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Forums Other London life Smart meters – any experience?

  • gerjomarty 10 posts

    @strickers Oh, that’s cool, thank you for the info! I’ll keep an eye out in that case.

    TooPoorToBeHere 236 posts

    Smart meters give you access to tariffs which can save you money if your usage pattern is friendly to that – for example charging EV or in-home battery at night, heating water overnight, doing washing/drying/dishwasher at night.

    The downsides are:

    1 – Hassle of installation / arranging for it.

    2 – There can be technical challenges with them not communicating with the supplier etc, but mostly they work.

    3 – That smart meters have a remote disconnect capability, so your supply can be turned off remotely by either the supplier or a someone with access to the supplier’s systems. There is a LOT of disinformation about this issue and guff about safeguards but that is the engineering reality. Having lived through the era of the Wuhan Coronavirus you will have your own opinions about whether you’re sure this capability will always be used responsibly and soberly by the authorities or not, and no words I write will change them.

    4 – That smart meters give a quite clear idea of who is home, when, and what they are doing, to anyone with access to their data – as above, the supplier or anyone who gains access to their systems. It’s quite easy to infer from the pattern of power use how many people are home and what they are doing; appliances have characteristic patterns of energy use and indeed it’s possible to purchase a product which identifies what is being used merely by high-resolution monitoring of the whole house’s power consumption.

    BBbetter 635 posts

    Has anyone got the smart meter installed through Octopus? Looks like there’s a waiting list. How long does it take and whats the cost?

    strickers 671 posts

    Has anyone got the smart meter installed through Octopus? Looks like there’s a waiting list. How long does it take and whats the cost?

    There should be no cost for having a Smart Meter fitted.

    TooPoorToBeHere 236 posts

    Has anyone got the smart meter installed through Octopus? Looks like there’s a waiting list. How long does it take and whats the cost?

    It varies by region, here Octopus offer it in a few days.

    It’s free to you “at the point of delivery”. We’re all paying enormous sums via levies on our bills for them, and various greenery/nuclear subsidies, but as a punter you pay nowt when it’s done.

    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    We got Octopus a couple of years back. All very convenient, works well and they run intermittent “power saving” hours where you get a notional discount if you don’t use as much electricity as usual. The money isn’t really here or there but what it does do is stop the grid having to fire up older more polluting power stations in times of peak demand. I think they have done a good job of gamifying this.

    My folks however got exactly the same kit from Octopus as we did and whilst the meter sends updated readings to Octopus, one of the utilities – I think gas – doesn’t update on the smart meter.

    Octopus referral codes are available – £50 for both you and the referrer.

    Ant M 62 posts

    If you’ve got a meter that supports economy 7 (ie the cheaper night rate), you’ll have to switch to a smart meter in the next 12 months or you’ll lose economy 7 – the radio signal that tells the meters when the tariff change is will be switched off next year (postponed from this year)

    Andrew. 485 posts

    If you’ve got a meter that supports economy 7 (ie the cheaper night rate), you’ll have to switch to a smart meter in the next 12 months or you’ll lose economy 7 – the radio signal that tells the meters when the tariff change is will be switched off next year (postponed from this year)

    Some Economy/White meter tariffs are still controlled by a clockwork switch.

    My parent’s nightstore meter and my aunts white meter definitely is. They make an absolute racket during a power cut and the clockwork back-up takes over timekeeping.

    dst87 263 posts

    I don’t see the reason not to have a smart meter. I no longer have to send a meter reading, my bills are always accurate, and I can access time-of-use tariffs like Intelligent Octopus Go which gives me dirt cheap overnight charging.

    I don’t honestly see the downside. The original set of meters had compatibility issues meaning they couldn’t connect if you switched to a different provider, but the newer meters don’t have that problem (as far as I know) and I think a solution is in the works for those original meters too.

    I don’t use the in-home display because they’re horrible little things IMO, but I did just get notified that my Octopus Home Mini is on its way which gives up to the minute data about consumption through an app. Much better!

    Rui N. 830 posts

    I think a solution is in the works for those original meters too.

    Most have been upgraded remotely already.

    Colin MacKinnon 291 posts

    Thanks for the tip about https://glowmarkt.com/bright.

    Signed up yesterday and can now see all my lecky use in our wee flat.

    (When we got smart meter we never got a display – but this, being an app, is even better)

    strickers 671 posts

    Found a fantastic way to reduce gas usage, have your boiler pack up. Now trying to find someone to sit here all day while we are away in Edinburgh and Glasgow for the weekend. Gas usage zero.

    John 999 posts

    Found a fantastic way to reduce gas usage, have your boiler pack up. Now trying to find someone to sit here all day while we are away in Edinburgh and Glasgow for the weekend. Gas usage zero.

    But you’re still being charged the standing charge.

    My wife’s parents’ flat can’t ever get a smart meter, 3 or 4 different meter technicians have tried over the past 3 years. Their English isn’t good enough to understand the explanations given by the meter installers so I also can’t understand it.

    Rui N. 830 posts

    But did they put a smart meter in place? Sometimes there is simply not enought room.
    If it is in place and it doesn’t work as a smart meter, then there is no signal. There are external antennas, but some suppliers don’t bother.

    TooPoorToBeHere 236 posts

    My wife’s parents’ flat can’t ever get a smart meter, 3 or 4 different meter technicians have tried over the past 3 years. Their English isn’t good enough to understand the explanations given by the meter installers so I also can’t understand it.

    Having been present for an (abortive) smart meter installation today, in the presence of an electrician there for other work:

    He tells me that they abort the install at the slightest pretext and we speculate this relates to them getting paid per-visit regardless of success!

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