Saved money by having a smart meter?

  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91

    I'm sorry Beki that just doesn't make sense. I meter per residential substation would provide the data the grid and suppliers would need, IF a more local figure for demand is needed. The National Grid ESO has successfully managed to nationally balance supply to demand for many decades, covering wattage, voltage and frequency without this data you claim to be so important.

    The thing that is of utmost importance to consumers is price. Its the classic way of the authorities to moderate demand - think fuel duty, tobacco and sugar taxes. The public will take action to reduce their energy requirements when prices are high - just wait and see in the next year.

    And I'm sure that green energy is only moderated if there is too much supply (eg on a windy night), otherwise it makes sense to produce as much as mumanly possible and to limit gas and coal generation instead - particularly the latter.
  • Andy65's Avatar
    Level 45
    <!-- BEGIN TEMPLATE: dbtech_usertag_mention -->@Andy65<!-- END TEMPLATE: dbtech_usertag_mention --> I think NG can guess at what points supply and demand would be, however there is minimal data collected on exactly how much is used per area of the country, from counties down to towns and streets. As you can imagine this data would vary massively house to house and county to county. The information collected by smart meters will give us a seriously accurate representation of the energy we need to produce to meet our demand.

    I agree with you about the need for further education of the amount of energy we as consumers use but I also think that smart meters are a huge part of that in the long run. There is a great website from the Energy Saving Trust full of hints and tips on how to save energy.

    I think the hints and tips from the Energy Saving Trust was written over 30 years ago @Beki_EONNext and I don't think the quoted savings are anywhere near accurate. When I was talking about education I had in mind schools teaching something as basic as how much a 3kw kettle costs to boil etc, but I think sadly our education system is becoming something of a lost cause.

    I dislike the Standing Charge (when the prices is anywhere near the price per kWh) and think that it is counter productive in efforts to save energy. I'm not having a go at Eon-next or any other provider as they're all doing what they're allowed to do. It's been a mild winter but over the last 12 months, I've paid more in gas standing charges than I have for actual gas used. As a consumer that tells me the pricing structure is wrong and I might as well use as much gas as I want. For electricity over the same period, my SC was 43% of my total bill so again there's little incentive to save energy.

    I sort of understand the logic of the IHD, that if you turn something off it goes down, but if people knew that replacing their 20 year old fridge freezer with a new one they could save over £50/year (x2 or x3 at current rates), wouldn't that be better? Better still explain exactly how and why they'd save that.
    The problem is of course is that GENERALLY people aren't interested, they just moan and pay it.

    A good example is petrol. I remember when petrol hit £1 per gallon and the furore it caused, similarly when the Chancellor would stick a penny on in the Budget.
    Ask a 100 drivers at any filling station how much one gallon of petrol is, if more than 5 know I would be staggered. My point is that people now don't care, they moan a little bit but just pay. Similarly if the Chancellor puts 2p on a litre in the Budget it doesn't even create a ripple.
    I suppose I'm back to education, my reasoning being that people knew what a gallon was but they don't know what a litre is it's relationship to a gallon. The same applies to gas and electric, people generally have no idea how much appliances use, what a kWh is, understand their bills etc, or even dare I say manage their household properly.

    Just fitting smart meters isn't the answer, it'll make a very small difference in my opinion.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91
    I bought a meter that interfaces between the mains supply and an appliance via the 3 pin plug. This allows me to measure the fridge, freezer, microwave etc one after the other.

    People have to be educated as you say, just giving them a smart meter (which adds to the power load!) alone isn't enough.
    Last edited by meldrewreborn; 15-03-22 at 13:17. Reason: spelling
  • theunknowntech's Avatar
    Level 79
    Actually, Smart Meters hardly add anything to the power consumption and the power they use is taken before the point of measurement and therefore adding 0p to your bills via meter readings. It's instead covered by standing charges as unmetered usage and comes under technical losses alongside other categories like actual lost energy during transmission and shrinkage from energy theft. Which sadly, is a thing that only a Smart Meter has any chance of detecting as soon as it happens.

    Any other monitors used will add to your bills though, so don't use lots of them.
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  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91

    I did use the term "power load" but I get the point.

    So the smart meter doesn't add to customers consumption, but the energy usage is billed to them through the standing charge.

    The in house display though comes from the consumers consumption and is paid for that way.

    And the electrical energy used by a smart gas meter is another contribution to the standing charge - which one gas or electric?
  • theunknowntech's Avatar
    Level 79
    It costs about £1 a year to run an IHD, which is probably less than a bunch of power monitors attached to devices.

    If you'd done the research, you'd know smart gas meters are battery powered using a 15 year battery. The cost of which is charged directly by the meter manufacturer - and this has been the case with gas meters for many years, particularly prepayment gas meters. It's impossible to power a gas meter from the mains for safety reasons, so the power used by the gas meter contributes nothing to the bills.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91
    <!-- BEGIN TEMPLATE: dbtech_usertag_mention -->@theunknowntech<!-- END TEMPLATE: dbtech_usertag_mention -->

    Thanks for that. My smoke alarm battery is supposed to last 10 years but they don't. Endless free replacements

    Clearly gas and electricity need to be properly separated but a boiler manages to combine the two safely enough. So its not impossible to have a smart meter powered by mains electricity, but probably not within the regulations.

    My monitor doesn't need to be in place permanently, just long enough to reliably measure the consumption. and i only need one of them. Once you know the consumption of an appliance you can decide what action needs to be taken and do it. No need to get fixated on the thing. It can then go away out of sight.
    Last edited by meldrewreborn; 15-03-22 at 18:47. Reason: added comment
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91
    And an accounting point, the Government's analysis of the benefits discounts future benefits more than it does current costs, on the basis that money today is worth more than money tomorrow (and that's true with inflation at (9%).

    But the smart meter programme is way behind schedule and the supposed benefits are being pushed further back down the road so will be worth much less than originally calculated. And I'll bet they didn't take into account the SMETS1 issue of dumb meters, nor did they factor in suppliers going bust causing mass migrations of customers either.
    Current Eon Next and EDF customer, ex Zog and Symbio. Don't think dual fuel saves money and don't like smart meters. Chronologically Gifted. If I offend let me know by private message, but I’ll continue to express my opinions nonetheless.
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91
    We had our smart meters fitted a couple of years ago and our IHD prominently displays our up-to-date combined-fuel daily usage as a default.

    A few weeks ago it would be reading around 3 or 4 pounds at the end of the day. We did take notice of it but nevertheless our energy consumption still went relatively unchecked.

    My wife liked to leave bedside lights on all evening when we were still downstairs because they ‘looked nice’. Table lamps on in the dining room and kitchen worktop lights on all evening too. Washing machine on more than once every day and dishwasher too. Tumble dryer for every washload almost. The list is endless.

    Since switching to a new tariff in August, we started seeing over £10 on the IHD at the end of the day and now we both can’t keep our eyes off it. At this rate we could be seeing around £30 a day on it in the depths of winter. Habits have changed in our house now and my wife has become the energy saving cheerleader.

    Having dropped our DD by 10% on-line we need to reduce our consumption by at least the same amount and I’m very confident we will achieve that now.

    No concrete evidence yet, but the smart meters and IHD, together with my new Bright App (thanks @Andy65), will definitely contribute to us saving considerable pounds from here on in.
    I'm an Eon Next dual fuel customer with no particular expertise but have some time on my hands that I am using to try and help out a bit.
  • Andy65's Avatar
    Level 45
    It is surprising @JoeSoap what you can turn off that isn't really essential. The good thing about apps such as Bright is that they show what the core need of the household is as well as usage patterns.