Author Topic: Home Energy Smart Meters  (Read 8232 times)

Home Energy Smart Meters
« on: September 11, 2018, 10:28:09 am »
Does anyone have a Home Energy Smart Meter in their property that is successfully being
used to save money on fuel bills?

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 11:19:44 am »
Arguably, yes. I used the info from when my smart meter was smart to identify and reduce background electricity usage. My smart meter is, however, now dumb.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 11:51:57 am »
Does anyone have a Home Energy Smart Meter in their property that is successfully being
used to save money on fuel bills?

That's not what they're for.  They're for saving money on meter readers.  The consumer won't benefit until new tariffs that reflect the varying wholesale cost of energy throughout the day become available.

Ours means that I don't have to move all the camping kit once a month to read the gas meter.  I've given up on the crappy energy display thing (which doesn't even stay set to real units) in favour of a ESP8266 counting pulses of the blinkenlight on the electricity meter, feeding the data to RRDtool.  You can infer so much more from a time series graph than an instantaneous value.

(I do have a plug-in power meter which has been useful for determining the inefficiency of certain specific loads.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 11:52:17 am »
Our electricity supplier effectively forced us to arrange installation of a smart meter which we ignore, so no.

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 12:02:55 pm »
Is it still the case that smart meter from Supplier 1 will not talk to Supplier 2, should I switch from Supplier 1 in the near future??
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 #5 on: September 11, 2018, 12:16:46 pm »
We were going to get a smart-meter, for all the wrong reasons, but dug a big hole and moved the old one into the cellar instead (where a smart meter might find itself struggling to communicate).

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2018, 12:18:06 pm »
Is it still the case that smart meter from Supplier 1 will not talk to Supplier 2, should I switch from Supplier 1 in the near future??

Possibly, but it just means that they'll upgrade your smart meters to smart meters when you change supplier.   :facepalm:
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2018, 12:38:09 pm »
Does anyone have a Home Energy Smart Meter in their property that is successfully being
used to save money on fuel bills?

That's not what they're for.  They're for saving money on meter readers. 
Same difference.  ::-)  I've had emails galore about fitters being in my area and for me to arrange an appointment.
I see no urgency at the moment. Perhaps when they become compulsory.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2018, 12:43:38 pm »
Does anyone have a Home Energy Smart Meter in their property that is successfully being
used to save money on fuel bills?

That's not what they're for.  They're for saving money on meter readers. 
Same difference.  ::-)  I've had emails galore about fitters being in my area and for me to arrange an appointment.
I see no urgency at the moment. Perhaps when they become compulsory.

I think the main difference is that saving money on meter readers isn't likely to be reflected in your fuel bill.


Anyway, for me it's mildly convenient to have a bill that actually reflects what I use (been stung by the nPower random number generator in the past) without having to go to the effort of regularly reading the meters myself, and it's nice not to have someone turn up when I'm on the loo or still in bed or up to my neck in spaghetti code or whatever and need me to move all the bikes and stuff quite as frequently.  There's no real disadvantage to me (it's not like I'm not paying for the roll-out as part of my bill anyway), so fine.


On the gripping hand, if we hadn't had smart meters installed the loose meter tail wouldn't have been noticed until it caused a fire.   :o
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2018, 01:03:27 pm »
urgency at the moment. Perhaps when they become compulsory.


I think the main difference is that saving money on meter readers isn't likely to be reflected in your fuel bill.

Anyway, for me it's mildly convenient to have a bill that actually reflects what I use
You're confusing me (or I didn't understand you correctly). If one's meter readings are reduced (after having
kept a close watch on the smart meter), then surely that means that fuel bills will be lower?

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2018, 01:06:33 pm »
BG keep telling me TO GET A SMART METER. They're very insistent (in fact they just sent me an actual letter to tell me I'm not receiving their emails, which I evidently am, otherwise I wouldn't know how keen they are). I'm mostly unmoved. It would be nice to see what I'm using without having to peek under the stairs (which involves moving the broken ironing board and spaghetti of wires for the router, NAS, and random computers snangles) and it's not like BG don't misread the read or use an estimation algorithm that includes i. But equally it's a palaver and the fitter will probably break something or get stuck in the cupboard.* Plus I keep meaning to change supplier before BG demand they're only paid in gold bullion and I'm still not clear if these things are transferable (I asked BG and got a non-answer). I don't much fancy having to keep changing them.

