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Bombarded by Smart Meters letters - Page 4 - Carers UK Forum

Bombarded by Smart Meters letters

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I used to think, like many of you, that economical usage of energy was just applied common sense. Don't overfill kettles; don't have lights or heating on in unoccupied rooms; do use low-energy lamps; etc.

Then something made me think again. We have in our kitchen an electric radiator below the breakfast bar, for added warmth on very cold mornings. Despite precautions, there was an occasion where it was found having been accidentally left switched on. 900 watts draining away for ten days! I thought, "Probably a smart meter would have alerted us to this." I started to take more interest in smart meters.

This whole issue reminds me about a Royal Mail fiasco in 1968. Prior to then there was the standard letter rate and what was known as "printed paper rate", which allowed brief messages, rather than letters, to be sent at a reduced rate provided the envelope was left unsealed, for inspection. It was popular for greetings cards. Then Royal Mail recognised the faults. Mail sorters did not have time to look into envelopes to inspect the contents, and unsealed envelopes could trap other mail and cause mis-delivery. A new system would have all envelopes sealed and make the reduced rate available for items that were not time-sensitive and did not require the attention of postal staff working unsociable night hours at enhanced rates of pay.

But Royal Mail dressed this up as something different. "First and Second Class Post" they called it. They made it look something new, when in fact it was a modification of a process that had been running for years. Worse still, the change coincided with a general increase of postal rates. People saw this as Royal Mail saying, "Pay more or we'll deliberately delay your post." A basically good idea actually caused public uproar. It was an example of public relations at their worst.

Something similar seems to be emerging with the current hype about smart meters. Much dumming down in the media. Lots of figures about how many millions we will save - figures which, like most of you, I take with a pinch of salt. We are all intelligent enough to realise that the roll-out of smart meters will cost a lot of money up-front, and it will take many years to recover this cost with any savings resulting from their usage. Companies that continually pester those that have expressed no wish for a smart meter are harming public relations and their own cause.

I am now assisting an organisation researching power usages patterns in domestic premises. I do not have a smart meter yet, but I have a device installed which feeds back details of our electricity usage patterns to the organisation.

Let us compare with the days when off-peak storage heaters were introduced. A second meter was required to measure energy used by these at reduced tariffs. Later came Economy 7, and the facility to benefit from the lower overnight rate for electricity used for all purposes, e.g. delayed washer programmes.

The prospect for the future includes many more electric cars, and clearly most owners will want to charge these overnight. So usage patterns will change and the overnight trough will rise. Hence interested parties are looking less at an overnight trough and more at a daytime peak. For domestic users this peak is roughly between 4 and 8 pm. It is difficult to avoid activities like cooking in this period, but it is surprising how, with a little organisation, some things can be shifted outside this period, e.g. washing, ironing, vacuuming.

A smart meter is a single device capable of handling different rates at different times of day. It is remotely adjustable to tariff changes. It will not charge the user at a higher rate when the user is consuming most power, because tariffs are based on national peaks and troughs of demand. It will offer the user a useful guide to schedule activities so as to take advantage of the cheaper rates. This will help to even out national demand, which will benefit suppliers and this benefit will be passed to the consumers.

Of course, everyone has the right to opt out of a smart meter. Opters-out need not expect such good tariff terms.
Denis smart meters are not compulsory although the people pushing them have claimed they are.
So there is nothing to opt out of, just decline it.
The way the energy companies say it will be run, is different to how they will in reality run it.
As for using smart meters to get cheaper energy prices? Good luck with that one.

We prefer to turn our electrical switches off at the mains.
We ditched our Samsung TV 4 years ago and our cable tv package. We cancelled the TV license last year.
We don't watch any TV and our lives are better for it and we save money. :)
The evidence for deciding either way is contained throughout this thread !
I had my smart meter fitted last Thursday, it does highlight peak energy usage, but a few days in I'm not convinced.

Yes, I know putting my heating on is expensive, likewise the oven and microwave. God forbid I turn on my kettle or heating. The TV is a big no and if i turn the light on in two rooms at once.

