Why Should I Get Smart Meters

I recently had occasion to get Scottish Power Networks to install an Isolator to make it easier for anyone doing work downstream of the Electricity Meter and I wanted it done without cost as guys doing recent supply upgrade work in this area ahd given me the distinct impression that residents woulkd have the abilty to isolate their supply without needing the meter seals to be broken .After a bit of discussion they agreed to install one for free ( usually £133)and I am awaiting this being done .Bulb had previously told me it would be £60 if I got a smart meter but I couldnt get a smart meter as there were signal problems at present .
Today I got an email from Bulb asking if I wanted a Smart Meter .
I’ll decide after I get the isolator installed but I wanted to ask what is there in it for me getting Smart Meters…It sems the only advantage for customers is that they no longer need to submit meter readings …The cost of Energy will be the same and useage will be pretty much the same so ,persuade me !!!

I'll decide after I get the isolator installed but I wanted to ask what is there in it for me getting Smart Meters...It sems the only advantage for customers is that they no longer need to submit meter readings ..The cost of Energy will be the same and useage will be pretty much the same so ,persuade me !!!!

Speaking purely as a Bulb customer I have seen no compelling reason to change my current meters to smart meters.

I read my current meters each month which perhaps takes two minutes including the time to upload these to my account.

I recently had occasion to get Scottish Power Networks to install an Isolator to make it easier for anyone doing work downstream of the Electricity Meter and I wanted it done without cost as guys doing recent supply upgrade work in this area ahd given me the distinct impression that residents woulkd have the abilty to isolate their supply without needing the meter seals to be broken .After a bit of discussion they agreed to install one for free ( usually £133)and I am awaiting this being done .Bulb had previously told me it would be £60 if I got a smart meter but I couldnt get a smart meter as there were signal problems at present . Today I got an email from Bulb asking if I wanted a Smart Meter . I'll decide after I get the isolator installed but I wanted to ask what is there in it for me getting Smart Meters...It sems the only advantage for customers is that they no longer need to submit meter readings ..The cost of Energy will be the same and useage will be pretty much the same so ,persuade me !!!!

It is had not ahd and also it is would not woulkd and also it is ability not abilty, I tried not mention anything about sems or useage

I hope you realise why I mention this? =)

Muphry’s Law :3

Muphry's Law :3

Haven’t come across that one before, but I like it.

I recently had occasion to get Scottish Power Networks to install an Isolator to make it easier for anyone doing work downstream of the Electricity Meter and I wanted it done without cost as guys doing recent supply upgrade work in this area ahd given me the distinct impression that residents woulkd have the abilty to isolate their supply without needing the meter seals to be broken .After a bit of discussion they agreed to install one for free ( usually £133)and I am awaiting this being done .Bulb had previously told me it would be £60 if I got a smart meter but I couldnt get a smart meter as there were signal problems at present . Today I got an email from Bulb asking if I wanted a Smart Meter . I'll decide after I get the isolator installed but I wanted to ask what is there in it for me getting Smart Meters...It sems the only advantage for customers is that they no longer need to submit meter readings ..The cost of Energy will be the same and useage will be pretty much the same so ,persuade me !!!!

It is had not ahd and also it is would not woulkd and also it is ability not abilty, I tried not mention anything about sems or useage

I hope you realise why I mention this? =)

Yes…because you are a smart **** :slight_smile:
Try to find a home for this “to”

@StuBu

I was just drawing you attention to the fact you commented on a fellow customer who wrote metre instead of meter, which is an easy mistake to make.

Being rude on this forum doesn’t help your cause.

The cost of Energy will be the same and useage will be pretty much the same so ,persuade me !!!!

For me, the benefit of my smart meter is to provide real-time billing and so allow more flexible tariffs than just single-rate or dual-rate (typically known as Economy-7). I’m on the Bulb Smart three-rate tariff, which allows me to charge my electric car between 11pm and 7am for about half what it would cost on a single-rate tariff - i.e., the cost of energy is not the same. The other benefit to flexibility is the ability to change my billing tariff whenever necessary as zero cost. If I sell my electric car and go back to liquid fuel, not that I ever imagine I would because electric drive is so amazingly brilliant, I can easily go back to a single rate tariff without having to physically swap out a dual rate meter for a single rate meter and so avoiding a £120 charge.

