Author Topic: Electricity Smart Meter  (Read 11023 times)

StevieB

  • I'm an embarrassment to my bicycle!
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #50 on: March 16, 2020, 01:42:45 pm »
Yea,
Sorry,
I know took much about this stuff...
I need to forget more...
It may be self-flagellation, but it still hurts

Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #51 on: March 16, 2020, 02:15:14 pm »
Yea,
Sorry,
I know took much about this stuff...
I need to forget more...

Would be nice if you added a bit of detail.

Are you referring to :-

Renewables Obligation
Warm Home Discount
Energy Company Obligation
Smart Meter Levies
Feed in Tariff Levy (probably not)

These are all levied on all suppliers not just the big 6 (incidentally an outdated term since Ovo bought the SSE supply wing).   Agreed WHD only kicks in above 250k supply points.  Bulb, Octopus and Ovo are all over 1m customers. 

I’m not quite sure who the data collecting body that you’ve never heard of are - Elexon ?

I agree that simply installing a smart meter doesn’t reduce consumption.  You have to take the data and then make informed decisions.  This is where the adverts are wrong.  Suppliers need to roll the meters out as required but then really use what they do to offer cleverer tariffs and improve their balancing.   I also agree that Ofgem just run around trying to fill holes rather than setting strategies.

It is a huge piece of misinformation that suppliers make a tonne of money.  Bulb lost £130m last year and Octopus £30m.  SSE sold their supply book and npower have been trying to sell theirs for 2 years.  Centrica’s share price is a fraction of what it used to be.  Ecotricity are loss making and I question their authenticity.  15 suppliers have gone out of business in the last year.  The 2 councils that entered the energy supply sector have done a really poor job.



StevieB

  • I'm an embarrassment to my bicycle!
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2020, 12:03:09 am »

Would be nice if you added a bit of detail.


Probably just as well I didn't!

I left this all behind years ago...

but at that time the BIG ONE was called 'Green Deal'...
Now that I look at their Web site I see all kinds of:

 > insulation
 > heating
 > draught-proofing
 > double glazing
 > renewable energy generation

but not Smart Meters!

Actually, it sort of makes sense for them to be part of a separate scheme - the supply companies are a bit sensitive about people fiddling with their meters. (It is not a difficult job, and they will let subcontractors do it after a bit of vetting and training...)

And things have obviously changed slightly...

However, the point I was trying to make is that the 'solution' depends on several players, who were playing different games, which is why I am not surprised the roll-out has taken much longer than expected. (Nor am I surprised you can list 4~5 schemes which might apply, might overlap, might...)

To put it another way - the problem of getting one 'box' to talk to another 'box' is much compounded when those boxes are sitting in different systems in different organisations, whose goals and objectives don't align terribly well (and mostly competitors who are not in the habit of collaborating with each other).

I'm sure you have more accurate and up-to-date information than me, but you are right... there are a lot of things the public are not aware of...

For starters - the meter and the isolation switch/fuse are the only parts of the system the 'supply' companies have responsibility for, the wires into your house belong to you, the wires into the meter belong to the 'distribution' companies - who are strictly kept separate to the supply companies.

The supply companies, ie. those companies which we as customers interact with (if you can call it that!) are simply billing companies - they need to track how much electricity you consume and bill you accordingly. That is all. Simple (you would think!).

Some people may not like the big supermarkets, like Tesco and Sainburys, but in terms of getting food from their suppliers and onto their shelves, they are incredibly efficient. In a similar way, the supply companies are also incredibly efficient - with millions of customers they cannot afford to screw it up. (They have done in the past when updating their systems, and it was not pretty!)

To be efficient they need efficient systems - ones which are not very flexible... (But equally you won't get far asking a supermarket for a pint of milk instead of a litre... if you see what I mean.)

The total number of supply companies around show the 'barriers to entry' have been removed. As many are going out of business, that shows the market is efficient. It also shows, as you say, there is not a lot of easy profits around in the business.

Yes, Centrica share price has declined from over 400p in 2012 to under 40p today - that would destroy most companies, yet they are largely the same company doing the same thing! It is their perceived ability to make profits in the future which has declined.

Consumers have complained - that has been picked up by the press who have kicked the government into doing something, they have kicked Ofgen who have kicked the supply companies.

What is not obvious is the amount of red tape involved - the companies have very little freedom of movement. For eg. if you compare the bills from two different companies I'll guarantee they are very similar in layout and format, often using identical words or phrases - that is because it is nearly all mandated by Ofgen. (Whether or not you find the information useful I'll leave to you to decide.)


Regarding the smart meters themselves - they have a memory sufficiently large to hold several days of readings, which they squirt out at night as a data stream when the network is idle anyway - so it does not cost much. (And seems there are other options now.)
 
