Smart meter removal

Will Bulb remove a smart meter for me and replace with an analogue meter?

You won’t be able to get an analogue meter (i.e., a mechanical one with dials) since no manufacturer makes them any more.

You’ll be able to get a non-smart digital meter. The cost will be of the order of £120 per meter replaced, a standard charge for an unnecessary meter replacement.

Bear in mind at some point soon no one will manufacture anything other than smart meters, at which point your hand will be forced whenever a meter change is required due to age or a fault.

Thanks for the reply Hooloovoo. I would rather have non smart digital meter, so it looks like that’ll be my best option. Fed up with the internet completely cutting out every half hour as the damn smart meter sends its readings. My WiFi will not stay connected to my device for more than ten minutes either, before having to go back into settings to get back on. Ridiculous!

I don’t think a charge is made for having smart meters reconfigured to operate in a dumb mode. Although I recognise that would not necessarily eliminate all health or security concerns.

Thanks for the reply Hooloovoo. I would rather have non smart digital meter, so it looks like that’ll be my best option. Fed up with the internet completely cutting out every half hour as the damn smart meter sends its readings. My WiFi will not stay connected to my device for more than ten minutes either, before having to go back into settings to get back on. Ridiculous!

Have you tried changing the channel on your WiFi? There are 11 possible channels, but they overlap, and only 1, 6, or 11 should be selected. You’re probably currently on channel 6 which I believe has the closest overlap with Zigbee radio. I’d try moving to 1 or 11 and see if that improves things. Also, if your hardware has the 5GHz band then that will be unaffected by Zigbee.

Thanks for the reply christos. Does anyone know if a non smart digital meter has the same health concerns as the smart versions? I would assume not.

Also, I’ve asked British Gas, who I am leaving imminently, if they could dumb down the meter. This was the response I got…

I understand that we’ve installed Smart Meters at your property against your wish. You contacted us to over the phone to get them replaced with the analogue meters which was denied as we’re going install the Smart Meters at all our customers properties by 2020. With regards to changing the Smart Meter into dumb mode, please be advised that we’re not authorised to even dumb down the meters.

Moreover, our Smart Meters don’t emit any radioactive waves that harms your health. Also, these Smart Meters don’t interrupt your WIFI connection as they work based on a different network that don’t require to interrupt your WIFI connection.

Hooloovoo, that’s very interesting. I will most definitely try that. What’s your opinion on non smart digital meters? Do they represent no health concern like the smart version?

Thanks for the reply christos. Does anyone know if a non smart digital meter has the same health concerns as the smart versions? I would assume not.

There are no health concerns. A smart meter is a normal non-smart digital meter with a mobile phone attached, at least in the majority of the UK. In “the north” it uses a different radio network but still just radio. If you believe basic radio output is harmful to your health then you’ve got bigger radio sources to worry about than a smart meter, such as the mobile phone tower near your house, your home WiFi, the big ball of fire in the sky …

Moreover, our Smart Meters don't emit any radioactive waves that harms your health. Also, these Smart Meters don't interrupt your WIFI connection as they work based on a different network that don't require to interrupt your WIFI connection.

Technically it’s true that Zigbee is a different network, but it uses the same 2.4GHz band as WiFi. Hence having to change your WiFi channel if there’s a problem. If that doesn’t help, I’d suggest buying better WiFi gear because generally there isn’t a problem …

For what it’s worth switching the meter to “dumb mode” wouldn’t help with any psychological health concerns because it just means that they stop reading the meter remotely. It doesn’t boot it off the mobile phone network, it’s still connected to allow configuration changes etc. otherwise someone would have to visit in order to connect it again at a later date.

Hooloovoo, excellent replies, thank you so much. I understand it much better now. I will be getting a non smart digital meter installed just for psychological health concerns and peace of mind. Also, it definitely won’t mess with my WiFi anymore.

Hooloovoo, excellent replies, thank you so much. I understand it much better now. I will be getting a non smart digital meter installed just for psychological health concerns and peace of mind. Also, it definitely won’t mess with my WiFi anymore.

Presumably because you’ll have turned your WiFi off to eliminate another radio source?

What exactly do you believe are the health concerns?

Ha ha. At the end of the day I believe WiFi can indeed be a danger to our health. The smart meter was installed a couple of days ago against my consent, and is basically an extra layer of WiFi for which I see absolutely no gain. What? So I don’t have to do readings that take about one minute to do online. No thanks. As I’m sure your aware there is loads of information online about the potential dangers of smart meters, wether it is right or wrong, it’s not something I need around to find out about in 30 years time.

Furthermore, I’ve had tinnitus for a few years now. I’m not making it up when I say it’s got louder the last couple of days, go figure.

Furthermore, I’ve had tinnitus for a few years now. I’m not making it up when I say it’s got louder the last couple of days, go figure.

The increased tinnitus is likely stress induced due to the repeated wifi failures!

