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kev56

Smart meter?

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    As title, seems I'm having a smart meter fitted gas and or electric? Having looked on line there  seems to be two schools of thought on weather they are good or bad. Anyone offer any thoughts on them.

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    I am probably an average consumer and I see no benefits to me, only a cost as we are all paying for it.

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    I opted for one, no more reading the meter and accurate bills. Really nothing to be too scared of

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    I have been fitting smart meters for about 18 months. As above the main advantage is the acurate bills.

    They are promoted as this great energy saving device, but you still have to live. After initially changing all your halogen bulbs for LED you can just get obsessed staring at the display OR stick in a draw and forget it.

    Im packing the job in this week and i can tell you that some companies are mis selling these meters, especially to elderly people. Constant calls to have them fitted and even telling them it is a "legal requirement" to have one. The main companies have targets and just want meters fitted.

     

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    This has been done before, everyone will have them eventually. 

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    I had one fitted about 2 years ago....i have since changed my supplier to a better deal and now the 'smart meter' is not so smart as it can't be updated with the new tariffs so I still have to give my meeting readings and I even had a meter reader round the other day !!

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    All good points above.  To me , the key points are;

    • You will pay for it anyway - because that is the way it works - you pay through higher costs of energy regardless of whether you have the meter or not.
    • You will only save if you make changes to your equipment/habits/lifestyle to use less energy.  Most peiople are 'savvy' enough to know what those are.
    • With more modern (SMETS 2) you can change supplier and keep the functions - but most installed so far are SMETS 1 and you may not be able to change without losing functions.
    • The network (like mobile phones) for SMETS 2 isn't complete yet (I think) and can't always reach the meter in some installations ever where the network exists

    Other important points are;

    • In some properties (like flats) where the meters are collectively in a plant room/basement, you may not get a signal to your display
    • Older properties where the meter is indoors may not get a decent signal - similarly for properties with foil clad insulation (shields the signals)
    • There may not be space in the meter box for the new meter (some are larger)
    • Some older electrical installations need to be upgraded in the way they are earthed before the smart meter can be installed
    • Some types of gas meter don't have a smart equivalent available (e.g. U16 type used on larger properties)
    • IF you are a conspiracy theorist ....... yes - the power company is going to be able to collect data on your usage
    • IF you are a conspiracy theorist - the power company CAN remotely disconnect your supply -
    • Potentially - this could be done by a hacker as well, or by accident - but the facility does exist.

    I have not been offered a smart meter yet and would not expect to make any savings as I am energy savvy (retired engineer), but I will make my decision on the facts available at the time - and the following criteria specific to my case;

    • It MUST be SMETS 2 (or later)
    • It must work in the present location (a stone built plant room) - and cannot change to a box as as external 'boxes' are not allowed under my listed building status
    • It must cover gas and electricity - at present I have a U16 meter which I am told has no direct smart replacement available
    • I am not greatly worried by either data gathering, hacking or the possibility of remote disconnection (which I believe is very unlikely)

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    Personally, I'd be seriously worried about being hacked. If there is a signal strong enough to leave your property, it can be reversed engineered most especially as the number of them grow. The mode data, the easier it gets to crack the encryption. And they are MUCH simpler transmitters than say, Wifi and GSM.

    So, the probability is high that they WILL be hacked, it's not a question of IF.

    Once these get hacked, people won't have to sit in front of your house in a hoody to know when you are at home or not. They'll be able to make up a pattern, and that data is extremely valuable to any burglar.

    Likewise, that data is *also* present at your service provider, and you have NO IDEAS what their security measures are, one thing I can promise you tho: they are very very likely to be way worse than your bank. Imagine that.

    The smart meters only have value for the service provider, the installers, and the burglars.  

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    2 hours ago, buze said:

    Personally, I'd be seriously worried about being hacked.

    There is some information about the security here https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/articles/smart-security-behind-gb-smart-metering-system

    When I look at my usage on a daily basis, there is in fact relatively little change in electricity usage when I am away; this is because during the summer months the 'base load' of refrigeration (fridge and freezer) and a few 'always on' devices remains on.  It would be possible to detect when I'm away for several days, but it isn't all that obvious, and not obvious at all on an 'hour by hour' basis because of the 'base load'.

    For gas, there is very little difference again - as I use little or no gas on many days in the summer.  Again - in winter, it would depend on the weather, but I use some gas even when away as background heating is left on, so again - it wouldn't be obvious.

    A more obvious 'hack' to see if there is anyone there would be to look at internet data usage, which will be low when I'm not there - and much higher when I am there.  And that is already there waiting to be 'hacked'.  As far as I am aware - this is not (widely if at all) used by burglars to see occupancy patterns at present.  Your ISP can very quickly see your data usage pattern.

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    The main issues are 1 the remote disconnection built in which means in any dispute they do not need to enter your property to disconnect you and also means should the power companies run short of electricity , enforced blackouts are easy to manage as you can then be switched off and on as they wish and 2 the coming facility to charge on an almost minute by minute basis to take account of demand/supply imbalances which the suppliers had to absorb the risk/costs but in future will be passed to the customer and since the company will not care as it is not them having to pay, will be more than what the companies currently have to absorb.

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    Apparently the gen 1 have real issues with changing provider. 

    They were due to release the gen 2 but apparently failed the security requirements  and have seen massive delays due to them being massively open to hackers etc. 

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    My energy supplier is very very keen for me to have one - too keen. I'm happy the way I am, giving the odd meter reading and with an instantaneous / daily consumption meter (non smart) to keep an eye on what's doing what in my house.

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    10 minutes ago, oowee said:

    Older meters are more likely to under read. 

    I knew someone before, all they had to do was flick the glass on the front the dial would stop turning... just give it a flick before the meter reader came and sorted!

     

    Try getting that on a smart meter!! 

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    14 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:

    I knew someone before, all they had to do was flick the glass on the front the dial would stop turning... just give it a flick before the meter reader came and sorted!

     

    Try getting that on a smart meter!! 

    Now that is what i call a smart meter. 

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    My supplier is always at me to have a smart meter.

    Will probably leave it for now.

    Isn't this just a way for the suppliers to maximise their profits? no meter readers so no wages to pay so more profit?

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    6 minutes ago, ratchers said:

    Isn't this just a way for the suppliers to maximise their profits? no meter readers so no wages to pay so more profit?

    I believe they still have to visit the meter (every 2 years?) for checks on safety and integrity (i.e. has it been tampered with/bypassed).  I believe that still applies with a smart meter.

    Currently I send in my meter readings monthly - and they visit probably less than once a year (but probably more than once every 2 years).

    It actually costs them to install smart meters (which are expensive and take time to fit - and have a dedicated data network) but they are allowed to cover the cost for this in the basic price of the fuel (levied on ALL customers, whether you have a smart meter or not I believe, so we are all paying for them anyway).

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    On 10/01/2019 at 11:16, Lloyd90 said:

    Apparently the gen 1 have real issues with changing provider. 

    They were due to release the gen 2 but apparently failed the security requirements  and have seen massive delays due to them being massively open to hackers etc. 

    It's simple Lloyd, Smets1 smart meters only work for the supplier who fitted them.

    Smets2 have been out since the middle of last year, the biggest advantage over Smets1 is the changing of supplier and the meter staying smart, however not all suppliers are Smets2 ready therefore it may not work as a smart meter. :lol:

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