Are economy 7 times with a smart meter regular or do they vary at whim of supplier?

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  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 84
    I've read on another forum about the operative times for economy 7 when a smart meter has been installed being erratic rather than standardised. You might still get your 7 hours of off peak but at different times each night. This would make it more difficult to synchronise energy use with the off peak times - because you probably don't know the times in advance.

    And how do you set things like water heating or storage radiators to work if previously you have had them switched on according to a set time pattern. perhaps @theunknowntech can comment.

    I think we need a definitive statement from Eon Next on this topic. I am wondering if problems like this lie behind the reluctance of Eon next to allow more customers to have economy 7.

    Are smart meters that smart if economy 7 cause problems?
    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.
  • 3 Replies

  • Andy65's Avatar
    Level 41
    So far my E7 times have remained the same since I was thrust into the world of smart metering. I've never had storage heaters so I don't know how they're controlled but my assumption would be that their power is controlled through a separate time switch.

    One of the problems with forums is that it can be difficult to know if the perceived problem is the actual problem, there could be several causes of which some may not be down to the smart meter itself.

    As for the reason for eon-next not wanting to install them, I'm not sure that it's for reliability reasons. They do seem to have an in built reluctance to want to change anything.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 84

    Indeed, they were controlled by a separate time switch in the past, the function was to take a feed from the meter and only switch it to say the storage heaters when the reduced rate power was available. But I think that smart meters now have two power out terminals, one supplies power 24/7, while the other only during the off-peak period. If that is indeed so then there is no need for an additional time switch, assuming that all the stuff you want to only work on the off-peak supply is wired through a separate fuse box, which was the arrangement in properties that I've seen in the past.

    As you say it is not unknown for information supplied to a forum to turn out to be suspect, but that's why I want Eon Next to provide a clarifying statement.
  • theunknowntech's Avatar
    Level 76
    Sorry for the wait! I got kinda... Busy recently. I've been doubling down on my training with Blastoise and only just found the time to stop by.

    Economy 7 has never been a perfect science and it has never been a case of time switches energising and de-energising managed loads at precisely the times when your Night hours start and finish. It's always been mandated to have a bit of offset to help prevent the national grid from immediately imploding under the sudden surges and sags.

    Smart Meters are capable of managing this as well, but unlike older E7 meters, they're usually programmed with a randomised offset on a per meter basis. It's usually somewhere within maybe 1 minute to 30 minutes and is again designed to help prevent surges and sags from blowing up the grid. ALL Smart Meters have time switch functionality built-in by default, but only Five Terminal or Six Terminal Smart Meters are actually capable of doing load switching by themselves. The ideal position is to have your Smart Meter flip the loads on and off automatically as part of its own time switch functionality, since this more or less guarantees that such loads only ever run during the cheap hours. If you choose to use some other mechanism instead, you will have to accept the risk of potentially not being able to perfectly sync up your own timers with those in the meter.

    The DNO also sets rules about it but ultimately its down to the supplier to configure it all.
    Just another guy passing by... The unknown tech way...
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