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How to benefit from smart meters?

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Spectric

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As has been said the only people who will benefit are the suppliers, and there hype that they can save you energy is misleading because it requires you to do something based on what energy the silly meter is saying you are using. The only way to save or use less energy is by reducing your load, we all know that and do not need some bit of technology to tell us and I doubt many will sit in the dark just to reduce energy usage. The only way a smart meter will work is if the tarrifs are set to multiple bands based on what usage a given dwelling/occupation is deemed average and then charge less if usage lower and steadily increase it as you exceed and then a true smart meter would keep you informed, so light users gain and the ones who don't bother pay more.
 
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Fitzroy

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I have a Wife ,do I realy need a smart meter to tell me to switch off the light :unsure::unsure::unsure:
That's not a wife thing, that's a partner thing. I'm the one in my household who does the lights off nagging. My children think they are called 'xxx go turn your light off'
 
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D_W

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That's not a wife thing, that's a partner thing. I'm the one in my household who does the lights off nagging. My children think they are called 'xxx go turn your light off'
Ditto. walk back the hall -three bedroom lights are on. Go to the kitchen, three different sets of lights are on. Nobody is in either for hours. The mrs. leaves to go run errands, they all stay on. I wander the house turning lights off and then she returns home and says "stop turning all of the lights off!!", but she never turns them all back on.
 

Just4Fun

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Oh ... I have learned something. I had thought I was the only person in the world who knew how to turn light switches in the opposite direction so that the lights go off. Everyone I know only seems to be capable of turning lights on, not off.
 

D_W

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Separately, here in the states where the states regular utilities, we all had the option of getting the smart meter. Then a year or two later, they were installed automatically and you could file in writing to not have yours done, but it wasn't convenient, and you figure you can fight that stuff but it's not worth it. I thought they'd switch to mandatory tiered rates by now, but they haven't due to state capitol opposition (the conservative nature there generally comes in to protect seniors who fail to navigate that kind of stuff as well).

We did get the ability to switch to tiered rates as an option and not mandatory, but when I reviewed the schedule of rates, it would've been almost impossible to save money unless you did all of your cooking and laundry late at night (and we have a heat pump/split for part of the house, so I guess you'd have to run the A/C at night, too). The utilities here are private companies, but state regulated and can't just do whatever they want, so their business offerings rarely make sense. they may be just laying the groudwork for tiered rates by getting the rates on the books.

A device to plug into pretty much everything and that will give specific consumption over a time duration is about $25 here.
 

toolsntat

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Eon my substituted supplier say I can go on a cheaper rate if I have a smart meter.

Anti-bribery policy
It is illegal to offer, promise, give, request, agree, receive or accept bribes

Might have to give em a bell and agree an out of court settlement ££££ 😉

Cheers Andy
 

ian33a

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Several energy companies tried to get us to install them (we tended to switch suppliers each year back in those days) but when we mentioned that we had solar panels they suddenly were less interested stating that their meters were not solar compatible. "smart" .... mmm .... more like "dumb".

We still don't have one and I don't miss it.

Many years ago I bought an instantaneous energy indicator. It was a simple current clamp attached to the incoming live. It was never very accurate and totally hopeless once we installed solar because it didn't sense the voltage potential or measure solar export so was never a true measure of power. The thing was though, it was quite big and very obvious and it was clear when, for example, I'd accidentally left the coffee machine turned on. That, to me, was far better than something which integrated over a long period and gave a number that was quite difficult to read or learn from.

In more recent years, once we got solar, I built a load of microcontroller based modules and wrote the code to properly measure instantaneous load, be it import or export. Nice big LED's told me, at a glance, if we were importing or exporting and I calibrated the whole thing to within a couple percent of the actual load that the house was taking (or contributing to the grid). I also built an immersion heater bypass so that surplus solar power could be dumped to the immersion heater, cycle by cycle while still receiving money for the export (yes, it is legal). The system just sits there, the instantaneous import or export being displayed every ten seconds or so and I get hot water when the sun shines.

Smart meters don't save money for most people. It's a way for companies to grab more analytical information about us and to consign house to house meter readers to the dole queue. If you want to know how much an appliance is using, plug it into a something like this instead

Power Meter Dual Tariffs with Backup Battery, Maxcio 13A Electricity Usage Monitor UK Plug for Costs Voltage Amps Watt KWH, Large LCD Display Watt Volt Amp Analyzer for Home Appliances, No Backlight : Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools

Where a visual indicator does help is to change habits. It's the big resistive heaters which most consume power and if something can tell you that you left one of these on, that's a smart enough use of technology to save most consumers some money, if they can be bothered.
 

