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Darkman

Any Sign Of Smart Metering In The Uk?

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I just heard from my former employer that they still don't have the go ahead to start installing smart meters. To my knowledge British Gas started a couple of years ago? I'm a little surprised that not all the major companies are cracking on with it already. Isn't the Govt. deadline in 2020?

I'm beginning to wonder whether this deadline is a definite turkey. Why else would large companies wait? Maybe they suspect the whole project will be called off, like they apparently did in France? With the Great Recession™ and the meters being expensive to consumers perhaps the writing is on the wall.

Any industry insiders or people with smart meters care to comment?

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We have a water meter its pay as you use, im happy with it, large households pay more and rightly so, heard they were going to try and re socialise water bills as "hard working families" moan that its unfair they have to pay for the amount they use, somebody else should pay init

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Smart meters benefit nobody but the power companies! They can read it remotely! And cut you off too! Although I have a couple of jumper leads for when I want to run a cannabis farm in my loft! :blink:

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Look I know HPC is negative about absolutely everything especially when it is connected to big business but what can you possibly have against smart meters!?!?

You pay the same amount for the same gas/electricity regardless, but with one you have to read it yourself and someone comes out to check every now and again, the other gives you and the provider a frequent update of usage and allows you to keep track of what you've spent, which days you have used more/less, predicts how much you'll spend etc.

How is that not a good idea? What's your conspiracy theory on the downside?

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I dunno, but I had a client back in the early 1980s (Sangamo) and they were making and selling smart meters back then for UK homes.. We may already have them.

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I keep getting e mails about British gas hive.....its £200 with free installation and a free smart phone control app...

Not much point for me as my standing charge costs more than the gas I use , so the only real benefit is theirs ...... I'll have it when it becomes all free.

I'm already online for gas and electric and only pay for actual usage ...I use British gas dual fuel android app to inform them of my readings..…..its pretty good.

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Look I know HPC is negative about absolutely everything especially when it is connected to big business but what can you possibly have against smart meters!?!?

You pay the same amount for the same gas/electricity regardless, but with one you have to read it yourself and someone comes out to check every now and again, the other gives you and the provider a frequent update of usage and allows you to keep track of what you've spent, which days you have used more/less, predicts how much you'll spend etc.

How is that not a good idea? What's your conspiracy theory on the downside?

Because there's a very simple principle here - no-one has any right to know anything you're doing beyond what they absolutely need to do their job. In the case of electricity all they need is a total every now and then. I can't imagine any plausible justification for knowing what an individual household is using at any particular time. What any group of houses is using may well be useful for sorting out grid loading and so on, but that's the sort of usage that they can probably measure easily enough at the local substation, and doing that would be much less work (and I assume it's already done and has been for years).

In other words mind your own ****ing business. No-one should ever have to defend privacy of any sort and shouldn't have to justify why they don't like anything that's nosying in on it. Even if it information is of use to the end user (can't really see how it could be to be honest, since electricity gets used when it's needed anyway) there's no justification whatsoever in sending real-time information back to the provider.

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Look I know HPC is negative about absolutely everything especially when it is connected to big business but what can you possibly have against smart meters!?!?

You pay the same amount for the same gas/electricity regardless, but with one you have to read it yourself and someone comes out to check every now and again, the other gives you and the provider a frequent update of usage and allows you to keep track of what you've spent, which days you have used more/less, predicts how much you'll spend etc.

How is that not a good idea? What's your conspiracy theory on the downside?

I'm not quite sure myself. Smart Meters are basically 'Economy 7 Mk II'.

The theory is that smart-meter-enabled devices could, in the future, turn themselves on and off according to the price of electricity. For things like fridges and freezers, which use something like 1/3 of all domestic electricity but are capable of time-shifting their demand pretty easily this would work well. And then there are things like dishwashers, washing machines, tumble driers..

We already do this in a crude way to maximize use of the solar panels.