(This all reminds me to sort out the water meter, misread, unbilled, and now corrected in such a way that even this chap, armed with a graduate-level education is left scratching his head and muttering what the fuck? – I presume that rather than correct the earlier misread, they've counted it and subtracted from the current, and then hid their working in lots of random units@ such-and-such tariff changes, lord knows how people who struggle to get GCSEs are supposed to decipher this nonsense.)

*predictions of disaster are not unfounded, one once drove off the side of our drive and took the chain link fence with him; he might have done a better job of driving if he'd not been plugging away at some kind of hand-held device at the time.
!nataS pihsroW

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2018, 01:20:24 pm »
urgency at the moment. Perhaps when they become compulsory.

I think the main difference is that saving money on meter readers isn't likely to be reflected in your fuel bill.

Anyway, for me it's mildly convenient to have a bill that actually reflects what I use

You're confusing me (or I didn't understand you correctly). If one's meter readings are reduced (after having
kept a close watch on the smart meter), then surely that means that fuel bills will be lower?

The money the company saves from not having to pay a meter reader to visit you will not come off your bill, it will go into shareholders' pockets.

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2018, 01:22:41 pm »
urgency at the moment. Perhaps when they become compulsory.

I think the main difference is that saving money on meter readers isn't likely to be reflected in your fuel bill.

Anyway, for me it's mildly convenient to have a bill that actually reflects what I use

You're confusing me (or I didn't understand you correctly). If one's meter readings are reduced (after having
kept a close watch on the smart meter), then surely that means that fuel bills will be lower?

The money the company saves from not having to pay a meter reader to visit you will not come off your bill, it will go into shareholders' pockets.

Which saves the company having to put up their prices if they continue to pay the meter readers and want to put the same money into shareholders' pockets.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2018, 01:27:31 pm »
urgency at the moment. Perhaps when they become compulsory.

I think the main difference is that saving money on meter readers isn't likely to be reflected in your fuel bill.

Anyway, for me it's mildly convenient to have a bill that actually reflects what I use

You're confusing me (or I didn't understand you correctly). If one's meter readings are reduced (after having
kept a close watch on the smart meter), then surely that means that fuel bills will be lower?

Why do you think it will save you money? What will you not use/turn off that you don't already if you're concerned, say, about standby power usage? What appliances will you replace if because they're inefficient?- though of course it'll take years to recoup the purchase costs.

I've continued to ignore requests to get them fitted. I already know what to do to reduce my bills.  (Caveat - I haven't done a controlled experiment to see if batch cooking then reheating by microwave or cooker is best).
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2018, 01:29:49 pm »
an estimation algorithm that includes i

On which note, I expect that once modern electronic meters are sufficiently rolled out, energy companies will start billing domestic customers for reactive power.

Which is fair enough in my book - the only reason they aren't is that traditional electromechanical meters only measure real power, and in the days when most domestic loads were resisitve it made a vanishingly small difference.  But it's going to come as a bit of a shock when people discover how nasty the power factor of their cheap shitty LED lighting from China is.  Expect power-factor correction to be the new eco ratings.  There'll be outraged articles in the Bile Duct about how Brussels wants to take our traditional BRITISH capacitive droppers away.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2018, 01:34:44 pm »
I don't see why the v1 smart meters that only send readings to a single supplier is that much of a problem.

Surely it's easier to have that supplier forward the details on to the other suppliers as required rather rather than replacing all of those meters (again) at a much greater cost.

I'm sure it's so insecure that the meter readings could be redirected at the mobile phone network level too.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2018, 01:40:23 pm »
urgency at the moment. Perhaps when they become compulsory.

I think the main difference is that saving money on meter readers isn't likely to be reflected in your fuel bill.

