Should I get a smart meter installed?

27
Posted 11th Oct
So my current elec&gas provider is insisting on getting a smart meter installed for free

Should I get them to instal a smart meter?
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u66454111/10/2019 21:43

So, guess what OP and myself are asking is if a 2nd gen smart meter is …So, guess what OP and myself are asking is if a 2nd gen smart meter is fitted are there any minus points or is it all good?



My fear with smart meters is that once they become widespread differential pricing will follow (a bit like economy 7 but used for the energy providers benefit ).

For example they will find out (they have your usage data hour by hour after all ) when you use most gas or electric and charge you more per unit for that period .

Of course they won't pitch it that way - They will say " we'll discount your unit costs between such and such hours as you use lots then " (somewhere in the small print is the fact that your "before discount " cost will out weigh any saving )

Or give you "Free Saturdays " or other such stunts . This will attempt to disguise a net increase in your bills . Lets face it many consumers aren't the brightest when it comes to working out energy bills so are in effect "sitting ducks" for the energy companies to exploit .

Even if you reject that theory , differential pricing will certainly come in in time , probably quite soon and it will be individual and different for each household . Anyone see the problems that will introduce ?

I know exactly (to £5 a month) how much I use , varies obviously with the temperature . So I can work out my bill ( units used x unit rate , then gas units used (after a bit more calculation ) x unit rate ) + standing charge Gas ,standing charge electricity then minus dual fuel discount , direct debit discount , paperless discount .

Yes I can work my bill out - but when it comes to switching I can't do it for 40 odd suppliers each having 3 or 4 tariffs . So we have the excellent Switch sites (MSE or U Switch ) which do it for you - Great .

BUT !! both sites have stated they will not be able to do accurate comparisons when differential pricing is brought in - Pretty obvious really when different households are on different rates for varying hours of the day . No two Bills will be the same even if you use the same total amount of units as your neighbour - but maybe at different times of the day .

All conjecture of course - but U Switch are concerned about it , so should we be , if only for the difficulty in getting accurate switching data .
Edited by: "rogparki" 11th Oct
27 Comments
Why can’t you make the decision.
NO , I think you have misread their communications . They have no legal right to "insist" you have a smart meter fitted.

They can however withhold their best tariffs , if this is the case then switch to another supplier (you will probably save money too , you certainly will if you have never switched before ).
Wil it definitely be a 2nd generation Smart Meter?
Edited by: "Toptrumpet" 11th Oct
Signed up with Eon and received the same notification that the T&C's of the tariff meant a smart meter needs to be fitted.
I'd resisted until now (for no good reason really), so might get one.

Where's the harm?
The "harm" would be changing supplier in the future who also requests that you have your meter changed. I'm trying to hold off until they're all compatible.
u66454111/10/2019 19:50

Signed up with Eon and received the same notification that the T&C's of …Signed up with Eon and received the same notification that the T&C's of the tariff meant a smart meter needs to be fitted.I'd resisted until now (for no good reason really), so might get one.Where's the harm?


Well if it’s a 1st generation meter then if you switch energy providers in the future it will be useless.
That’s why you definitely need to be certain they’ll fit a 2nd generation meter which are designed to be universally compatible with any supplier.
Edited by: "Toptrumpet" 11th Oct
Would have said yes ten years ago but the whole thing is such an unmitigated cock up
no way mate
Edited by: "Wongy110" 11th Oct
just ignore than - thats what i do with british gas who even had the cheek to make an appointment to visit without even speaking to me first so i just let them turn up and told the engineer to go away - havent heard from them since so hopefully wasting their time has stopped them pushing it
My old electric company insisted on fitting a smart meter last year, never took a reading once and now they have gone bust!!
So, guess what OP and myself are asking is if a 2nd gen smart meter is fitted are there any minus points or is it all good?
Just tell them your meter is in a cupboard and they'll leave you alone as they can't install them unless their easily accessible
u66454111/10/2019 21:43

So, guess what OP and myself are asking is if a 2nd gen smart meter is …So, guess what OP and myself are asking is if a 2nd gen smart meter is fitted are there any minus points or is it all good?



My fear with smart meters is that once they become widespread differential pricing will follow (a bit like economy 7 but used for the energy providers benefit ).

For example they will find out (they have your usage data hour by hour after all ) when you use most gas or electric and charge you more per unit for that period .

Of course they won't pitch it that way - They will say " we'll discount your unit costs between such and such hours as you use lots then " (somewhere in the small print is the fact that your "before discount " cost will out weigh any saving )

Or give you "Free Saturdays " or other such stunts . This will attempt to disguise a net increase in your bills . Lets face it many consumers aren't the brightest when it comes to working out energy bills so are in effect "sitting ducks" for the energy companies to exploit .

