Smart Meters – a good idea or a good but flawed ideal??
We’ve all seen the adverts on television for smart meters and how much money they will save us – but how much of it is true and how much is hype?
Well one of the issues that you’re not told is that there are Two generations of smart meter. And if you have a first-generation meter – you may not be able to switch suppliers. The idea of Smart maters making transfer is supplier easier is NOT the case.
In some cases, you will have to wait until you’ve been ‘Upgraded’ to a second generation SMETS II meter.
It’s even been said that ALL first generation (SMETS 1) meters will have to be changed.
So, lets think about how this will affect you or anyone who opts for a SMETS 1 meter.
Firstly, you’ll have to take a day off work whilst an engineer interrupts both your gas and electric supply.
Your meter, and after you’ve reset all of the electric clocks in the house, the fitted will work.
When you want to change supplier, and we are all recommended to look at switching regularly, the whole process may be interrupted until you get an appointment with another engineer etc etc.
If you haven’t changed supplier, you going to have to change you meter sooner or later.
Now I hate waste and hassle – so, let’s be proactive – ignore the SMETS1 meter, don’t take that first day off, don’t waste the engineers’ time and the waste of the meter – Oh. The fuel suppliers have already bought in stocks of SMETS1 meters !
And guess who’s going to play for all this waste ….
SMETS 1 meters that are in use:-
Some suppliers still tend to use ‘estimated’ bills. It has even been suggested that errors in some of the meter have led to wrong information being sent back to the suppliers.
A lady who lives in East Sussex, agreed to have a smart meter installed after being told it would remove the need to send monthly meter readings. She had been on an Economy 7 tariff, which takes separate readings in day and night, when energy demand and cost is lower.
However, when she received her first bill under the smart system it was for £114, much higher than her usual £94. Her meter had a fault and was sending her energy company an estimated reading, actively costing her money.
And horror stories have swamped social media of customers being billed tens of thousands of pounds incorrectly.
Another user tweeted SSE with a photo that said he had used £33,183 of gas in one day – 2,765,175 per cent over budget. Another customer, Usman Hussain, tweeted a picture of his meter saying he would be charged nearly £9,600 for his day’s electricity and gas.
Since then I’ve read that: A research team from the University of Twente in Enschende, Netherlands, and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences documented billing inaccuracies in a paper that reviewed the efficacy of so-called “smart” electric meters, ranging from -32 percent to +582 percent of the actual power consumed in a month’s period.