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Discussion > Smart Meters

It's all about control. The progressive term 'smart', used so blithely, is very apt. The business end of the whip does smart. It snaps, it crackles, it pops.

May 4, 2017 at 3:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Yeah, g, I've long maintained that we need to worry when our energy footprint is measured, metered, and taxed, not just our carbon footprint.

May 4, 2017 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Stew, I had not noticed the date on the original article but his more recent one from January of last year (UK Parliament calls for Evidence on Smart Metering Programme) makes it clear that the slow-motion train wreck is still heading our way.

May 4, 2017 at 11:15 AM | Registered Commentermikeh

June 2017 What's new
- Queens Speech seemed to include bill to delay SM implimenttation until 2025*
but that was a COULD not DID
actually the new bill would give the gov the right to move the deadline upto 5 years

- BBC Watchdog did a segment exposing serious new danger.
Britishgas smartmeter implementation includes gas meters, short of installation technicians means things are slipping
eg the meter washer was left off and the family got home to find a flat filled with gas
...Happened more than once.

- Smets2 meters are still not ready some point all the X million Smets1 need to be ripped out and replaced.

Jun 30, 2017 at 10:31 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@colinsmith pointed us to the Nick Hunn 2016 powerpoint
"I found this in refreshing my memory that they do not deliver the savings predicted/projected.
i.e. they're yet another white elephant being expensively sacrificed on the altar of the Church of anti-CO2."

* Hunn paraphrases the EU 2020 Directive
as does the BBC "The EU has said that all its members must provide smart meters by 2020 as long as there is a positive economic case to do so." - BBC background story : March
- E&T Background May says "at least 80 per cent of households by 2020 wherever it is cost-effective to do so.
Compared with equivalent projects elsewhere in Europe, the cost of the British programme appears high."

\\Martyn Allen from charity Electrical Safety First, which sits on the national smart meter secretariat, declares it “inevitable” that the 2020 deadline would not be met, as supply companies require “a whole army” of installers to complete the herculean task.//

"The German parliament has mandated installation of smart meters in a modest 23 per cent of homes."
Why is the UK targetting 100% by 2020 then ?

Jun 30, 2017 at 10:44 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I like the Nick Hunn report
BUT I'm suspicious as to him not mentioning any positives at all

#1 Like if you put up a brand new estate block is it not good to implement remote meter reading tech ?

#2 Why's Hunn not also campaign against renewables like solar/wind ?

Jun 30, 2017 at 10:55 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Why do UK politicians badly implement engineering stuff.
It's like you leave the kids to do something and then come back and they screwed it up.

#1 Renewables ..super idiotic implementations
I'd always imagined that polits would help gas power companies implement wind/solar so that those corps kept feeding out the same power and saved money on the gas.
- But no the gov implemented subsidies and market priorities for SEPARATE wind/solar corps
Result anyone running a gas power plant loses market share but still has the same fixed costs.... so then himself asks for subsidies.

#2 Smart Meters
Governments overall intention is to REDUCE overall electric consumption
So they give the job to electric sales corps whose best way to profits is to INCREASE overall electric consumption

Also Polits don't seem to have thought of SMART ways
eg1 Focus on easiest to install first new build then flats , then uban, and just forget about everyone in villages
eg 2 Hookup so that guy who does the smart meter does 2 jobs
eg tie it in to fibre installation so the guy install your home fibre and does smart meter
or the guy who comes to service your boiler gets £20 to install your smartmeter at the same time.

PS Why do smart meters use cellphone or radio tech
What about Broadband over power lines tech ? to send the info instead to the substation.
Like the substations are already wired into the grid info system so a home only has to get its info as far as the substation.

Jun 30, 2017 at 11:25 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Why do UK politicians badly implement engineering stuff?

There was a little general knowledge test sent out to MPs some years ago (possibly 20 years...) Multiple choice - the "temperature of boiling water" was one question that defeated more than 50% if I recall correctly.

One thing that drives competence at a task is the possible uncomfortable consequences of getting it very, very wrong - from what I can see the political class and their supporting administrators have cleverly removed the sticks and are simply gorging on the carrots.

There are very, very few engineers in politics and very few in the supporting cadres of senior civil servants - which must in large part explain the stupendous credulity that both groups regularly display regarding that sort of stuff. They don't know how things work - or what they cost - or how long it'll take to do (roughly) - the ignorance is balanced by their hubris ... which overbalances into huge projects where few know how the project actually was conceived and what the actual desired outcome is...

Jun 30, 2017 at 11:38 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Jun 30, 2017 at 11:38 PM | tomo

The easiest thing for the Politicians and Political classes, is simply to think and vote the way they are told.

Jun 30, 2017 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Nick Hunn's website: (of course!)
You could ask him his views on other subjects.
My thought, having skimmed his "about" page, is he's an electronics engineer who has come into smart meters peripherally from his wireless comms background and has that terminal curiosity that afflicts many engineers (me too!).
On your comment on unthreaded about how long he has been questioning smart meters:
Isn't that the way with many issues. Someone happens to notice and goes, hang on a minute, that's not right while the rest of the world has an enormous inertia that takes a lot to divert.
Sounds familiar? I'm looking at you global warming/climate change/climate chaos.