Even if you reject that theory , differential pricing will certainly come in in time , probably quite soon and it will be individual and different for each household . Anyone see the problems that will introduce ?

I know exactly (to £5 a month) how much I use , varies obviously with the temperature . So I can work out my bill ( units used x unit rate , then gas units used (after a bit more calculation ) x unit rate ) + standing charge Gas ,standing charge electricity then minus dual fuel discount , direct debit discount , paperless discount .

Yes I can work my bill out - but when it comes to switching I can't do it for 40 odd suppliers each having 3 or 4 tariffs . So we have the excellent Switch sites (MSE or U Switch ) which do it for you - Great .

BUT !! both sites have stated they will not be able to do accurate comparisons when differential pricing is brought in - Pretty obvious really when different households are on different rates for varying hours of the day . No two Bills will be the same even if you use the same total amount of units as your neighbour - but maybe at different times of the day .

All conjecture of course - but U Switch are concerned about it , so should we be , if only for the difficulty in getting accurate switching data .
Edited by: "rogparki" 11th Oct
deleted90213911/10/2019 22:48

My fear with smart meters is that once they become widespread differential …My fear with smart meters is that once they become widespread differential pricing will follow (a bit like economy 7 but used for the energy providers benefit ).For example they will find out (they have your usage data hour by hour after all ) when you use most gas or electric and charge you more per unit for that period .Of course they won't pitch it that way - They will say " we'll discount your unit costs between such and such hours as you use lots then " (somewhere in the small print is the fact that your "before discount " cost will out weigh any saving ) Or give you "Free Saturdays " or other such stunts . This will attempt to disguise a net increase in your bills . Lets face it many consumers aren't the brightest when it comes to working out energy bills so are in effect "sitting ducks" for the energy companies to exploit .Even if you reject that theory , differential pricing will certainly come in in time , probably quite soon and it will be individual and different for each household . Anyone see the problems that will introduce ?I know exactly (to £5 a month) how much I use , varies obviously with the temperature . So I can work out my bill ( units used x unit rate , then gas units used (after a bit more calculation ) x unit rate ) + standing charge Gas ,standing charge electricity then minus dual fuel discount , direct debit discount , paperless discount .Yes I can work my bill out - but when it comes to switching I can't do it for 40 odd suppliers each having 3 or 4 tariffs . So we have the excellent Switch sites (MSE or U Switch ) which do it for you - Great .BUT !! both sites have stated they will not be able to do accurate comparisons when differential pricing is brought in - Pretty obvious really when different households are on different rates for varying hours of the day . No two Bills will be the same even if you use the same total amount of units as your neighbour - but maybe at different times of the day .All conjecture of course - but U Switch are concerned about it , so should we be , if only for the difficulty in getting accurate switching data .


Couldn’t agree more, well explained. The only way of stopping this happening is if enough people resist. You need to ask yourself “what’s in it for them”, then “what’s in it for me”. Them - the possibility of manipulating your prices, for you - some numbers that you’ll look at for a week then forget.
British Gas actually phoned me yesterday afternoon (Friday) asking me when I wanted to make an appointment for a smart meter. (Bit cheeky that they made an appointment for you @jase.2 , if they did that to me I'd tell the guy politely where to go).

Boyf answered the call (cos he thought it was another Indian call centre "have you had an accident recently?" wind up opportunity). But the last time they phoned, the woman said, "Why don't you want a smart meter?"

It's hard to know what to believe. I have seen some comments online that people's bills have went UP after having a smart meter installed. Even speculating that the energy companies can remotely cut you off if they so wished - though I'd assume there would be strict regulations in place for that.

Why are they giving this such a hard sell? They make out it's for the benefit of the customer (and I roll my eyes when they subtly imply it's "good for the planet" with the little kiddies' voice over in the adverts - what a load of boswelox), but, something smells iffy.
Edited by: "louiselouise" 12th Oct
louiselouise12/10/2019 00:15

British Gas actually phoned me yesterday afternoon (Friday) asking me when …British Gas actually phoned me yesterday afternoon (Friday) asking me when I wanted to make an appointment for a smart meter. (Bit cheeky that they made an appointment for you @jase.2 , if they did that to me I'd tell the guy politely where to go).Boyf answered the call (cos he thought it was another Indian call centre "have you had an accident recently?" wind up opportunity). But the last time they phoned, the woman actually said, "Why don't you want a smart meter?"It's hard to know what to believe. I have seen some comments online that people's bills have went UP after having a smart meter installed. Even speculating that the energy companies can remotely cut you off if they so wished - though I'd assume there would be strict regulations in place for that.Why are they giving this such a hard sell? They make out it's for the benefit of the customer (and I roll my eyes when they subtly imply it's "good for the planet" with the little kiddies' voice over in the adverts - what a load of boswelox), but, something smells iffy.



