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unclebulgaria67

Smart Meters ? Worth the hassle ?

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I have been approached by current supplier to have Smart Meters installed, as it is a Government  target to have them installed by end of 2020.

 

Having spoken to a number of people and read about Smart Meter issues, there is not much positive comment about having the new meters installed.  There are issues of compatibility between meters installed between different suppliers, making it more difficult to switch suppliers. There have been hassles with the meter installation process and feeling that the time taken off work, has not been rewarded with any cheaper supply or improved customer service.

 

Given that it is not compulsory, I have said no thanks for the time being.  

 

Does anyone have any positive experiences of Smart Meters  ?   Have they saved you money ?


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The only positives are no estimated charges.....so thats a big saving...and less hassle of submitting true readings....at a glance how much electricity/gas being consumed ....warning lights different colours through the monitor......so you can switch off unnecessary appliances ....cant think of or see any disadvantages,

 

 


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Thanks.

 

I will review in the new year, when I shop around. I submit regular readings online anyway and am careful with usage. 

 

If it works out that Smart Meter tarrif savings available are enough to encourage me to have them installed, then I might go for it at some stage.


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The Consumer Association (Which? Magazine) warned that 1st generation meters had a tendency  to "turn dumb" or stop working.

 

And there have also recently been major problems if you signed up for a smart meter with your existing provider and then changed, then the new provider is unable to connect and access current meter readings from the old (not so) smart meter.

 

Vast amounts of money spent on this with poor results, so far.

 

 


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I have had a Smart Meter installed for over 3 yrs now, bear in mind I am Disabled and do find it very advantages for myself.

 

1. Not having to send meter readings. (note: the supplier does still come out to do manual readings approx every 2 yrs)

 

2. No estimated bills.

 

3. The Smart Meter itself I can actually view my account i.e. daily usage, costs meter readings, tarriff etc. from the device itself.

 

Disadvantages

 

1. When you have a smart meter installed depending on your provider you may like mine does have to stay with that suppliers for a certain period of time before you can change supplier. (when mine was installed it was 2 yrs from installation before you could change supplier)

 

2. My smart meter installed at time does lose its wifi connection but only for a very short period approx 10 - 15 mins. its the small plugin device that links to the smart meter that loses connection

 

(note: the smart meter I have installed is in 2 part, part one in the smart meter itself installed and linked to the gas & electric meters and part 2 is a very small plug in device that you can plug in anywhere in your property that links to the smart meter itself where you can view your account info)

 


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When a Smart Meter works properly as intended, it has to be a good thing.

 

However, the problems seem to occur when the meter fails to work or when you want to change to a different, maybe cheaper, supplier and the meter fails to work at all.


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I can see what you are saying  but it should not make a difference at all if you have a smart meter and have passed there grace period and want to change supplier.

 

Irrespective of supplier if your smart meter is say not compatible they cannot refuse to take you on (except if their is a debt issue with previous supplier) as they are required to then change those non-compatible smart meters to one that are and cannot charge for that to happen.

 

People also need to be aware is it actually the 'Smart Meter' that may be failing or is it the 'Small Linked Plugin' device that could be failing. (see my previous post).

 


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Thanks.  Some of the issues raised, are those which other people have told me about.

 

Given that having a "smart" device should really be a positive experience, I have mostly heard negative feedback. Some people have had them awhile and seem to be locked into a suppliers, having problems moving to a cheaper tariff offered by another suppliers. These "smart" devices were supposed to enable quick and easy switching. 

 

As I switch suppliers at least every 2 years, I will wait until I am happy with what "smart" meter they want to install.  


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if you are thinking about one. Ensure your supplier is using SMETS2 versions. Those are comparable across suppliers. SMETS1 ( the original ones) require some updates to infrastructure to reconnect. This should be fairly soon. 

If you are fairly careful with your usage, you are unlikely to save anything on use. The benefit is down to auto reading. 

 

I'm very surprised the operator is trying

to tie you in for 2 years. I did not think they could do that. The government have set targets for them and have recently stretched that out, so putting restrictions in place seems odd. 
 

Also for note, smart meters do have the ability to accept a remote off signal

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That's not to say a Firmware update over the 'net couldn't add that functionality later, to allow a remote OFF.  There are issues with connectivity in some areas where they can't install them due to bad mobile signal, the meter uses an onboard SIM to connect so has no impact on a consumer's home internet.


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when the intenal batteries fail your fuel will be turned off until they get round to replacing the meter.

 

The power co's can switch your energy off at a whim automatically or upon the insistence of the government of the day if they decide that anyone boiling a kettle and running the hoover is profligate in their energy use. 

 

the energy co's are being told by govt to share your data without your permission so you get to hear about other deals that may be suitable for you despite this being illegal. 

So how soon before a massive data leak?

 

No law is even enacted that cant be abused,

look at the public spaces protection orders that are being used to stop people advertising their church fete despite it being fully legal and covered by planning law.

 

Lower bills? temporary.

 

The next step is dynamic pricing of fuel so you pay  a fortune for peak consumption.

cant do it with old fashioned meters

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I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but for those who struggle with debt on their utilities or have had troubles with their energy bills, be weary because if you have a smart meter and your account escalates, your meter mode can be changed remotely. Instead of having to obtain a warrant of entry or a warrant to physically change your meter, they would no longer have to do that. 

 

Also, if you're used to having estimated bills, be careful you might get caught out because there's usually a billing suspension for 6- 8 weeks after installation. 

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  • Thanks 1

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Self disconnection with a struggle to pay enough to restore the supply as the repayment debt and meter standing charges continue accrue, so a family having to claim UK then wait may become self disconnected, if they take the "Advance" loan, their repayments  to DWP, and volatile working hours may leave them without enough money on an ongoing basis to avoid self disconnection

 

From the guide:

 

"Suppliers are also prohibited by their licence from knowingly disconnecting  during winter consumers that are of a pensionable age, or solely live with people that are of a pensionable age or under 18. Additionally, they must take all reasonable steps during winter to avoid disconnecting those that are disabled or chronically sick.

Many suppliers have also signed up to a “Safety Net”, a pledge to never knowingly disconnect a vulnerable customer at any time of year."

 

 Those provisions won't stop pensioners and vulnerable from Self Disdconnection if their income is insufficient to pay all their bills.


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Also how do they work the so called Safety Net where there is a prepay meter fitted, sort of an oxymoron in view of this as they will be disconnected if they can't feed the meter:

 

"Many suppliers have also signed up to a Safety Net, a pledge to never knowingly disconnect a vulnerable customer at any time of year.

This offers further protection for vulnerable customers. In this instance, vulnerable customers may be customers who are unable to safeguard their personal welfare or the personal welfare of other members of the household due to:

  • age (such as younger people at home)
  • health
  • disability
  • severe financial insecurity."

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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I have also added Priority Services Register link to my list in post#13

 


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If you're on a pre payment meter you can call up if you can't top up. There's something that should be offered called discretionary credit. Obviously, this can be limited i.e. they can only help you x number of times. They will ask when you can top up next and if you haven't topped up between the last time they helped you and the next time you call they may not help.

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Coverage.

 

SMETS 1 use a mobile network

 

SMETS 2  use a Government network, which where not suppose to know about 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

 

https://www.smartme.co.uk/technical.html

 

As posted early on, if you have a smart meter installed make sure its SMETS 2

 

 

.....................

Edited by 45002
smileys

Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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