Alternatives to a smart meter (we can't get one in our apartment)

Back in September, a Siemens engineer came out to install a smart meter but he was unable to fit the Smart Meter today. Their company policy precludes them installing meters in loop neutral meter setups.

As it’s the Winter, our electricity usage has gone up but we have no means of measuring this or determining the cost of our usage.

In the meantime, what alternatives are available to measure our usage?

Many thanks,

I assume that you have an old style meter that you can read with mk. 1 eyeball. Alternatively you could go high-tech diy - I am sure that you can buy kits - and use a clamp on your electrical supply that will measure usage reasonably accurately.

Edit: quick search on amazon suggests that these are called “energy monitors”.

As @jchidley says, unless you’re getting your electricity for free you must have a normal meter that you’ve been reading and giving the values to your energy supplier.

This means that you do have a way to measure your usage, and determining the cost is easy since electricity meters measure directly in kWh, kilowatt-hour or one “unit” of energy. Just take two readings, subtract one from the other, and multiply by your unit rate in pence per kWh. That gives you the cost of your usage. Easy enough to do once a week or whatever.

If what you want is something that does this automatically for you and shows you the cost, similar to a smart meter In Home Display, then yes what you need is an energy monitor. These typically aren’t as accurate as actual electricity meters, but they should give you a decent estimate of your realtime usage.

Hi @jchidleyand @Hooloovoo,

I’ll have a look on Amazon. The two issues that we have is:

  • distance to the meter from the apartment. We’re on the 3rd floor and the meter is in the basement so it is potentially out of reach for a device which clamps on to where the meter is;
  • the other issue that we live in a loop neutral setup in our apartment block which is why Siemens couldn’t install a smart meter when it was offered to us.

Do you think that will affect our ability to find something that actually does work?

Best wishes,

Where does the supply come into your apartment? Presumably you have a consumer unit (fuse box) within your apartment. You could probably get a clamp on the main incoming supply at that point. Probably best to get an electrician to help you though if it involves taking the cover off the unit.