The theory is that by tuning demand to match supply, we make it easier and cheaper to integrate intermittent sources (i.e. Wind/Solar), and can reduce peaks in demand, so we don't need as much backup. End result would be either cheaper electricity or bigger bonuses for electric company bosses..

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I'm not quite sure myself. Smart Meters are basically 'Economy 7 Mk II'.

The theory is that smart-meter-enabled devices could, in the future, turn themselves on and off according to the price of electricity. For things like fridges and freezers, which use something like 1/3 of all domestic electricity but are capable of time-shifting their demand pretty easily this would work well. And then there are things like dishwashers, washing machines, tumble driers..

We already do this in a crude way to maximize use of the solar panels.

The theory is that by tuning demand to match supply, we make it easier and cheaper to integrate intermittent sources (i.e. Wind/Solar), and can reduce peaks in demand, so we don't need as much backup. End result would be either cheaper electricity or bigger bonuses for electric company bosses..

so its not a smart METER, its a smart CONTROLLER.

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The theory is that smart-meter-enabled devices could, in the future, turn themselves on and off according to the price of electricity. For things like fridges and freezers, which use something like 1/3 of all domestic electricity but are capable of time-shifting their demand pretty easily this would work well. And then there are things like dishwashers, washing machines, tumble driers..

I already control when the washing machine and tumble dryer go on (and they're too noisy to have on at night). I want my fridge and freezer to come on when the temperature in them gets too high, not when the clock says.

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I already control when the washing machine and tumble dryer go on (and they're too noisy to have on at night). I want my fridge and freezer to come on when the temperature in them gets too high, not when the clock says.

The point is that with this kind of real-time pricing information, you could set the washing machine to 'Finish by 5pm' (as an example), so it would find the cheapest price under this constraint.

Your freezer could easily cool itself down to -25 overnight in which case it would probably not need to come on during the day - obviously there would be a setting for if it got too warm.

More generally, you'd have a choice between immediate mode and cheap mode. Not sure why this is such a big problem.

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The point is that with this kind of real-time pricing information, you could set the washing machine to 'Finish by 5pm' (as an example), so it would find the cheapest price under this constraint.

Your freezer could easily cool itself down to -25 overnight in which case it would probably not need to come on during the day - obviously there would be a setting for if it got too warm.

More generally, you'd have a choice between immediate mode and cheap mode. Not sure why this is such a big problem.

Erm do you think big companies do anything that actually benefits consumers?

They only have their own interests at heart.

Their profits will at least stay the same and are bound to increase.

What if cooking your tea at peak time was going to cost you ten times more than waiting four hours... ?

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The point is that with this kind of real-time pricing information, you could set the washing machine to 'Finish by 5pm' (as an example), so it would find the cheapest price under this constraint.

Your freezer could easily cool itself down to -25 overnight in which case it would probably not need to come on during the day - obviously there would be a setting for if it got too warm.

You could have devices with timers built in if you want to do that.

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You could have devices with timers built in if you want to do that.

But without real-time pricing information that's not a great deal of use. We can use the timers on the dishwasher and washing machine to make them come on in the middle of the day for solar generation, but that only works if you have solar panels.

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But without real-time pricing information that's not a great deal of use. We can use the timers on the dishwasher and washing machine to make them come on in the middle of the day for solar generation, but that only works if you have solar panels.

So if you've got solar panels you'd set the timer for the middle of the day.

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But without real-time pricing information that's not a great deal of use. We can use the timers on the dishwasher and washing machine to make them come on in the middle of the day for solar generation, but that only works if you have solar panels.

Exactly. It is wasteful and expensive to guarantee provision of electricity at a constant price when the cost of generating it varies with circumstances. As the technology becomes available, it makes sense to price electricity according to the cost of its provision.

I don't see any need to enforce the use of smart meters though. Those who want to could have them installed and take advantage of lower prices at certain times of day; those who don't can continue paying the (on average) higher constant price.