Sandyn

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There's a huge amount of electricity theft. Smart meters makes it easier for the suppliers to find where it's going. I'm sure suppliers would prefer to be able to collect payments daily if they could!! Smart meters would allow them to do that.
We don't have one. I really can't see any benefit of having one. I just use the electricity I need, so not much savings to be had. Perhaps if the meter could send me CSV files, showing usage at 1 second intervals for 24 hours. I would be interested for a day.
I think there should be a national rate for all power. It comes from a national grid. Having all these energy providers with umpteen different plans, it means that some people get lower rates, but it's always at the expense of someone else, often the elderly or the less well off.

An interesting site to see the national grid live status.
 

AlanY

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The above is the aim, to charge exorbitant peak rates later and modify behavior. We have flat rates and smart meters now, no option to not get them. What I don't like us they have no visual indication of current use whereas the old analog meter had a large spinning disc that was easy to discern.

The second purpose is to get use patterns from individuals as well as groups and use those for planning. i get constant emails about unusual use patterns because my wife runs the oven and dryer at night at the same time.
There are a number of objectives from the Smart Meter rollout in the UK:
1. Get rid of the entire Meter Reading workforce.
2. Replace the entire metering asset stock at the cost of the Customer.
3. 'Transform' computer systems and infrastructure at the cost of the Customer
4. Develop consumption records at a granularity that enables Customers to be profiled
5. Develop 'Time-of-use' tariffs
6. Encourage the Customer to think about usage patterns with a view to reducing consumption

I am not a great fan of smart metering or the way in which it has been introduced in the UK. There are no significant benefits to the people who have been forced to pay for it whilst there are for the Supply companies and myriad consultancies that do benefit from it but do not have to pay for it. Also, in the not-too-distant future I suspect the remote disconnection/reconnection facility will be utilised to balance the grid as more reliance is foolishly placed on renewables. When the wind don't blow or the sun don't shine...

I may be feeling grumpy this morning.
 

Phil Pascoe

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There's a huge amount of electricity theft. Smart meters makes it easier for the suppliers to find where it's going.
The large scale theft is taken off the mains before the meter - the meter would show nothing.

I read the other day that in one of the large Indian States there is estimated to be more electricity stolen than is used in all but eight of the world's largest consuming Countries.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Also, in the not-too-distant future I suspect the remote disconnection/reconnection facility will be utilised to balance the grid as more reliance is foolishly placed on renewables. When the wind don't blow or the sun don't shine...
Nah ......... don't worry about it. Sign up to one of the Companies selling 100% renewable electricity - they have means of getting renewable electricity from somewhere else when there's no wind and sun. :LOL:
 

sploo

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Nah ......... don't worry about it. Sign up to one of the Companies selling 100% renewable electricity - they have means of getting renewable electricity from somewhere else when there's no wind and sun. :LOL:
Hydro? Tidal? Geothermal? It's also pretty rare there's no wind offshore.

Whilst it's also a bit of a fudge; obviously when you buy energy from a supplier they're not actually tracking bottles of gas and electrons from the source to your home. But, if you're buying "100% renewable" electricity the supplier will be doing deals to purchase sufficient energy from green producers. Over the long term - in theory - the more people that sign up to those details, the more demand for renewables, and the more capital there will be to invest in them.

There's no quick fix, and it's far from perfect - but it's surely better than burning coal and wading through streets of smog?
 

redhunter350

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Don’t have one even though we are pestered constantly by our suppliers! Really cannot see any befit to us . However I wonder if at some point they will be used to control how much energy you are allowed to use ?? Before your supply is restricted!
 

Stevekane

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I have nothing against smart meters if the elect industry want them, but I think its wrong to dress up their introduction as a green initiative and bill the consumer for them. I understand there have been several surveys into how much consumers actually save and its exactly as you would imagine, a small initial saving followed by a return to normal usage. My feeling is that gas and electric have for most people been so expensive for a very long time that there are few people (apart from children!) who would just leaving lights on or run tumble driers unnecessarily so the savings are not there to be had unless were going to get to the situation where we decide not to have a hot drink or make a bit of toast?
My other worry is that in allowing the smart meter fitter into your home you allow them to carry out gas and elrctric safety checks,,its not unknown for them to finish their tea and biscuits and then slap a condemned notice on your old boiler, some people might be happy with this but its not for me,,try something like problems with smart meter installations on google and read some horror stories,,,
Steve.
 

Droogs

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@Phil Pascoe The link below shows interesting figures for Scotland. Basically ~95% of electricity consumption up here is provided by renewables. The only power problems I've had in the last 20 years was when a mouse chewed through the mains lighting ring for the rear half of the flat about a month ago. It's always either windy, sunny or rainny here, sometimes all three at once

 

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