But to work, there must be an agreement with a network carrier and bulk purchase SIM cards, so the installer is unlikely to have a selection of networks s/he can try out for signal strength at the time of installation.

For the internal comms, I am not sure zigbee would be chosen again if starting today, but obviously there is a certain amount of momentum given the 16 million systems already installed.
 
To be fair - all those low power rf systems have strengths and weaknesses. It is not just operating distances (and remember there can be big differences between optimum and non-optimum conditions), but also security, AND interference - in the 2.4 GHz band also sits wi-fi, bluetooth and your microwave oven for eg!

You are also totally right - the smart meters are part of a bigger picture - for suppliers to "offer cleverer tariffs and improve their balancing." That is because smart meters are more of less constantly monitoring the supply (please don't quote me, but it is something like each one minute reading is an average over that time span - which is very different from monthly (give or take!) readings!)

That is hugely important because the ability to charge different tariffs at different times of the day is a way of lowering peak demand by shifting when people charge their electric cars, for example.

The alternative is upgrading the electric supply network to meet the perceived rise in demand, which is mega expensive.

It is an industry wide problem, which no one wants to tackle, least of all the suppliers who, as you point out are already well screwed and don't have the resources to even think about it.

 A lot of people will be happy to see the supply companies killed off, but that is not a solution. And a lot of people don't realise that a company need to make a profit in order to breathe - to make improvements. And very few people realise an efficient electricity supply is a core part of the low-carbon, green future they all want.

Apologies for waffling on and on!
It may be self-flagellation, but it still hurts

Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #53 on: March 20, 2020, 09:00:43 pm »
And 2 suppliers go bust in the last 2 days.

Without wanting to go all COVID-19 in another thread, what are seeing at the moment is industrial demand coming down but domestic demand coming up as people wfh. Half hourly metering is already in place in business so suppliers see the change in consumption and can adjust for it.  Because a lot of domestic meters are still quarterly read the supplier will not be a able to adjust their forecasts quickly enough.  Smart metering would offer daily consumption profiling allowing the supplier to react more quickly.

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2020, 09:43:21 pm »
We had an appointment for smart meter installation a month or so ago. The chap turned up at the allotted hour, took one look at the location of our current meter and stated there was no way he could get a new meter in there. He then left.
There's no vibrations, but wait.

Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #55 on: March 24, 2020, 04:25:02 pm »
Something’s up with my internal monitor.  It’s picking up gas data but not electricity.

Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #56 on: March 24, 2020, 11:42:39 pm »
Something’s up with my internal monitor.  It’s picking up gas data but not electricity.
Mines been doing the same, but if I press the "flame/spark" button the combined usage is shown as normal.  It seems to be resetting itself to gas reading only overnight ???
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2020, 09:01:39 am »

Well I now have a smart gas meter, and a electricity smart meter.

Noone can tell me what smart gas is...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #58 on: May 11, 2020, 08:44:17 pm »

We now have a smart meter.

And in the first 4 hours of it's use, pulled over 700kw, constantly... on a supply that can do max 16kw... I am now searching the flat to find which usb wall wart is going white hot and starting to produce plasma...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #59 on: May 11, 2020, 08:54:36 pm »
I am now searching the flat to find which usb wall wart is going white hot and starting to produce plasma...

The pink one.  </big_clive>
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #60 on: May 11, 2020, 10:09:09 pm »

Well I now have a smart gas meter, and a electricity smart meter.

Noone can tell me what smart gas is...

J
Smart gas is the perfectly timed fart.
This ain't really your life, ain't nothing but a movie
Ain't nothing but a badly written novel

Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #61 on: May 11, 2020, 10:35:32 pm »

Well I now have a smart gas meter, and a electricity smart meter.

Noone can tell me what smart gas is...

J
Read “the black cloud” by Fred hoyle.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #62 on: July 18, 2020, 10:22:38 pm »
"Oh for fuck's sake!" said Kim, the words coming easily through force of habit.

I've just discovered, after a mildly sarcastic exchange with a long-suffering customer service monkey, that our smart meters have never actually provided any data, and it's been purely estimated readings since I stopped doing them manually in 2017

That I didn't pick it up is down to a combination of poor UI on the Robin Hood website[1], a surprisingly accurate estimation algorithm[2], and my general naivety that something could fuck up that badly.   :facepalm:

It's particularly irksome that their remote energy display waste-of-time doesn't allow you to access the raw counter readings like the old nPower one did, so I'm reduced to poking the gas meter with a inanimate carbon rod pokey thing while peering through an oriface with a torch, because it's slightly less effort than moving all the camping kit.