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Erm do you think big companies do anything that actually benefits consumers?

They only have their own interests at heart.

Their profits will at least stay the same and are bound to increase.

What if cooking your tea at peak time was going to cost you ten times more than waiting four hours... ?

That is how all business works.

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That is how all business works.

With an assumption that others will be around so that anything that's only self-serving won't get the custom. I've always been sceptical about that working terribly well (more a case of no-one having come up with any alternatives that don't seem even worse), and it certainly doesn't work at all if an entire industry manages to get something in their self-interest mandated.

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With an assumption that others will be around so that anything that's only self-serving won't get the custom. I've always been sceptical about that working terribly well (more a case of no-one having come up with any alternatives that don't seem even worse), and it certainly doesn't work at all if an entire industry manages to get something in their self-interest mandated.

I wouldn't like to see smart meters mandated either, but I'd certainly be interested if any of the power companies began to offer the technology at a reasonable price.

Edit: Actually, the fewer people that take smart meters up, the better as far as those using them are concerned, since the price differentials between peak/off-peak and thus the potential for savings will be greater. So please continue with your traditional meter! :P

Edit 2: By "smart meter", I mean a device that allows real-time pricing of electricity, not the current devices that just show you how much you're using and automatically transmit readings.

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Exactly. It is wasteful and expensive to guarantee provision of electricity at a constant price when the cost of generating it varies with circumstances. As the technology becomes available, it makes sense to price electricity according to the cost of its provision.

I don't see any need to enforce the use of smart meters though. Those who want to could have them installed and take advantage of lower prices at certain times of day; those who don't can continue paying the (on average) higher constant price.

Yes, it shouldn't need to be enforced, it would just work out cheaper. You'd need to be able to override it anyway.

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Edit 2: By "smart meter", I mean a device that allows real-time pricing of electricity, not the current devices that just show you how much you're using and automatically transmit readings.

If it wasn't for the "transmit readings" part I'd be fine with the idea but you won't get offered (or forced) one without the other.

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I wouldn't like to see smart meters mandated either, but I'd certainly be interested if any of the power companies began to offer the technology at a reasonable price.

Edit: Actually, the fewer people that take smart meters up, the better as far as those using them are concerned, since the price differentials between peak/off-peak and thus the potential for savings will be greater. So please continue with your traditional meter! :P

Edit 2: By "smart meter", I mean a device that allows real-time pricing of electricity, not the current devices that just show you how much you're using and automatically transmit readings.

Are there really that many devices we use that can take advantage?

Most electrical devices are "on demand"...you watch TV when you watch it...your fridge needs to stay cool all day...we have a timer on the dishwasher so do that at night...imagine a smart meter that said the washing machine couldnt work during the day.with 3 females in my house we'd need 2 washing machines.

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Because there's a very simple principle here - no-one has any right to know anything you're doing beyond what they absolutely need to do their job. In the case of electricity all they need is a total every now and then. I can't imagine any plausible justification for knowing what an individual household is using at any particular time. What any group of houses is using may well be useful for sorting out grid loading and so on, but that's the sort of usage that they can probably measure easily enough at the local substation, and doing that would be much less work (and I assume it's already done and has been for years).

In other words mind your own ****ing business. No-one should ever have to defend privacy of any sort and shouldn't have to justify why they don't like anything that's nosying in on it. Even if it information is of use to the end user (can't really see how it could be to be honest, since electricity gets used when it's needed anyway) there's no justification whatsoever in sending real-time information back to the provider.

I'm pretty sure my smart meter only transmits usage data every now and again, it's not a real-time feed to my provider. And the bit with the screen on which receives the info from the actual meters and communicates it to me/the provider can be switched off. Plus even a real time feed of how much energy I'm using wouldn't tell anyone what I'm doing it would just confirm how much energy I'm using.

In short, I think your privacy point isn't really valid.

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