Just a suggestion - have you tried a hearing test for the tinnitus?

I suffered tinnitus for a few years and then had an unrelated earwax blockage causing hearing problems in my right ear. When it was removed I had a hearing test due to the tinnitus and discovered I had poor ability to hear high pitched sounds in both ears. Two hearing aids later and the tinnitus is improved vastly and I now hear stuff that I did not realiseI was previously missing.

The smart meter was installed a couple of days ago against my consent,

Out of interest, how did that happen? I missed the part in your previous post when you said it was done against your wishes. The supplier in general needs your consent to change the meters. There’s so exemptions to that, for example forcing entry to install prepayment meters in the event of a large debt being accrued, but that doesn’t apply to smart meters. If they genuinely were installed against your consent, and you’re not just exaggerating somehow, then I would be taking this up futher as a formal complaint with BG. At the very least you might get some compo, even if not the meters replaced.

and is basically an extra layer of WiFi for which I see absolutely no gain. What? So I don’t have to do readings that take about one minute to do online. No thanks.

In general this is true for most people. In certain cases the smart meters have benefit, for example I’m making use of Bulb’s three-rate smart tariff to charge my EV very cheaply. But of course that only applies if it makes sense for your usage.

As I’m sure your aware there is loads of information online about the potential dangers of smart meters, wether it is right or wrong, it’s not something I need around to find out about in 30 years time.

There’s also loads of information about the flat earth, vaccines, chemtrails, … it’s all a load of rubbish and everything about smart meters is also included in that genre. Come on, it’s like having another mobile phone in your house. Now you might well believe that mobile phones give you brain cancer or something, but the one installed and connected to your electricity meter is further away than the one in your pocket. If you believe radio is harmful, there are bigger things to worry about before concentrating on getting a smart meter removed. It’s like worrying that a headlight on your car has broken and ignoring that a wheel is just fallen off on the motorway.

But hey ho …

Hi Phillip, much appreciate the reply and advice. I have been fully checked with a hearing test and my hearing is perfect. I was told it’s actually way above for someone of my age as it usually gets a bit worse in your 40’s. Unfortunately there is nothing can be done for me, but your right that stress can make it worse.

Hooloovoo, it was a communication breakdown between me and my partner that led to this happening. She assured me the appointment still needed booking in when we were talking about it, and during the very same conversation I told her it’s not a good idea getting one after googling about it. Very quickly learning about increased tinnitus, cancer and internet issues was enough of a reason to forget about it. Unfortunately she did have an appointment booked in and never told me about it. I get a text message the other day to say it’s been installed and that she has forgotten all about it. Yes, I wasn’t happy about this and in some ways part of me wants rid of it because it’s been placed there without my consent. As for flat earth, mobiles and vaccines it’s fair to say we have truly discovered the earth is not flat having been to space. But mobiles haven’t been around long enough for any of us to know if they in fact do cause brain cancer. They same can apply to vaccines that are relatively new, but less so compared to modern technology. My general assumption though is if your the kind of person that’s spends hours a day with your phone glued to your ear, then the risk is probably very real. But like smoking, it’ll take decades to actually cause you serious damage. So, do we know for sure that modern day WiFi, mobile phones and smart meters can’t harm you? Nobody really knows, they haven’t been around long enough. After all, smoking wasn’t remotely considered harmless 50 years ago. Who knows what they will be saying about things we are eating, breathing and creating in another 50 years from now. They may look back and say those guys in 2019, crazy!

Unfortunately she did have an appointment booked in and never told me about it.

I see. So it was done with the householder’s consent, just not your consent. I’m afraid you’re out of luck there regarding any complaint.

I get a text message the other day to say it’s been installed and that she has forgotten all about it.

Do you meant it was installed when neither of you were home? That’s not supposed to be allowed either, because obviously there are safety issues around turning the power off and they have to check the gas is purged of air etc. Or did they turn up for the booked installation, and your partner just allowed them to carry on despite you both agreeing you didn’t want them any more?

How are you getting on with changing the WiFi channel?

Hooloovoo, basically they turned up and she let them carry on, despite the fact we had agreed not to get one several weeks prior. So that’s how it happened and was too late by the time I found out.

I’ve been in touch with M&S Energy and they told me they can fit one of their smart meters but without the communications hub device.
I guess that’ll do the trick. Without the communications hub it can’t possibly be connected to the mobile phone network. Or is there some other sneaky device in there?

Have not tried changing the WiFi channel yet. I’ll give it a go tonight.

I’ve now also changed the channel on my WiFi. It was already set to 11, not 6. Apparently my hub has a smart feature that chooses the least congested channel, and switches itself. I’ve changed it to manual and put it on channel 1. I will report back later if it’s done the trick.

Well that didn’t take long. Disconnected within minutes, same as before. Damn smart meter has a lot to answer for! Don’t worry, it’s days are numbered already.