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Smart meters - are they being 'forced' on us?

(70 Posts)
Vange1 Sun 06-Jun-21 13:23:33

Our electricity company has been sending me texts & emails about the 'benefits' of smart meters. We don't want one, as we have heard negative things about them. Last week, we had an 'outage' in our local area. Apparently, when the power was restored, a few people were still without power, & were told it was due to the age of their meters, which would have to be replaced. Although they had standard meters before, they are now being given smart meters. I'm not sure how much choice they had in the matter....

Ilovecheese Sun 06-Jun-21 13:26:00

We don't want one either, and regularly get emails asking us to make an appointment to get one fitted. I daresay we will be forced into it eventually.

NotSpaghetti Sun 06-Jun-21 13:27:17

Yes. I think they are being forced on us.

Alegrias1 Sun 06-Jun-21 13:30:37

Can I ask what the negative things are please? We've had a smart meter for years and wouldn't go back.

FannyCornforth Sun 06-Jun-21 13:34:22

Yes. It's very difficult to change energy suppliers once you have got one.
My father was a bigwig in the world of electricity, (get me!) and he is totally anti.
He is also quite a boring man when be starts on something, so I usually switch off - meaning that I can't fill you in with the information (sorry).
I will ask him and get back to you!

EllanVannin Sun 06-Jun-21 13:34:37

I got a card the other day telling me the " benefits " of a smart meter. Well they can keep their " benefits " because I don't want one----they're bound to get it wrong.
It's not " time for me to change my meter " It's an up to date one and hasn't been in that long, unlike some old meters, so they can take a running jump.

It's all about reducing carbon emissions ? Like many, I'm on my own anyway so it shouldn't be compulsory but being that our freedom of choice etc. is fast becoming eroded, we'll probably have no say in the matter. Robots here we go.

crazyH Sun 06-Jun-21 13:36:07

Yes I would like to know too. I am being offered one

Aldom Sun 06-Jun-21 13:39:18

I refused to have a smart meter over a number of years. However a few
months ago I was faced with either accepting a smart meter or being put on a very expensive tariff. I used Martin Lewis's money website to change supplier. So, yes, we are being forced to have them.

Alegrias1 Sun 06-Jun-21 13:39:59

True enough about changing suppliers Fanny, we've found that. We still wouldn't go back though. Automatic reading of the meter and checking usage and payments online, are some of the benefits we do like.

greenlady102 Sun 06-Jun-21 13:41:13

Alegrias1

True enough about changing suppliers Fanny, we've found that. We still wouldn't go back though. Automatic reading of the meter and checking usage and payments online, are some of the benefits we do like.

I can check usage and payment online without a smart meter.

rosie1959 Sun 06-Jun-21 13:41:47

Had a smart meter for years cant see any negatives apart from cardiac arrest when its telling you how much energy you are using in winter with tumble dryer in constant use

Manhattan Sun 06-Jun-21 13:44:32

Mythbusting negative assumptions about smart meters:

tinyurl.com/3nttfwx6

Jaxjacky Sun 06-Jun-21 13:54:22

rosie1959 ours is switched off in a drawer as the readings are sent from the actual meter boxes. Urban myths all over the place about the smart meters, from spying on you to changing your brain waves 🙂. Friends have changed supplier easily.

Greyduster Sun 06-Jun-21 14:03:11

Like Aldom we were faced with having a smart meter or losing a quite advantageous tariff, so we caved in. We wish we hadn’t as I think it’s con and we should have investigated other suppliers. After about a fortnight, the meter stopped working for about half a day, but we were told it didn’t affect the readings. We have had to contact the supplier once to query one of the bills, but the issue was with the supplier rather than the meters. I am a bit puzzled as to why the gas meter no longer displays a reading, but we are told that this is normalconfused. Our IHD is in the kitchen and I quite frequently find myself throwing a tea towel over it so that I don’t keep looking at it!

Greyduster Sun 06-Jun-21 14:04:42

Should have said the IHD stopped working for half a day, not the meter!

SueDonim Sun 06-Jun-21 14:04:56

I can’t see the benefit of having one, for ourselves. We know what we’re using and keep tabs on the bills etc.

We have had approaches from companies but when we’ve spoken to them, they’ve then said that we’re too rural and a meter won’t work due to poor connectivity. Afaik, none of my neighbours has one.

Deedaa Sun 06-Jun-21 14:05:21

Not sure what all the fuss is about them. I've had one for about 6 months now. The little display unit sits in the living room and tell me how much electricity I'm using - or how little if it's sunny and the solar panels have kicked in. I don't have one for the gas because apparently there's a problem with where the gasmeter is sited and it would have to be moved, so I still have to climb around in the cupboard to take readings.

Ashcombe Sun 06-Jun-21 14:06:22

That link is very helpful,*Manhattan*. I’ve had smart meters since April and no problems at all. Both my meters are in awkward positions for me to read so I appreciate that, from now on, I’ll be paying only for what I use. I’ve already had a refund of £80 due to the energy provider overestimating my consumption in the past.

Blinko Sun 06-Jun-21 14:15:21

We've had a Smart meter for years now. I assume it must therefore be a SMETS1. Even so, we have changed suppliers, and I can read the smart meter in my living room then relay the information to my supplier via their website. So no crawling around trying to read inaccessible meters, and we get an accurate bill each month.

we've had no approaches so far to update to a SMETS2.

Mollygo Sun 06-Jun-21 14:17:26

I don’t currently have one.
I was assured that the smart meter does not use my electricity to function and the in-home display where you can see the units ticking away uses very little.
They’re not currently pushing them on us.

25Avalon Sun 06-Jun-21 14:24:15

One of the major drawbacks is if you have solar panels. When these are generating it confuses exactly what electricity you are using off the National Grid for whatever appliance you have switched on. Additionally I have a Phase2 meter which at present cannot be converted to a Smart meter - the guy who came to change my meter to a Smart one said the technology wasn’t there for converting Phase 2 meters. So I read the meters each month and submit them online myself.

Another minus that has been put about is that the electricity company can cut your power easily at any time. Whether they would or not is another matter but this gives them the ability to do so which some object to.

I think if you change suppliers the new supplier can’t use the previous company’s Smart meter so has to change it.

rosie1959 Sun 06-Jun-21 14:27:12

Jaxjacky used it for timing my boiled eggs in the days before Alexa

Manhattan Sun 06-Jun-21 14:28:08

More about the transition and consumer rights:

www.ofgem.gov.uk/gas/retail-market/metering/transition-smart-meters

Talullah Sun 06-Jun-21 14:31:50

We don't have one . I'm not desperate for one. Nobody seems to ask us if we even want one. If and when they become must-haves we'll get one.

pinkquartz Sun 06-Jun-21 15:44:04

If you have any sensitivity to wifi, microwaves or smart phones then it is not a myth to say that there are health concerns.

It will depend also on where you meter is situated and how large your home is.
If the meter is on the outside wall and your home fairly large you may not experience any effect.
However my meter is in the centre of a one bed bungalow and it is very close to the bedroom, and well all the rooms.

The Smart meter will give overall control to the supplier and while this might not be any kind of issue now that might change. For example when electric cars are plentiful and the National Grid needs more power it is up to them whether or not to reuce or cut off individual supplies as it will be super easy for the supplier or National Gird to do this.
The power supply can be hacked. It will depend on what else is connected to know if that will matter.

It is not without negatives and the fact that the Smart Meters are being pushed at us does show that the negs are being covered up. If it was all good we would all want one.