Jul 1, 2017 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered Commentercolin smith

OK a couple of extra Qns for BEIS civil servants.
#1 Good practice is to a regional pilot study first.why not with SM ?
#2 Where's the targeting ? It's no use bothering with granny flats.
Medium businesses should be first target.
I'd recruit energy waste inspectors who'd earn commission based on how much energy they saved a business ..theyd root out the biggest waste.

#3 Why not build the SM into the distribution board ?
that way it would display electric use in each ring main and lighting circuit etc .

Jul 1, 2017 at 3:20 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Some stuff from unthreaded etc ..

Investing in Smart Meters - h/t Bish on Twitter An "investment opportunity" that seems to indicate each one costs ca. £420 but doesn't indicate if they're installing "dumb" smart meters ...

A youtube video detailing the contortions required for a user to configure / make sense of a smart gas meter

Jul 15, 2017 at 5:58 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Apparently they are still installing the obsolete ones that cannot communicate with a new provider if you switch supply in the knowledge that they will have to replace them when the new model is released. There are still doing TV ads all the time which must be expensive. Never mind, it's only tax payers' money.

Jul 16, 2017 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Right where are we at ?
#1 DECC was absorded into BEIS
#2 DECC/BEIS is staffed by a bunch of brainwashed Green lunatics who have no idea about the real world
#3 So they set a completely unrealistic schedule for Smartmeter rollout and target date of 100% by 2020
#4 Cos of security concerns, they decided to build their own cell phone network in a standard called SMETS2
meanwhile they kept on installing incompatible SMETS1
#5 SMETS1 meters have massive problems in that when you transfer leccy suppliers
they'll all need replacing with SMETS2
#6 After years of delay SMETS2 is out, but there have been minimal installations
#7 Gov outfit SmartEnergyGB have spent millions on radio/TV ads with Leccy & Gaz
they mislead cos they keep saying the meter is FREE, but the more people accept meters the more costs leccy corps have and they have to pass those costs into their billing TODAY. The theory is than in fure year they will employ less meter readers so that saving should be passed on.
#8 Stubborn DECC/BEIS are paranoid about ever correcting bad green policiy so they refuse to cancel the 2020 dealine imposed on the corps
#9 Smart meters are supposed to be optional, but under threat of fines for failing to meet targets leccy corps have resorted to dirty tricks bombarding customers with smart meter installation appointment letters which do not have an option box for refusing smart meter installation
#10 No one should accept a SMETS1 meter, cos it will need replacing anyway
#11 The idea is that the smartmeter will reveal to you some unknown secret about your leccy use and magically save you ££s
The only case I have heard , is a woman who filled her kitched with halogen lights, and found that was a large part of her bill, so when she wswitched them off and switched to LED she did save money.
Everyone elsealready knew to worry about large energy devices like Freezers and knew not to put it next to the Aga and move it into the garage in winter etc.
#12 The only way that ££s might be affeected is that when they impose direct control on your appliances and punishment tariffs
So that on peak morning you'd be paying 5 times more for washing machine leccy
#13 The leccy corps don't have enough smart meter installers they've let standards drop
progs like Watchdog have exposed massive massive dangers, like the gas meter has been left with a big leak filling flat with gas ..I think some flats exploded
500 serious incidents

Right to yesterday : Green depts are always headed by air-heads like Davey/Amber and now Claire Perry, she had a rough interview on Watchdog last night
claimed 'It's only 500 serious incidents over 5 million installation last year'
\\ @BBCWatchdog
Later in the show @claireperrymp from @beisgovuk is joining us live to talk about #smartmeters.//

First another issue
Perry was on at 20:35 pushing that smart meters save you money
StephMcGovern "Oh we're no disputing that they save money "
Whoa.. she should not have said that
Who do you think that pays for the extra cost of the meter + installation Steph ?

May 3, 2018 at 12:23 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


Back to dangers
Perry claimed 'It's only 500 serious incidents over 5 million installation last year'
Everyone else that EVERY ONE of them should not have happened and was a death risk

\\ So Claire, on #watchdog #bbc1 you were asked 3 times why you could not extend the deadline for fitting energy meters. Like a true politician you failed to answer the direct question. Why????//

Then Perry came up wih a BRAND NEW angle that Smart Meters actually make us safety
Cos there are dangerous houses out there and the smart meter installation "includes a free safety check"

Hundred tweets against Perry about the show, none supporting her
- only 2 or 3 saying they are not a money say
- Quite a few EMF scaremongerers
- Many complained about Perry's magic explanation
You see there have been 5 million SM installations this year and only 400 SERIOUS safety incidents AND AND you get a free safety check with every installation "

