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Smart meters


I see from a recent flyer  received in the post that SSE are again pushing households to install so-called "Smart Meters" .  This in my own case after having told them on numerous occasions that i am not interested.

May I remind forum members who may be considering one that -

1. although it is a Government target to get one into every houshold, there is currently no obligation to have one,

2, contrary to the advertising, the meters are not free, having been already paid for by a surcharge on everyones bills,

3. the meters that SSE are currently installing are to SMETS1 standard  and are not compatible with other companies units, so if you have one and change to another provider, it becomes a non-smart meter, and the cost of installation of a new meter from the new provider is borne by the householder,

4. having a smart meter will in the future allow for  hourly variable tariffs which will be to the detriment of the householder,

5.  these devices use the mobile phone network to communicate usage data to the companies , but also link into a local area network (LAN) with other devices in your home, as well as a wide area network, (WAN) with devices in your neighbours premises.

so, basically, as ever, caveat  emptor.

Bob DeBilda:
What you say is true, however a smart meter would be very beneficial to most households allowing them to keep track of their energy use minute by minute.
Not sure if allowing for future hourly variable tariffs would necessarily be detrimental to consumers. It would work both ways?
It would be wise though to wait until the second generation of smart meters are available as these would allow you to switch providers without losing the smart features.
I think the WAN and LAN issues would also be alieviated in the SMETS2 units

Smart meters can allow companies to charge you for apparent power. Its coming. Its why I dont have a smart meter.

Yes, exactly, Al.   
Currently , if the provider wishes to disconnect the householder, for whatever reason, ( non-payment, disputes etc.), they have no right of entry to the premises to get to the meter and access would involve getting a court warrant.  The smart meters have the provision for remote disconnection at the whim of the provider.  Probably not an issue for most people, but in the future with  very few new power stations being built, and the possibility of interuptions to offshore gas supplies, it provides for unessential load-shedding  if necessary.

Bob DeBilda:
I thought I was the forum cynic!


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