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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
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    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2018
     
    All the above are good points, but your reading of the meter, however accurate, does not fulfil the supplier's legal obligation to get an official reading at least every year or two, so there will be a continuing cost to you and the supplier of dealing with a periodic meter reading visit. That's one of the costs (labour) that smart meters will be taking out.

    The other issue is that all-day tariffs are likely to get very expensive, since we need to steer people away from using energy at times of high demand and/or low supply. ToU (Time of Use) tariffs less crude than E7 or E10 are only really going to be possible with some kind of smart metering.

    The issue about poor mobile coverage may be a clincher though, for now.

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2018
     
    I doubt that some form of future "Smart variable tariff" will significantly reduce prices gained from the savings of an annual read, after all the upfront meter costs have to be paid for. Which means the supply companies would have to "unfairly" load the all-day tariffs to which you refer, The regulator may have something to say about that, as He also may of any punitive, peak smart meter, domestic pricing. Watch the sh..t hit the fan with that approach. Think, the elderly, the sick, those on medicare.
    It seems to me there is little justification for the introduction of Smart continuous readings. The energy reduction thing is a ruse for some other, maybe sinister, reason. The vast majority will just go on using power as before. Others interested in monitoring, like Jeff B, no doubt yourself Damon, and me will do it independently, and in my own case arguably more accurately and individually tailored.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2018
     
    Owlman - I agree with your assertion that there is a more sinister agenda here. I did not want to say this in my reply to SSE but the introduction of continuous monitoring means only one thing - increased charges during peak times along the lines of peak and off-peak rail fares. As a retired person I could cope with this but working families would be hit the most as they would be forced to use most electricity during the peak times say between 6 and 9am and 5 to 8pm.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2018
     
    DamonHD - if I as a consumer cannot be trusted to supply an accurate meter reading over the phone when required, then what about me taking a photo of the meter and emailing it to the supplier?
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2018 edited
     
    Suppliers can accept all sorts of readings from customers, and are often happy with a photo, but AFAIK there remains a legal obligation for the supplier to take (eg via an agent) an authoritative reading themselves every year or two. Requirements for generation meters are I think stricter than for supply.

    That requirement has nothing to do with trusting the customer. Clearly if the customer is not trusted then a meter reader may be round more often.

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2018
     
    DamonHD - I've been away for a few days and just catching up on stuff. Presumably if most customers do go for a smart meter then electricity suppliers will not need so many meter reading personnel, hence can make some savings that way?

    I have had an email from SSE acknowledging my refusal to their offer of a smart meter and saying that they will not be troubling me again with further requests, which is very fair I thought. As you say, the lack of a decent mobile signal here is probably the clincher.
    • CommentAuthordb8000
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2018
     
    If they don’t trust the customer the operator will fit a pre-payment meter. Which if capable of remote disconnection, a smart meter would also work in that manner!
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2018
     
    I recently sent SSE a graph of my electricity usage over the 11 years we have been a customer with them. (They must think I am a bit of a geek). We have almost halved our consumption over this time from about 6500 kWh per annum to about 3500. It has levelled off now and I don't think there is much else we can do to reduce it any further. Hence they know what my usual usage is and would soon work out if I was pulling a flanker.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2018
     
    Latest problem they seem to have is that the link between the meter and the display unit isn't powerful enough for flats that have the meter in a communal cupboard some distance from the flat.

    Wonder why they didn't think to send the signal over the mains itself?
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2018
     
    I suggested to DECC (when asked to look at SMETS 1 & 2) that they consider doing exactly that, and especially allowing appliances to talk to the meter (CAD) that way, though there are some security issues with some cases that would need some careful constraint.

    Rgds

    Damon
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2018 edited
     
    Sorry Jeff B, I just re-read your posts. You're happy to accept savings from other people accepting smart meters, but not happy to even consider contributing to those savings? Or am I being unfair?

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2018
     
    What savings??
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2018
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: DamonHD</cite>Sorry Jeff B, I just re-read your posts. You're happy to accept savings from other people accepting smart meters, but not happy to even consider contributing to those savings? Or am I being unfair?

    Rgds

    Damon</blockquote>

    Sorry, only just read your reply. I don't understand what you mean - what savings am I apparently happy to accept and not happy to contribute to? The only savings I am making is by me using a lot less electricity than I used to.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2018
     
    Do smart meters play a part in that reduced energy use?
    • CommentAuthorbxman
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2018
     
    I think you will find that the concept of there being "Savings " from the SMART METER program .
    Is another falsehood conceived by our democratic elite .