The energy companies had to reach a target of 90% of customers fitted with smart meters by the end of 2020 or face massive fines (a target they could never realistically achieve ) . The time scale has now been relaxed (I believe it is now 2023) but they cannot legally compel you to have one .

They still have you , as many will not offer their best tariffs unless you have one fitted (that is legal) , but there are many energy companies that do not have this proviso so switching is still an option and should be done if your energy company wont give you its best tariff .

I don't have a smart meter but I do have an energy monitor on my mantlepiece , to be fair it does show me when I have left the oven on (for instance) if I glance at it and it shows 2.2kw instead of my normal ambient of 200 watts (tele, computer , fridge ,freezer etc ) .

The problem with these meters is they will be used for the benefit of the suppliers . Remotely cutting you off , remotely increasing your unit cost to pay off arrears etc . I do not believe there is sufficient legal protection for consumers at the moment to be confident of a smart meter (quite apart from the argument made in my previous comment about differential pricing ) .

It will happen - in 3 or 4 years they will be compulsory , hopefully they will have a legal framework by then to protect the consumer ? In the mean time consumers must be educated , maybe bombarded with adverts ? as still too many believe their monthly payment covers their bills (however much they use ).

Maybe Smart meters will help such people as I believe they show not only current usage but also weekly /monthly projections -if only they were accurate (which apparently many are not ).

I have no problem in reading my meter once a month , when I put my figures in it shows me previous readings so I know its about right - I'd immediately spot if the meter had taken on a mind of its own (as some complain about when new meters are fitted ). Hence I haven't had to test the customer service of my current supplier and I'd like to keep it that way .
Lol I've had British Gas come out twice to me and both times they say they can't fit one.

Apparently the space is to small they told me to time ring in a couple of years when a smaller model may be available
Smart meters are a hidden tax. If everyone gave meter readings on a monthly basis, then there is no real need for a consumer to have a smart meter.
It seams that all the big energy suppliers want to force you into having a smart meter fitted when you take out a new deal or tariff.
Thats the main reason I went with Bulb, They offer smart meters but its not mandatory.

My personal opinion is, If you have or plan to get an Electric vehicle in the near futurs get a smart meter as some offer low
5p kwph charging from say 12.00pm - 04.00am.

Other wise turn off lights,tv comps etc when not in use.
If your new tariff states you must get one booked and fitted just play this game, wait until the last date for booking and book fitting on the latest day they have on offer. A week before ring up and say need to re book dad is sick. Next time holiday is due etc, I did this with BG as were only fitting smets 1 meters,and continued to do this until the tariff ended and went to Bulb. As long as your booked in they keep you on your tariff.
louiselouise12/10/2019 00:15

British Gas actually phoned me yesterday afternoon (Friday) asking me when …British Gas actually phoned me yesterday afternoon (Friday) asking me when I wanted to make an appointment for a smart meter. (Bit cheeky that they made an appointment for you @jase.2 , if they did that to me I'd tell the guy politely where to go).Boyf answered the call (cos he thought it was another Indian call centre "have you had an accident recently?" wind up opportunity). But the last time they phoned, the woman said, "Why don't you want a smart meter?"It's hard to know what to believe. I have seen some comments online that people's bills have went UP after having a smart meter installed. Even speculating that the energy companies can remotely cut you off if they so wished - though I'd assume there would be strict regulations in place for that.Why are they giving this such a hard sell? They make out it's for the benefit of the customer (and I roll my eyes when they subtly imply it's "good for the planet" with the little kiddies' voice over in the adverts - what a load of boswelox), but, something smells iffy.


Smart meters won't make your bills go up. They will only go up if they've put the wrong readings in or you're consuming more. They just measure your usage like a normal meter does and then either sends the reading to your supplier ( smets 1 ) or sends to a central database and then to supplier ( smets 2 ). In theory you're more likely to use less energy if you're aware of the amount of energy you're consuming etc..You're more likely to turn a light off etc.. until perhaps the novelty wears off . Naturally the energy prices are going up all the time so that could be why people are putting 2+2 together and getting 5. Smart meter readings are likely to be taken more frequently so bills are likely to be more accurate for some etc..