Anyway, for me it's mildly convenient to have a bill that actually reflects what I use

You're confusing me (or I didn't understand you correctly). If one's meter readings are reduced (after having
kept a close watch on the smart meter), then surely that means that fuel bills will be lower?
I think Kim was hinting that at some point in the future, smart meters might allow the price charged to the consumer to vary throughout the day on a fluid basis, reacting to changes in the wholesale price – dropping when it's windy or rising when everyone puts the kettle on at the end of East Enders, for instance.

We were supposed to get a smart meter but it proved impossible to fit without cutting off half a dozen other households and some other problem I've forgotten about.
"Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star."

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2018, 05:58:06 pm »
I can't help but laugh every time I see that TV ad with the nonsensical claim that

"We could save enough energy to power every home in Cardiff, Aberdeen & Manchester for a year, if we all got a smart meter."

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2018, 06:24:43 pm »
There is a valid point that if people can see their usage they're more likely to moderate it – for most of us, me included, I only really know what I use when I get the bill or am forced to correct one of BG's creative estimates. If you constantly see energy being used you might question it. It's the same theory for cars – people underestimate their costs as there no real per-journey costing (unless you've a clever computer thang), just the occasional jolt when you fill the tank or pay tax.

I believe they burn penguins for energy in Aberdeen anyway. Cardiff, I'm not sure they have energy. As for Manchester, they probably rob it from nearby towns. So it might be true.

I have no idea what a 'power factor correction' is but I bet it stings. Fifty Shades of Ow.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2018, 06:29:59 pm »
[XPOST with ian]

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).

Whether enough people to do to save the claimed about of energy is another matter, but I don't think the claim is "nonsensical".

(It didn't affect my energy usage, but then I have already pretty much minimised it as I have a power measuring pass through socket for testing things, and almost every lightbulb in the flat is an energy saving one [just the bathroom to sort next time it needs a refit])
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2018, 06:43:56 pm »
We were with Eon until a few months ago. They wanted us to switch to a smart meter and the chap on the other end of the phone got a bit stroppy when I said I would only do so if it were a second generation one which would allow changing suppliers.
We are now with Bulb who have stated they're not going to roll out any smart meters until they are the second generation type. That process is supposed to start this year.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2018, 07:25:26 pm »
One here who has seen a drop in usage and cost. It’s just a raised awareness. The meter did illustrate what gobbles up the energy - anything involving heating stuff up. The kettle outdoes everything in buckets. Just making sure that a cup of tea only needs a cup boiled has probably been the factor that has made the saving.

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2018, 07:29:35 pm »
One here who has seen a drop in usage and cost. It’s just a raised awareness. The meter did illustrate what gobbles up the energy - anything involving heating stuff up. The kettle outdoes everything in buckets. Just making sure that a cup of tea only needs a cup boiled has probably been the factor that has made the saving.

We have a Breville One Cup thing at work[1] and I'm seriously thinking about getting one for home. Boils exactly the right amount for a single cup in a short space of time and it withstands a lot of use in our office. That or getting an efficient boiling water tap installed if we ever get the kitchen redone.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2018, 07:56:51 pm »
I spent some time doing research that touched on this a while back. As well as the obvious switching lights off stuff there’s a load of electricity consumption that people have a variable grasp about ... immersion still on while running a bath; vacuum rather than dustpan round the dining table or every day in the hall; turning the laundry temperature and spin down a notch; hanging laundry out when it’s a bit grey; floodlights for the foxes etc.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home Energy Smart Meters
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2018, 08:08:39 pm »
Other than getting a feel for the duty cycle of the fridge/freezer, the one that's really stood out to me is the washing machine.  I mean, obviously heating such and such an amount of water to such and such a temperature is going to take a certain amount of energy, but it wasn't something I'd really thought about until I saw the big lumps on the electricity consumption graph.  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.

Not that I've changed my laundry habits to reduce electricity consumption.  The limiting factor is drying capacity (that we're drying on a rack is, admittedly, pretty good for our electricity consumption) and scheduling is governed by ensuring availability of needed clothing.

Obviously a large chunk of our usage is electronics.  But much of that is equipment I've specified with power consumption in mind, so consumption monitoring didn't bring any real surprises.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...