[1] Top tip: If you provide a table of plausible meter readings with status "Accepted" in the meter readings history, we're going to think they're meter readings, not estimates.
[2] Unlike nPower, who just called rand()
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #63 on: July 18, 2020, 11:14:35 pm »
That's interesting. We've had a few "estimated" readings since the smart meter was installed and I wondered why, given that the machine is supposed to be sending them data every 30 minutes.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #64 on: July 18, 2020, 11:58:12 pm »
EDF tried to issue our first bill this week. Total fail; they've decided there's a discrepancy between the old supplier's closing reading and EDF's opening reading. Given they went through the process of agreeing this with British Gas and said it was sorted two months ago, this is irksome. They're quoting 6-8 weeks for this process (same as last time). Such ineptitude.

They've also managed to break our access to smart meter data in the meantime (they can get readings though).

andytheflyer

  • Andytheex-flyer.....
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #65 on: July 19, 2020, 09:12:40 am »
I thank you.

All of the above merely reinforces my stance not to have an SM installed until the muppets have sorted the bugs.  What a monumental waste of time and money.  My little spy on the wall gizmo may not give me the gas consumption (only hot water anyway at this time of year) but I'll spot within minutes when the wife's left all the lights on, or she's put a fan heater on whilst doing her flute practice.

Eff off Scottish Power.  Don't bother calling me again until you've fixed the systemic issues. If I've told you once.......and still you ring me.

Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #66 on: July 19, 2020, 09:30:13 am »
Closing off my account at the old house with EDF was straightforward and the final bill was produced with a credit and refunded.

The new house has an economy 7 meter and I have worked out that the suppliers have the 2 registers the wrong way round.  I noticed this as I moved the supply over to Octopus.   The problem is the industry is so chock full of automation that you simply can’t get this fixed.   As an example I provided readings to Octopus and explained tge situation but npower rejected those and swapped them back again which Octopus accepted.   I’m back where I started. 

I’m actually better off as I’m getting the cheap rate during the day.  I initially thought at some point they would notice and fix the problem but, having spoken to several droids, I reckon they’ll never work it out.

Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #67 on: July 19, 2020, 10:18:08 am »
My current supplier (geddit?) So Energy is not offering smart meters, sensibly.

I submit readings once a month, and haven't seen a meter reader for yonks.

My electricity meter is tucked away under the kitchen sink unit, and I use an inspection camera to read it. The gas meter is outside.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #68 on: July 19, 2020, 11:31:27 am »
At this point the main benefit of the smart meters is that the electrickery one had a Mk 1 blinkenlight on it, allowing me to monitor energy consumption with RRDtool.  Plenty of dumb meters also have that feature, but not the original one installed here.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #69 on: July 19, 2020, 11:35:56 am »
At this point the main benefit of the smart meters is that the electrickery one had a Mk 1 blinkenlight on it, allowing me to monitor energy consumption with RRDtool.  Plenty of dumb meters also have that feature, but not the original one installed here.

Mine has an IR LED which puts out some sort of serial signal. My housemate is investigating the ways of measuring what it tells us. It also has the blinkenlight output option if all else fails. Tho I suspect Lianda may get grumpy if they come round to find we've taped photo diodes to it...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #70 on: July 19, 2020, 11:37:51 am »
Ah, it's got those too - the installer used them with a PDA thing to set up the pairing of the meters.  Haven't looked to see if there's data coming out of it.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2020, 11:40:35 am »
Ah, it's got those too - the installer used them with a PDA thing to set up the pairing of the meters.  Haven't looked to see if there's data coming out of it.

Now I'm wondering if we have the same or very similar meters. But to work out what it is would require me getting up, so that would have to wait...

We're redoing the power completely as we've gone from single phase to 3 phase, which is proving an interesting technical challenge. Trying to split a 32A hob and a 13A oven across 3 phases of 25A each...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2020, 02:10:07 pm »
For my shop, the previous owner had Economy 7, but I've gone for a normal tariff.  They've said I can't have a smart meter for either gas or electricity.  And despite me submitting monthly readings for the last 9 months, they still sent someone round last week to read the gas meter.  Not interested in reading the electricity one though, even though it's the same provider.  Bizarre.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Mike J

  • Guinea Pig Man
Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2020, 06:09:56 pm »
They do like to pester when you tell them you don't want one.  "It'll save you doing quarterly readings", I'm already doing that anyway.

Re: Electricity Smart Meter
« Reply #74 on: July 20, 2020, 08:00:16 am »
For my shop, the previous owner had Economy 7, but I've gone for a normal tariff.  They've said I can't have a smart meter for either gas or electricity.  And despite me submitting monthly readings for the last 9 months, they still sent someone round last week to read the gas meter.  Not interested in reading the electricity one though, even though it's the same provider.  Bizarre.

There’s a requirement in the (gas) industry code to do an independent reading every 2 years.  Gives them a chance to do a quick inspection at the same time.