    The introduction of millions of technically deficient meters has cost the nation a fortune .
    A cost born by the consumer that will never be recovered .

    Ultimately IMO we need a meter that will isolate non essential loads at times that the grid is under stress and avoid the need for additional generation to meet that temporary short term demand .
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2018
     
    Posted By: bxmanUltimately IMO we need a meter that will isolate non essential loads at times that the grid is under stress and avoid the need for additional generation to meet that temporary short term demand .

    When that technology arrives, there's no need for it to be based on the meter that I can see. There'll need to be separate control of the load in any case, unless you'd propose requiring that the house is rewired as well as the meter replaced. The control unit can be built-in to the load (so-called smart appliances) or an external plug-in unit. In either case it will be more natural for such units to communicate using wi-fi and the internet to the grid centre rather than by using some protocol via a smart meter.

    So once again, we don't need smart meters.
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2018
     
    Octopus energy* and OVO** make more use of smart meters. I've not tried it myself - but reading the blurb they* offer real time variable pricing, sometimes even negative - paying you to use it! So doing the "right thing" would be rewarded, and it will persuade many people to use power when it's readily available because it's cheaper, rather than unthinkingly turning on the switch.

    By the looks of it there's some sort of IFTTT data which allows you to automatically switch stuff on when the price is cheap, which is obviously when there's low demand. This seems a much better approach than running your everyday life around the electricity rate - who has the time for that? I'm not sure what we'd do with that at the moment - but one day we'll get an elec car (10 yr old mondeo+6 bikes at mo) & swap our gas boiler for a heat pump (post EWI), then it would fit very well as these heavy hitters could be safely turned ON according to pricing rules, as well as on-demand.

    As I say, we haven't yet got a smart meter - the whole smets 1 -> smets 2 thing seems to be a costly mistake that I don't want any part of, but we will get one, and this sort of tarif seems great for people with PV / electric cars / anything they can choose when to operate.

    https://octopus.energy/agile/

    *other energy companies must have this / will soon !
    **We're with OVO, who I'm aware have a smart meter elec car charging thing going on with the leaf.
  1.  
    Posted By: djh
    So once again, we don't need smart meters.


    If any energy co is going to offer discounts for using power at a particular time, doesn't there need to be 2 way communication?

    1) the energy co informs your appliances that energy will be cheaper an hour from now and they should switch on then - this I can see would have to be by internet and WiFi

    2) the energy co is informed how much energy you actually used *during the cheap hour* so they can bill you the correct amount. How could this be done robustly, except by smart meter?

    If either party distrusts that the correct discount is being applied, then that demand responsive usage ain't gonna happen AFAICS.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2018
     
    I have been advocating Wi-fi based control for smart energy use and no the meters don’t have to linked to this. All they need to be able to do is to record and charge for energy when it is used, a white meter did that.

    I am yet to see a smart meter domanything smart

    Jeff B is the only thing close to smart on this thread so far
  2.  
    A white (Economy 7) meter can't charge you less on sunny Sunday afternoons and more at dark weekday teatimes though?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2018 edited
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeen
    Posted By: djh
    So once again, we don't need smart meters.


    If any energy co is going to offer discounts for using power at a particular time, doesn't there need to be 2 way communication?

    Agreed.

    1) the energy co informs your appliances that energy will be cheaper an hour from now and they should switch on then - this I can see would have to be by internet and WiFi

    Well that's the contention - whether smart meters are required.

    2) the energy co is informed how much energy you actually used *during the cheap hour* so they can bill you the correct amount. How could this be done robustly, except by smart meter?

    True. OK I agree that we need meters that are able to issue accurate bills, and presumably for fairness reasons ought to tell us what we're being charged. Maybe if it had been sold to me as 'meters that are able to bill at different rates at different times for different reasons' I would understand what was attempting to be sold to me. But I would have great trouble understand ing why I should be expected to pay for it? Especially if I didn't choose to contract for it.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2018
     
    I suppose what I'm saying is that if somebody offered me a contract that reduced my bill if I was prepared to ration my electricity use at particular times, then I'd be prepared to consider it, just as I willingly entered into an E7 contract. But I didn't have to pay for my E7 meter and I wouldn't expect to have to pay for a more sophisticated time of use meter. And I would expect to have clearly demonstrable savings explained to me before I chose that option.

    The current smart meter rollout is none of those things, and still expects me to pay for it! And they're surprised I'm annoyed?