Whether a smart meter is of any use to you personally does of course depend on your personal circumstances. Just because it’s great for me doesn’t in any way mean it’s of benefit to you. But you asked for opinions, so there you go.

@StuBu

I was just drawing you attention to the fact you commented on a fellow customer who wrote metre instead of meter, which is an easy mistake to make.

Being rude on this forum doesn’t help your cause.

So why didn’t you say that’s why you posted what you did? The mistakes I made were caused by me not taking my time when typing and not reading my reply before posting.

@StuBu

Not to worry, I thought you would have realised what I meant as you appear to have only submitted two previous comment on this forum at the time I made my comments one of which was related to an out of context word “meter” . I think @christos_1 understood what I had in mind?

Whether a smart meter is of any use to you personally does of course depend on your personal circumstances. Just because it’s great for me doesn’t in any way mean it’s of benefit to you. But you asked for opinions, so there you go.

Thanks for your reply.I see where you are coming from with the car but for me I just have the usual domestic requirements for gas and electric on a single rate tariff so I doubt there is any advantage in getting a SM

Thanks for your reply.I see where you are coming from with the car but for me I just have the usual domestic requirements for gas and electric on a single rate tariff so I doubt there is any advantage in getting a SM

Probably not, but that doesn’t mean they’re pointless for everyone which is possibly what you’re implying.

For the record, the reason I got a smart meter from Scottish Power was because, like you, I needed to get an isolator installed and the meter tails CSA upgraded and I wanted to get it all done for free :slight_smile:

I actually did a summary (a few months ago) about the reasons for/against smart meters. Whilst they are on my blog, here’s a copy:

  • 1. Reducing running costs. Suppliers no longer need to send out meter readers to get accurate readings (especially from people who can’t/won’t provide readings themselves). This means they can keep their prices low and give you lower bills
  • 2. More accurate bills. Provided your meter reading a day or two early or unable to read your meter one month? Then you were probably getting an estimated bill – now with the data flowing to the supplier, you needn’t worry as they supplier can get the meter reading just when it is needed for your bill.
  • 3. Accessibility. A lot of people have no problems accessing and reading their meter, but others may have mobility problems, dyscalculia (‘dyslexia with numbers’), or the meter could be in a hard to access place (too low/high or in another building entirely under control of a nearly absent landlord). Smart meters means you don’t have to worry about reading it yourself.
  • 4. Detecting problems. Since the meter reports back to the supplier quite frequently, the supplier could notify you (or the local distribution network) if the usage is out-of-standard: left an electrical heater on in your garage for the last couple of days (whistles innocently) – then they could drop you an email saying ‘Check your appliances’. Likewise, elderly and disabled customers could have their power monitored and if it doesn’t have ‘customary peaks’ (i.e. kettle going on, tv usage) for 2 days, alert ‘next of kin/police/social services’ for a check-up.
  • 5. Customer education. Smart meters allow customers to easily see what is using their power/gas and adjust their usage in an intelligent manner (instead of just guessing) – we all ‘know’ filling your kettle to just the amount you need saves power, but if you’ve got an in-home display next to the kettle you can test it yourself and reinforce that knowledge.
  • 6. Flexible tariffs. Instead of having to get a physical meter swap to go between prepay, credit, Economy 7 – this can be remotely set by the supplier. Prefer to use a custom ‘smart meter’ tariff which has multiple rates during the day based on ‘grid demand’, then that can be done – allowing you to have cheaper power at lower demand times.
  • 7. Grid protection. Usually only applicable for heavy users (factories and the like) – under times of ‘unusually high demand’ (winter peak times for example), the supplier/national grid could then turn off the meters remotely to protect the National Grid from overdemand. This isn’t a new thing (the companies already have ‘shutoff’ agreements with heavy users), but it’s usually a manual process where they company is called and asked to cease operations. With smart meters, they can be provided with an ‘At risk’ notification (as they tend to do in the mornings now I believe) and if it comes to it, NG can shut things down and restart things just for the minimum time necessary.
  • 8. Environmental. I believe it’s easier to integrate ‘feed in’ items such as home solar panels and the like to smart meters rather than having to have multiple meters for it.
  • 9. Better home control. With smart meters supporting Zigbee (the same protocol used by ‘smart lights’), it is possible customers can have their in home systems integrate with it automatically – no need to bother manually adjusting storage radiators or timer switches on washing machines – with an integrated smart home, everything can come on at the cheapest time for you.
  • 10. Better flexibility for generators. At the moment, most Economy 7 and the like meters in a region are roughly the same time – but those times tended to be based on 60s-80s electrical usage patterns: but we don’t have many coal mines, steel factories, and other heavy usage factories nowadays – and in some areas, most people work 9-5 jobs meaning ‘peak times’ are now 9-5 instead of the traditional 6-2pm for factories. Smart meters will allow these times to be adjusted in smaller regions (or even nationwide) as the grid supply/demand curve changes: ensuring we don’t need too many generators ‘available’ at a time which then go idle 75% of the time.