- most complained they never had this FREE safety check
I can't imagine what it is, other that the guy checks your meter cables aren't falling out
I don't think they'll even go in your fuse box /RCBs
I'm inclined to agree with this guy
\\ Absolute rubbish there is no safety check and the smart meter installer is not qualified to carry out electrical safety checks,
Some have enough problems installing the meter correctly //

Yep sounds like #smartmeters BS from Perry
Note the Twitter search results
BEFORE today no one had EVER mentioned : Smartmeter/s "Safety check'
NOT what you'd expect if "Free safety checks" were routine

What about Google
Almost no mentions except 2 days ago April 30 in the Mirror there was a massive Newsvert for Smart meters
and the guy from SmartEnergy GB said

Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Smart Energy GB – the campaign responsible for smart meter rollout – said a slow carbon monoxide leak was discovered during the installation of his own meter * .

He said: “The UK has never had a comprehensive safety check-up, which is what these installations are doing.”

* CO error that would be from the flue of the boiler/fire being blocked
I'm guessing that as a final check the smart meter guy pulled out a gas monitor, to check he hadn't left a leak and it flashed.
If the boiler/fire had been remote from the meter most smart meter installers would not have spotted it.

Most Mirror comments are negative, but one said
\\ I work as installer for smart (and dumb) meters for a large supplier, over the course of a couple of years I have found and rectified countless dangerous situations left by shoddy electricians and cowboy gas engineers. //

I can believe him, but he tells us that he spotted dangers whether he was installing the old style meters or Smart, so it's not a new thing.

I see no evidence that a whole system gas/leccy safety check is done in a smart meter installation.

May 3, 2018 at 12:45 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

new Smartmeter TV ad narrated by Maxine Peake Youtube
“Malcolm got a smart meter and saved enough energy to power his mobility scooter 1,112 miles every year
Save your energy for the open road
Get a SmartMeter”
..there was no sarc logo
That’s 3 miles/day … I bet accounting for hills that’s almost an hours travelling
So say you had a 3KW motor and 50% wastage, that’s 6KWh

May 24, 2018 at 11:05 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

What do you reckon
How many KWh do you need from the socket to battery charge enough to drive a mobility scooter 3 miles in normal conditions ?
Could you do it on only 1KWh ?

That's what SmartEnergyGB are now telling me

May 24, 2018 at 11:08 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I've had a reply from SmartEnergyGB about their claims
They referred me to

Using an average saving of 2 per cent and the average household consumption (17,690 kWh) the average saving per household equates to 354 kWh.

Calculation: 17,690 / 100 x 2 = 354kWh ..... (they have a typo on their page)

In July 2017, the government department for Business, Energy & Industrial strategy (BEIS) published figures showing that the average household uses on average 17,690kWh annually.
Average gas consumption per Household = 13,801 kWh
Average electricity consumption per Household = 3,889 kWh
TOTAL average energy consumption per Household = 17,690

#1 The mobility scooter guy is a pensioner, and therefore comes from a smaller household than average
#2 So is 354kWh from the SOCKET enough to drive 1,112miles ?
ie can you drive 3 miles on 1KWh of charge ?
Remember you will have wastage in charge/discharge process as well as motor energy and beeps and lights etc.

May 24, 2018 at 11:13 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Yeh doesn't really help me except that claims of 50Km range sets a ball park
I'm seeing stuff like on the Saga website it claims it costs only 16p to do an overnight charge.

May 25, 2018 at 10:30 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

From SmartEnergyGB calculation's above
"Average gas consumption per Household = 13,801 kWh"
So they are saying that a household gets a 2% av saving from having a smart meter
and that the bulk of that saving comes from gas savings.
How do smart meters help me save gas ?
You already switch off the gas/heating when you don't use it.

May 25, 2018 at 12:09 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


The range of a mobility scooter will depend on several factors that interact - the primary one is how it's driven - using the throttle as a switch with lots of stopping and starting would I guess halve that quoted range, Temperature plays a part as does the age (and construction ) of the batteries I wouldn't rely on that range figure - Tesla tech hasn't impacted the mobility scooter business :-)

Usage profiles for scooters are likely 10km or less between charges.

The primary benefits of smart meters are temporal tariff manipulation and the extinction of the job title "meter reader".

May 25, 2018 at 1:35 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Yes but I cant to find the mileage
Miles per KWh

May 26, 2018 at 12:51 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Oh got a smart meter , that I just use as a clock
Hunter Davies article isn't good PR for them

May 27, 2018 at 1:35 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

If you search on replacement batteries for mobility scooters the largest capacity appears to be about 12V 125Ah* which to me equates as about 1.5 KWh. Range appears to be calculated on the flat in windless conditions with the "driver" walking beside the scooter. I doubt that battery and motor technology improved by an order magnitude since the Sinclair C5 and mobility scooters are not as aerodynamic as a C5 so perhaps working from there might give you a good enough answer.

As the number is proving hard to find you can assume it is as poor as the C5.

*Unlikely to be fitted to anything other than top of the range GT models.

May 27, 2018 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterUibhist a Tuath