What am I supposed to do to rectify this, sit in the dark with no TV and starve?
well modern TV's hardly use any electric .
I use a 44" 4K TV as a pc monitor that is on almost 24/7 and there are 2 PC's on 24/7
and the smart meter lights up 3 green bars and thats also including an other large TV in the dining room , fridge freezer on , sky boxes on , general daily stuff and it tells us we are using 11p an hour.

i am a HUGE fan of LED lighting , i use it on three aquariums , i have LED's in my bedroom and on the stairs and they add absolutely nothing to the smart meter usage what so ever.

but i am slowly changing all bulbs in the home to LED .
the livingroom ceiling light is 3 bulbs that said should be 40 watt max per bulb of the old halogen ..
but instead i bought 3 LED bulbs that have over 24 LED chips and they use 2 watts each bulb so a total of 6 watts compared to 120 watts of electric.

in regards to the kettle , thats obvious .
just put in enough water for the cuppas being made , dont fill the entire kettle for 1 cup . and modern kettles usually have a quick boil for 1 cup i know ours does.

the main thing with smart meters the unit does not save you money its self , but shows where you can reduce .
changing supplier also helps or going DD .
i know i changed suppliers from SSE to duel fuel British gas and instantly saved £30 a week but i cant change supplier now even if i wanted , because there are no other energy companies in the area
Always handy to have a choice ?

For low millions on those electronic catherine wheels known as prepayment meters , said choice does not exist.
we are on prepayment, but mum will NEVER go back to DD even though we had a letter from British gas just before Christmas with the usage , and following year predicted usage.
saying we are already on the cheapest rates for those on prey pay meters , but if we were to go to DD we would save a further £100 a year .
but nope mum will NOT change to DD . as she is worried off over stepping each month like used to before when she was on DD.

i even offered to get the gas and electric transferred into my name on DD as British gas spent a great deal of time talking to me about the idea of doing so when i applied for the warm home discount.
but nope mum will still not switch to DD, nor will she allow me to switch the account into my name.

and i have said before , but several years ago a survey was done in Scotland and for some reason pay as you go meters were more popular than DD for those over the age of 50. but there was no follow up as to why they liked the pre pay over DD despite DD offering larger savings.
James83 wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:33 pm
. . .
changing supplier also helps or going DD .
i know i changed suppliers from SSE to duel fuel British gas and instantly saved £30 a week but i cant change supplier now even if i wanted , because there are no other energy companies in the area
Hello, James, I don't quite understand your closing statement. You can choose pretty well any energy company wherever you live. Visit www.uswitch.com, enter your energy usage and see the choice! We live in the south but were with Scottish Power for a while.

I don't agree with the idea popularised in the media that one should frequently switch. USwitch reveals the the top choices vary by only a few pounds per year, and these figures constantly fluctuate. I would not switch to save just a few pounds a year.

What people need to realise is that the best tariffs offered are usually for a limited period. At the end of the period the tariff automatically changes to a "standard" (more expensive) tariff. What I do when the expiry period draws near is contact the sales team and negotiate a new tariff. They will usually match a competitor's tariff so there is no need to switch.

When I make a choice I look at not just the price but also the fuel mix. I favour mixes where renewable energy is high, followed by nuclear energy.
Denis ,
you can only switch to a company if they indeed provide energy to where you live ,
SSE has sources in Scotland and South of England .

i have one brother who argued with me to change to the company he used , he argued and argued and argued you can change to who ever you want , so to shut him up i went onto there website entered my post code and i was correct , they do not provide energy where i live , nor have they any intentions on provided energy for the foreseeable future.

i was with SSE for electric , and British gas for gas as thats how mum had it for over 15 yrs.
i finally won and got her duel power from 1 company changing from SSE to British gas.
that is the only other company that provides a service where i live

just done Usiwtch and it came back with 4 companies to pick from , when you go onto the individuals web site they inform they do not currently provide energy to the area. 1 company was coming back as cheaper than what we pay via british gas currently but only a saving off £10 a year and was not available on pay as you go smart meter but was Direct Debit only which mum refuses point blank to change over to.
what uswitch did show , is if we switched back to SSE we would in fact be £300 a year worse off .
so no savings what so ever .
James - I should be interested to know where you live. On some island detached from the National Grid perhaps? You are a very exceptional case if indeed you are so restricted in energy companies.

In mainland Britain the energy providers feed a national grid to which consumers are connected. The so-called energy companies are no more than billing organisations. Relatively few organisations actually produce energy in any substantial quantity.

You must be situated somewhere rather exceptional.

I am not trying to argue with you; I would be fascinated to know a bit more about your situation. This matters because this forum is taken to apply to people in general. If your situation is unusual it needs to be recognised, so that we do not try to apply it generally.