I've got a smets 2 electric meter and my current supplier still can't communicate with it and it's took a lot of messing about ( 6 months ) to the point of frustration sorting it out so that they'll accept my readings. It's a dual rate economy 7 meter that they said it would be fine to update to a single rate meter because it's a smets 2. They tried fitting a gas smart meter but they couldn't get it to work so had to wait for them to rearrange an appointment but they never did/have.

I'm not against smart meters but all the problems of smets 1 meters seem to have followed onto smets 2. What is the point if they have to keep changing them when switching suppliers. It's only benefiting the manufacturers of the meters and the meter fitters. Costing the government and suppliers so much money and guess who's funding them. Yes the taxpayer!
.MUFC.12/10/2019 11:54

Smart meters won't make your bills go up. They will only go up if they've …Smart meters won't make your bills go up. They will only go up if they've put the wrong readings in or you're consuming more. They just measure your usage like a normal meter does and then either sends the reading to your supplier ( smets 1 ) or sends to a central database and then to supplier ( smets 2 ). In theory you're more likely to use less energy if you're aware of the amount of energy you're consuming etc..You're more likely to turn a light off etc.. until perhaps the novelty wears off . Naturally the energy prices are going up all the time so that could be why people are putting 2+2 together and getting 5. Smart meter readings are likely to be taken more frequently so bills are likely to be more accurate for some etc..I've got a smets 2 electric meter and my current supplier still can't communicate with it and it's took a lot of messing about ( 6 months ) to the point of frustration sorting it out so that they'll accept my readings. It's a dual rate economy 7 meter that they said it would be fine to update to a single rate meter because it's a smets 2. They tried fitting a gas smart meter but they couldn't get it to work so had to wait for them to rearrange an appointment but they never did/have. I'm not against smart meters but all the problems of smets 1 meters seem to have followed onto smets 2. What is the point if they have to keep changing them when switching suppliers. It's only benefiting the manufacturers of the meters and the meter fitters. Costing the government and suppliers so much money and guess who's funding them. Yes the taxpayer!


You're probably right - the "my bills have went up" complaints could be all the inherent problems with different versions of smart meters being incompatible (?), scaremongering or a genuine concern, but most likely the former two.

I think it's safe to say consistency is needed first. What does annoy me is the bullying tactics suggesting you MUST get one and the hard sell phone calls (in one British Gas call, the woman was insistent and I felt I had to justify my decision!). How many elderly or vulnerable customers are being pushed into getting one?

A company is only really likely to bombard a customer with phone calls if they owe them money, but as rogparki says, it's because the government wants X amount of customers signed up by year Y. There must be something in it for them.

I had ye olde white meter a few homes ago....and I'd hear the "ping" when the mechanical timer changed meters at 10pm
Edited by: "louiselouise" 12th Oct
not read this thread (yet)

However, ..for "duplicities sakes" to get the cheapest tariffs you are being "coerced" into a smets unit to obtain the tariff.

IF they don't make that abundantly clear in the conversation & subsequent T&c of contract then they are mis-selling.

They are getting BONUS (via tax payer money) to get you to do this, so that automatically delays any "potential" savings.
I'd prefer the money went on more renewables, battery storage & THEN, maybe then looked at this sort of thing.
No
Smart meters are a con. It's all about creating new tariffs for different times of the day.

More than likely the offpeak tariffs will be the price you normally pay now and peak tariffs will be higher so we the consumer get ripped off.
Both BG and Eon have been out and there isn't room to fit one in the electric cupboard, so still allowed on the cheapest tariffs .
Just started my second year with octopus energy they keep asking me if I want a smart meter fitted free, but after reading through the thread I'm not so sure I should.
I would say no.
I have a EON smart meter. The app doesn't work well so you can't see how much you are using and the iformation is misleading and not clear.

I would wait until the newer technology comes in.

You won't save any money either.
It is NOT the energy companies forcing smart meters onto customers... it is HM Govt policy BEIS and Ofgem! The energy companies are being fined for missing the smart meter (sm) installation targets, the roll-out is being delayed possibly to 2023. Its all about meeting our so-called carbon net-zero objective; and, it has absolutely nothing to do with EU - this is about UK being a world-first net-zero country(ies).

As for the 'remote disconnection' i.e. being cut off; that is legislated against.. as is self-disconnection.

Just wait until 'next day switching' comes in ... Ofgem's pet project (together with smart meters) that is costing ££millions and will be paid for by us, the end-consumer!
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