And, in the interest of fairness, here’s my list of reasons not to get a smart meter:

  • 1. SMETS1 restrictions. The ‘current/previous’ generation of smart meters, SMETS1, tend to be ‘locked’ to the installing company/supplier and become ‘dumb’ (unable to report readings/in home display inaccurate etc) if you move to another provider. The ‘new-gen’ SMETS2 meters (which will be rolling out this year – 2019) are multi-provider compatible. [Bulb are just installing SMETS2 meters and so this is not applicable here]
  • 2. Privacy. Some people don’t like the idea of energy companies/Capita (who provide the ‘backend’ – DCC – to SMETS2 meters) knowing practically down to the minute how much power you are consuming (good indication of when you get up, when the house is empty, when you are cooking dinner etc etc)
  • 3. Security. Smart meters are electronic devices and therefore can be hacked (it’s currently unknown how easily/feasible though: yes, they use encryption but they have been plenty of insecure encryption deployments in smart devices in the past). So ‘third parties’ could not only get your usage information (see ‘Privacy’) but also have control over your meter.
  • 4. Control. Smart meters have a relay inside of them to enable the power to be turned off remotely. Handy if you’ve got an electrical issue or handy for the electrical company if your bill hasn’t been paid – not say handy if control has been taken by a third party (‘Security’) or if the billing company makes a mistake and marks you accidentally down as ‘not paid’.
  • 5. Technophobia. Smart meters communicate using radio waves (to the mobile phone networks) and also provide a ‘Zigbee’ network for in home devices and the like (as used by ‘smart bulbs’ and similar). Some people are scared of radio waves.
  • 6. Cost. Not just the cost of the meters, but the engineers time to replace the meters (and some people that had SMETS1 meters installed last year, may need to have a SMETS2 replacement meter next year). Somebody has got to be paying for all those meters and it’ll be the customers one way or another.
  • 7. Environmental. We’re going to be throwing away millions of ‘dumb meters’ which are perfectly functional and work. Hopefully, they’ll be recycled but who knows.
  • 8 Battery replacements. Batteries in smart meters (especially gas ones) are not user-serviceable and to change the battery requires breaking the tamper-resistant safety/security devices (which report back to the supplier/DCC if the meter has been ‘fiddled with’). Therefore when the battery dies (they currently have an estimated lifespan of 10 years: but we’ve all had batteries which are practically ‘dead on arrival’ and others which have lasted a lot longer than expected), the entire meter has to be replaced by an engineer.

For pros I would also add that once smart meters are deployed they can be used to detect “non technical” losses (theft). We would all benefit from stomping that out. Reportedly in some countries that use case paid for smart meter rollout by itself.

Smart meters also potentially allow us to know when customers go off supply automatically rather than waiting on them to call us. Meaning customers spend less time off supply. (There are cases where everyone assumes someone else will call, so nobody does)