    Ditto Crossrail, HS2 etc etc
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2018
     
    Slightly off-topic I know but following on from djh's comment, I think HS2 will be the biggest, most expensive, white-elephant project of this century (assuming it will go ahead of course - it may not do, the way the projected costs are looking).

    I wrote to Chris Grayling about this over a year ago and got a 2 page reply from someone in his department. It extolled the virtues of the scheme and effectively ridiculed my claim that it would merely benefit a relatively small number of business men by cutting their journey time from London to Birmingham at a cost of about £50 billion (and rising)! Some of the other forecasts such as increased employment and increase in passenger numbers etc are fantasy stuff IMO.
  3.  
    What happens over here with load balancing (aka e7) is that the night meter (that is what it is called but comes on in the day as well) is switched on by a frequency signal sent over the mains and provides a cheaper tariff at times choosen by the provider with a guaranteed minimum daily hours. No wifi, no phone link and no usage logging. Any non critical item can be plugged in (although at one time only water heaters were allowed) It seems to me that such a system would be better than 'smart meters' which as far as I can see only save if the consumer pays an unreasonable amount of attention to power usage which could probably be done without a smart meter anyway.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2018
     
    I don't think our E7 meter is even that clever, since it doesn't even know about daylight savings and the energy supplier won't commit to exact times. I think it's probably just a clock built in to the meter. The meter does have an auxiliary output that is only made live when economy rate is active, and it has an LED that comes on, but I don't use either; I just use a simple timeclock.

    And @Jeff, yes I always thought it would be much better to spend the money on intra-northern rail links than blow it on the HS2 vanity project. We invented the hovercraft, we invented the linear motor, we pioneered tunneling etc etc. Why do we have trouble even pretending to keep up with the Jones now?
  4.  
    Posted By: Peter_in_Hungarythe night meter is switched on by a frequency signal sent over the mains and provides a cheaper tariff at times chosen by the provider


    Posted By: djhI don't think our E7 meter is even that clever

    But I think it would make more sense to implement the frequency switching system we have here to give the supplier more choice / control about load balancing than to roll out the flawed smart meters - or do they have a remote switching capability that can be block switched - and if so is it used?
  5.  
    So who exactly did pay for the E7 meters to be installed in the UK?

    If the deal is good enough, I'd be happy for my car charger* and tumble dryer* to be switched on and off by the energy co, but I also want to override this when I need, I'm not going to change my wiring, it has to work round my PV panel tariff*, and it all has to happen automatically as I haven't time to be attending to it myself**. I want to be able to replace my energy supplier or any appliance anytime I choose, and I want new innovations to come on the market without changing my meter again. I want a tariff that fits my lifestyle, so if I work mon-fri the car* should be charged in time those mornings, but if I am at home I want to use more power during the day.

    In exchange, I expect the energy co will want to know exactly how much energy I used at times of my choosing, and how much I used at times of their choosing, all in a fraud-resistant way. The energy co are not the same people as the grid operator in the UK so can't control grid frequency etc.

    Solutions please! I think most of this has to happen over the internet, for speed and flexibility, but the meter will still need as a minimum to report how much I used at each time of each day, securely.

    * this is hypothetical as I don't actually have any of these items yet
    ** And neither do the rest of my household

    Edit: each supplier could have a website where they broadcast their prices for each of the next few hours ahead. The car charger etc could poll the websites and decide when to switch on, depending on state of charge. Maybe the supplier would offer a better price for favoured customers, or if you use half the amps that hour, or if you agree to re-export some charge during a subsequent hour. The smart meter doesn't get involved in the internet stuff, it just reports the net consumption during each hour so the supplier can bill at the agreed rate.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2018
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenThe smart meter doesn't get involved in the internet stuff, it just reports the net consumption during each hour so the supplier can bill at the agreed rate.

    Yes, we don't need 'smart' meters, we just need meters capable of recording the time of consumption as well as the quantity of consumption. Since meters typically record in 1 Wh buckets, why not record the time each bucket was used? Then the supplier can postprocess that data into whatever tariff profile they want.
  6.  
    >> Yes, we don't need 'smart' meters, we just need meters capable of recording the time of consumption as well as the quantity of consumption...

    I thought thats all that a 'smart' meter is? It sends back a time series of consumption during each half hour bucket (or optionally less frequently) (so rather less resolution than 1Wh) and displays it on a wee screen, that's about all that they are capable of?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2018
     
    They make all kinds of claims like saving enough energy to power three cities, saving energy for individual customers, being free — all of which I cannot see as being true.
   
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