Latest Gen Smart Meters - any issues?

It’s the time of year for energy tariff renewal in this house and most if not all the big suppliers are coming up with the best tariffs needing a smart meter to be installed. I’d originally been quite against having a smart meter (no benefit to me from an energy usage perspective) and the issues around the original SMETS1 type meters didn’t inspire confidence.

Should i be concerned with the new generation of meters ?

I was persuaded by the dulcet tones of a rep of the power coompany to go for the Smart meters, they were claimed to be SMETS 2 meters. I asked the persuader how the signal got from the gas meter to the power company. He said that a cable woulld be used to connect the gas meter to the electricity meter and thence by 3G/4G network.

How would the cable be installed between the two meters I asked, there is always a cable between the two meters he said, I challenged this fact. I was not happy with the response and hit Google to find out that in the Gas meter there is a longlife battery to power a transmitter in the gas meter so it can talk to the electricity meter

The smart meters were installed - took about an hour, the fitter had a relatively easy task as the meter boxes were on the outside wall on a footpath. Changing meters in cramped understairs cupboards can be a challenge. It was a also a fine day so no rain.

After a month I went to the power company web site to see how the usage information had come across to find that there was no gas reading. Rang the power company and they asked me to press the blue button on the gas meter, however I have to check the online reading to see if it is working. It appears to be working - but it is not as good as doing it manually and entering the numbers into a spreadsheet.

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Thanks Derek - appreciate the detailed response. I think i’ll proceed with caution.

James

Yep , i have a first utility meter, now shell energy. Its a smart meter, but now you need a 2nd gen, i have refused. If you cannot work out that the oven, kettle, plasma tv etc or your gas heating is costing you?

I’ve used So Energy for the last couple of years.

They are cheap, 100% renewable, customer service is very good/fast and no smart meters required. Every month they send an email statement, if I want to give them an actual meter reading, I click the link on the email and input the figures.

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/energy-companies/article/other-energy-companies-reviews/so-energy

I have shell energy and they installed 2nd generation smart meters , All working well and can see usage from say to day

My first utility meter is a smart meter i do not need to read the meter. They are getting a subsidy from government to install…i can go on online and look at my consumption. Its not rocket science. If they pay me to stay in all day to get their money…i will reconsider.

Actually they aren’t getting a subsidy from the Government to install. I don’t know where that idea came from? They are required to install them and bear the cost themselves, which of course comes back to consumers in the long run. Currently consumers can refuse to have a smart meter but in the medium/long term all meters will be smart, although some may not have smart functions enabled for whatever reason.

The main point about SMETS2 meters over SMETS1 is that you can change energy suppliers and the meter will continue to be smart. With the first generation meter you may be able to change suppliers and keep the smart functionality, and that is getting more likely as more early systems are being “enrolled” into the data system, but you may not.

They won’t be paying you to stay in all day! But you may find yourself unable to get the best tariffs without a working smart meter and decide to stay in anyway…

Best

David

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Apart from the Smartmeter not reliably reporting back to the energy suplier I wold like to have a more comprehensive display. Currently the display only shows one feature at a time - I would like it to show more information for each service at the same time, eg current consumption, daily consumption, week to date consumption along with the corresponding costs. If it was a complete monitoring service it would show the amount of solar power being created as well as being fed back into the mains, imersion heater, storage batteries and into the car batteries.
Plus a data feed so that the values could be imported in spreadsheets on the local computer.

The “In Home Display” is indeed intended to be fairly basic so that it can be operated and understood by the householder without any need for training etc. But SMETS2 includes an interface known as the “Consumer Access Device”. This is provided to allow for value added services such as you mention or for integration into a smart home system or whatever. Quite a lot of the consumer criticism of the IHD has been that no-one uses those sort of things any more because they use apps.

But I think this depends a lot on factors like age, how tech savvy someone is and whether they are especially bothered about knowing the numbers.

One friend of mine likes to read the meters himself, put the readings into a spreadsheet and phone the numbers in himself. “I can keep an eye on what the company is up to that way!” Whereas another friend just setup a direct debit and forgets about the whole thing.

Best

David

I have zero desire to have a smart meter and certainly wouldn’t want a display in the house. It’s blindingly obvious that the more things you turn on the more it costs. We have underfloor heating in the bathroom - it’s a tiny bathroom - but it’s a little luxury in the winter and I really don’t want to know that it costs £x per week. We are pretty economical and pay £91 for gas and electric to Bulb. The heating isn’t set high and we usually use blankets in the evening. All the lights are LED so other than letting my feet freeze in the bathroom I’m not sure what a smart meter would achieve.

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I have visions of you sitting there wrapped in your blanket “Turn the heating down another degree Hilary. I can still feel my toes.” And “Please pass me that ND555 review that’s over there next to the hot water bottles. I can’t wait forever for a 372!”

Best

David

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Such is the life of the retired. They are really nice blankets though: National Trust.

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I got excited initially with my first utility smart meter…but put the plasma tv on, kettle, the oven when we all got back from work…It costs a lot more. Put the hot water on, or central heating…it costs more. I am afraid we all know this…the money could gave been spent helping the elderly with their heating bills…
they have already worked it out and don,t adequately heat their their homes. Sorry to be negative, not my usual…but the money is being wasted imo.

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I have yet to be convinced that a smart meter has any value for me as a householder. I know what uses the most electricity, and if I didn’t I have one of those plug adaptors that costs about £5-10 and gives reading of instantaneous consumption and average over time - perfect for assessing variable or intermittent consumption things (like fridges or amplifiers).

As far as I can see a smart meter is simply a tool to benefit the supply company, and, for those with paranoic tendencies, another spy in the home.

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On a related note, has anyone recently changed a meter to support Economy 7 or similar?

Information seems vague about the exact times the reduced tariff is in operation, but it’d be potentially fairly simple to have high consumption devices such as washing machines/tumble dryers/dehumidifiers set to run over night, electric heating too (no gas central heating currently, and use log burners in the winter evenings).

I don’t think I want one, but it would be nice to have the option. As with rail electrification and many other things Home County dwellers take for granted, the far South West seems to be the land that time forgot! Good in many ways, but…

I’ve had three smart meters installed two electric and one gas as I have changed suppliers none are working complete waste of time and money if you ask me.

I see the news today states that the installations are way behind schedule the completion date has been put back from 2020 to 2024.

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Someone I know worked for a company administering the installation of smart meters. Might have been for Scottish Power but I might have that wrong. Catastrophic - some huge failure rate on initially installation -around 30% or more if I remember correctly. Could well have improved since then

I’ve been resisting attempts by my supplier to fit a smart meter for a couple of years now. But not for any of the reasons posited so far on this thread. I don’t know if the jury is still out but there has been a lot of speculation about the effect of SM’s on the mains causing degradation of SQ on hifi systems. I have spent a lot of time, effort and expense optimising my mains supply to HiFi, dedicated supply, separate consumer unit, cabling etc etc, I’m not about to risk all that until I’m satisfied that an SM won’t mess up my musical enjoyment.

:thinking: