Author Topic: Home Energy Smart Meters  (Read 8637 times)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2018, 08:44:46 pm »
Well, I don't really give a damn about how much electricity I'm using.

I choose my laundry temperature to get clothing clean and fresh, which does not happen at temperatures lower than those I choose.

A slower spin will leave clothes wetter so they'll take longer to dry and could go musty more easily. We don't have a tumble drier.

The central heating is set at the lowest temperature at which David will not grumble.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2018, 08:56:06 pm »
I think most of my electricity goes into generating enough wifi to enable aliens on distant stars to eavesdrop on my browsing habits.

(And, my nosy little grey friends, those are all perfectly normal and legal activities for humans to engage in.)
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2018, 09:03:37 pm »
Well, I don't really give a damn about how much electricity I'm using.

I choose my laundry temperature to get clothing clean and fresh, which does not happen at temperatures lower than those I choose.

A slower spin will leave clothes wetter so they'll take longer to dry and could go musty more easily. We don't have a tumble drier.

The central heating is set at the lowest temperature at which David will not grumble.

I've found the spin speed makes very little difference at all (your washing machine may vary); it's lost in the noise on my graph.  Heating the water is what uses significant power.

If you're not tumble-drying and you're not running partial loads (all our stuff goes in the same 40C synthetics wash, apart from towels and bedding which get saved up for a full load of their own), there's really not much you can do apart from wash your clothes less frequently.  My clothes-washing frequency varies primarily with how quickly they get dirty, which doesn't have much to do with energy consumption.

The other big electrical loads are the kettle (which is of the boil-what-you-need type so doesn't run for very long at a time) and the oven (which, like the washing machine, uses a fair amount of energy to do anything useful).  Obviously proper BRITONS cannot be expected to go without TEA, so there's limited scope there.  Most of our cooking is done by gas hob or microwave anyway.

We do use a fan heater in winter, because we both have medical reasons for avoiding prolonged cold, and it seems more efficient to heat one room with electricity[1] than the whole house and all the air passing through it with gas.  We've just had double-glazing fitted, though, so I'm expecting a significant reduction in energy use there.


[1] Much of the energy dissipated by electronics contributes to space heating, anyway.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2018, 10:01:39 pm »
One national habit that consumes excessive energy is waiting for a boiling kettle to cut out automatically instead of switching it off as soon as it boils. For instant coffee (not something I ever use) the optimum temperature is less than boiling point anyway.

This is the one reason I use a glass kettle (also to judge how little water to use), but boiling point can be gauged by sound too.

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2018, 10:23:41 pm »
One national habit that consumes excessive energy is waiting for a boiling kettle to cut out automatically instead of switching it off as soon as it boils. For instant coffee (not something I ever use) the optimum temperature is less than boiling point anyway.

This is the one reason I use a glass kettle (also to judge how little water to use), but boiling point can be gauged by sound too.
When I got my Aeropress, I also bought a digital poke-it-in-the-thing-to-be-measured thermometer. A bit of listening to the kettle while measuring the temperature means I get  "good enough not too hot water" result. Now I just use my ears.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2018, 11:20:57 pm »
Whether enough people to do to save the claimed amount of energy is another matter, but I don't think the claim is "nonsensical".

Have another think about it. 

It says that the amount of energy saved if everyone had a smart meter would equate to the annual energy usage in those three cities - let's call that X GigaJoules for the sake of argument.

But there is no reference to how long the smart meters would have to be used to save that amount of energy.  A year? Ten years? A century?

Without that information, it's a nonsensical claim.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2018, 11:22:32 pm »
Whether enough people to do to save the claimed amount of energy is another matter, but I don't think the claim is "nonsensical".

Have another think about it. 

Well, I suppose the meter readers do have to travel to work...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2018, 01:00:34 am »
Without that information, it's a nonsensical claim.

If the word "annual" is in there it would be quite obvious to assume it mean the annual savings would equate to the annual energy usage of those 3 cities. Seems kind of obvious to me. Again, I've got no idea whether this is true or not, but it's advertising innit.

If you want to have a go at the adverts purely on semantics then you're on your own.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2018, 11:40:50 am »
Maybe it's based on the idea that people, when faced with seeing a little display telling you exactly how much you are using right now, will actually take measures to lower their energy usage (change bulbs, hunt out inefficient appliances and items on standby, etc).

I think I would just cover the display with black tape (as I already do with countless glowing appliances round the house).
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2018, 11:45:55 am »
Maybe it's based on the idea that people, when faced with seeing a little display telling you exactly how much you are using right now, will actually take measures to lower their energy usage (change bulbs, hunt out inefficient appliances and items on standby, etc).

I think I would just cover the display with black tape (as I already do with countless glowing appliances round the house).

Or you could just unplug it?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2018, 11:46:41 am »
Things that glow are cool. They make every day a Starship Enterprise day.
!nataS pihsroW

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2018, 12:57:37 pm »
Maybe it's based on the idea that people, when faced with seeing a little display telling you exactly how much you are using right now, will actually take measures to lower their energy usage (change bulbs, hunt out inefficient appliances and items on standby, etc).

I think I would just cover the display with black tape (as I already do with countless glowing appliances round the house).

Mine is not covered in black tape but stands on the sideboard obscured by tat. I'm seldom anywhere near the sideboard. Out of sight, out of mind...

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2018, 01:45:45 pm »
I've just had an email from Scottish Power asking me to contact them for an appointment to have a smart meter fitted.  I know that there's a major issue about different supplier's meters not being mutually compatible, but I don't exepct to change supplier any time soon.

I have a kW monitor in the hall (which I installed, there's a sender in the meter cupboard which transmits to a readout unit) which tells me how much is being used at any one time, so I know if something's been left on.  I check it several times a day as I walk past.

It enables me to shout at the wife when she's put the fan heater on in the music room when it's 20C outside....

Why would I want a smart meter?  All suggestions gratefully received.

I don't see why I need one, or am I missing something?

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2018, 02:05:50 pm »
There are several benefits:-
* The ability to see current usage (which you've already got)
* More detailed historical views of usage (I guess your current power monitor does not record historical info)
* Never having to have your meter read, or have to submit readings yourself, this leads to more accurate billing and estimation[1]

Putting it another way, is there a reason why you don't want a smart meter? They don't cost you anything except for a bit of time and faff whilst they disconnect the supply to fit it.

1. The billing companies try to bill you the same amount every month despite varing usage throughout the year (more lights on and more heating uses in winter, etc), so there's still an element of estimation even with accurate hourly meter readings.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2018, 02:10:16 pm »
Why would I want a smart meter?  All suggestions gratefully received.

So you get billed accurately without submitting meter readings.
So you get fewer visits from meter readers.
So you get a new! shiny! slightly more accurate! display thinger.
So your supplier stops hassling you about smart meters.


I think that's about it at the moment.  At some point they should enable new kinds of tariff, which may or may not be to your advantage, but that doesn't seem to be happening particularly quickly.

The advantages of smart metering are primarily to the supplier, and - eventually - to the grid in general.  Which isn't to say that a balanced grid isn't in everyone's interest, but it's very much a long-term thing.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2018, 02:11:49 pm »
1. The billing companies try to bill you the same amount every month despite varing usage throughout the year (more lights on and more heating uses in winter, etc), so there's still an element of estimation even with accurate hourly meter readings.

You can get them to bill for what you actually use every month, but they'll keep nagging to see if you want to change to a fixed DD.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2018, 02:22:20 pm »
1. The billing companies try to bill you the same amount every month despite varing usage throughout the year (more lights on and more heating uses in winter, etc), so there's still an element of estimation even with accurate hourly meter readings.

You can get them to bill for what you actually use every month, but they'll keep nagging to see if you want to change to a fixed DD.

The trick is moving to a fixed DD in the winter, so that you're not in credit with them during the summer and drawing down on that in the winter.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2018, 06:20:05 pm »
I don't think I'd give any utility company the ability to take money out of my account. I've seen their attempts at billing. They can bill me for what I've used and I'll pay them once I've checked. Direct debit, non!
!nataS pihsroW

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2018, 06:44:34 pm »
I remain sceptical about the merits of cold-only fill.  Sure, sometimes hot fill doesn't gain you anything, but there must be enough people with solar water heating, back-boilers, gas boilers literally above the washing machine, etc, to make it a worthwhile option.

The thing is, that for most installations, hot fill does not actually give you a hot fill.
The water volume brought into the machine is rarely sufficient to get the hot water running even vaguely lukewarm.


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2018, 06:53:11 pm »
I remain sceptical about the merits of cold-only fill.  Sure, sometimes hot fill doesn't gain you anything, but there must be enough people with solar water heating, back-boilers, gas boilers literally above the washing machine, etc, to make it a worthwhile option.

The thing is, that for most installations, hot fill does not actually give you a hot fill.
The water volume brought into the machine is rarely sufficient to get the hot water running even vaguely lukewarm.

I get usefully warm water within first two litres from the kitchen tap.  The pipe run from the boiler to the washing machine is shorter.  (And in the real world, I tend to have used the tap recently when the washing machine starts up.)  I'm not denying that most installations suffer from the effect of a much longer pipe run, just noting that some would benefit, and it seems a shame not to be able to buy a washing machine that can exploit that - particularly if your hot water is heated for 'free'.  It feels like a greenwash excuse to save a solenoid valve and some plumbing.

Maybe it'll reappear as a premium feature wrapped in internet-of-shit talks to your hot water tank logic...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2018, 07:29:25 pm »
In the Asbestos Palace, the hot water typically goes on a Grand Tour before it finds it's way to the tap. I think the washing machine would be finished before the feed got tippy-toes warm. Oddly the bathroom is worst, it takes ages despite the cylinder being right next door. I dunno where it goes. It's never sent a postcard.
!nataS pihsroW

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2018, 07:44:56 pm »
I don't think I'd give any utility company the ability to take money out of my account. I've seen their attempts at billing. They can bill me for what I've used and I'll pay them once I've checked. Direct debit, non!

+1!

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2018, 07:48:32 pm »
Maybe it's based on the idea that people, when faced with seeing a little display telling you exactly how much you are using right now, will actually take measures to lower their energy usage (change bulbs, hunt out inefficient appliances and items on standby, etc).

I think I would just cover the display with black tape (as I already do with countless glowing appliances round the house).

Or you could just unplug it?

The flattery will get bat!

These gadgets have a back-up battery and I don't want to pay good CA$H to replace them! (So I'll just pay the electricity to keep it ticking over...)

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2018, 08:04:32 pm »
If the word "annual" is in there it would be quite obvious to assume it mean the annual savings would equate to the annual energy usage of those 3 cities. Seems kind of obvious to me.

Your assumption may or may not be correct.  We all know what happens when you assume ...

As it is, it would have been much easier just to leave out the irrelevant time element and simply compare the claimed power savings from smart meters with the power required to run those cities.

Instead, we get an attempt to equate two things with different dimensions - energy and power.  Sloppy physics like that doesn't inspire confidence in what they are trying to promote.

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2018, 08:11:05 am »

Putting it another way, is there a reason why you don't want a smart meter?

1. The billing companies try to bill you the same amount every month despite varing usage throughout the year (more lights on and more heating uses in winter, etc), so there's still an element of estimation even with accurate hourly meter readings.


If the above is true, then I don't understand the following.....


Never having to have your meter read, or have to submit readings yourself, this leads to more accurate billing and estimation.