan-12 22:56:05

Zephrine grin
yogagran watch out for the spin wink

Cyril Wed 18-Jan-12 23:01:28

Oops! Acquire looks so much better with a 'c'. blush

Annika Wed 18-Jan-12 23:03:38

Cyril Inever believe anything I am told now when someone claims that

it will save me money

I will get faster internet connection

It will make my skin looking younger ( ha ha as if !!!!!!!!!!)

Our supermarket is the cheapest

We can give you the best quote for your house insurance

etc,etc, grin

Cyril Sun 29-Jan-12 21:56:43

I read a comment on Smart meters. It appears that other countries are years ahead of us with this one, and are now paying taxes and other bills via the Smart meter and you are disconnected if your payments are not up to date. Here some of them don't work and the provider is asking the customer to provide the information. It seems there would also be a problem if you wanted to change your supplier as not all are compatible. We are of course also paying for those that don't work.

kittylester Mon 30-Jan-12 05:35:14

Every house we have lived in has had Ecomony 7 so we always run the washer, dishwasher and tumble dryer (only very rarely) overnight. Currently (haha) our overnight electricity is, I think, one third less than day time electricity. I expect when we get a smart meter it will be rather different!

habari Tue 29-May-12 15:19:28

What do I do about my electricity company who keep my fixed direct debit payments until I notice the huge credit balance? I am happy to pay what I owe but resent using them as a no interest savings account. My fault for not watching the on line information more closely and allowing them to take advantage. Would a smart meter solve this problem or would it go the other way and allow them to take unspecified amounts from my account? Do any electricity companies take the amount actually owed in a month as is done by BT?