[OT] Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ th at'll add BILLIONS to bills

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/30/smart_meters_costly_mistake_add_billions_to_energy_bills/
I did not realise the government was involved much other than pushing the idea to the suppliers.
I'm glad to see cyber threat was mentioned....
But this statement was a bit stupid:
"Abandon the whole programme and develop a smart phone app instead – look into developing a smart app which would convert a photo of their current mechanical meter into a meaningful number for the suppliers. This would cost tens of thousands of pounds rather than billions."
if you have to go to the meter you can read it yourself.
Personally I think smart water meters have the most merit because they are generally the hardest to get at.
All that neess to be done to the other is to ensure they have a blinking LED or magnet as they have done for years that the home owner can clip their own smart logger to if they want.
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Dunno why - my water gas and electricity all enter the building within a couple of feet of one another.
--
*Young at heart -- slightly older in other places

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 31/03/2015 15:46, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Because in a vast number of houses the water stopcock is in the back of the cupboard under the kitchen sink blocked off by a huge collection of cleaning materials.
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Mike Clarke

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Mike Clarke wrote:

I thought these days they usually fit the water meter/valve between the communication and supply pipes at the property boundary. (I know not all properties - especially flats - have a stop valve there but I think most houses do.)
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Robin
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On 31/03/2015 16:22, Robin wrote:

They used to but some utilities now prefer to install them in the house. United utilities switched over to installing indoor meters a few years ago, probably coinciding with the switch to being able to read them remotely.
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Mike Clarke

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On Tue, 31 Mar 2015 16:28:47 +0100, Mike Clarke wrote:

Interesting. Is the meter yours or theirs? If theirs presumably the demarcation point between their responsibilty and yours is the outlet side of the meter. So they have now taken on the responsibilty for all the pipework leading to the meter, instead of stopping at the property boundary?
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Dave.
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On 31/03/2015 20:33, Dave Liquorice wrote:

Theirs.

No, I think I'm still responsible for the supply pipe but if it does leak the lost water won't be metered.
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Mike Clarke

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Mike Clarke wrote:

    How are they powered?
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On 31/03/2015 21:36, Capitol wrote:
[snip re: water meters and remote reading]

I think it's a lithium battery. I assume they stay in low power standby mode and only transmit data when they get a wake up signal from the mobile meter reader. The entire meter is inside the house with no external sensor so I assume it uses radio for communication. I think they must pick up some readings as they drive past in the van - there's often been a United Utilities van in the area when readings are due with "This vehicle stops frequently" in large print on the back.
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Mike Clarke

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On 31/03/2015 16:22, Robin wrote:

Well, mine's inside the house - under the kitchen sink. But there's a wire going out through the wall to a circular black object which allows Severn Trent to read the meter without needing access to the house.
One or two neighbours have got meters at the property boundary - but only in cases there the inaccessibility of the internal stopcock would have made fitting an internal meter very difficult.
I'm quite happy to have mine inside. It means that if there's a leak in the external pipework, I don't get charged for the wasted water.
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Roger
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Roger Mills wrote:

We had a meter with a remote reading pad fitted by Thames in 2005 (with the meter under the floor by the front door). The pad stopped working after 3 years. Thames had given up on them so they replaced it with a meter in the pavement which seems to be the norm now for Thames.

That may well be a key difference. Much of Thames stock is Victorian/Edwardian property where they can't reckon on a nice little pipe under the kitchen sink which supplies the whole property. An awful lot have the communication pipes at the front, the kitchen at the back, and by now all sorts in between.
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Robin
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On 31/03/15 16:10, Mike Clarke wrote:

And the meter is in the bottom of a muddy hole in the pavement - or worse, collected with other meters under a fill sized iron manhole cover that is not exactly easy to lift for aquick look, assuming someone has not parked on it 'cos it's in a shared drive to a load of flats.
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Mike Clarke wrote:

My water meter is down an 'ole in the yard, under a pile of shite. They read it by radio somehow.
Bill
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wrote:

I'm sure you do, you just haven't thought about it.
It's because, for the meter to be outside, which is what the utility company prefer, water pipes have to be underground, gas/electricity supply don't.
tim
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On 31/03/2015 14:09, Tim Watts wrote:

I am with British Gas (Dual Fuel) and they offer 60 Nectar points every time I take a teading. (1440 points worth £12.20) per annum although as the readind window is only a few days, I usually loose one or two set per annum
I can keep track of consumption and as we use Sainsburys we get a contribution of £10 or so p.a. towards food bills.
Malcolm
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On 31/03/2015 17:52, Malcolm Race wrote:

But probably paying £100/£200 extra for your gas/electricity to get that £10.
For me BG was competitive until my contract ended at the end of February. They then offered me contracts, with early termination penalties, that would have resulted in me paying approx an extra 11%.
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Sainsburys are quite competitive at the moment.

Our local council is currently offering a FairerPower deal in collaboration with OVO and Sainsburys beat them by about £80 but they do have penalty clauses of about £30 per fuel IIRC
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bert

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I'm looking forward to smart meters as the blind can finally read their own meters via a computer. The problem seems to be that each company has gone for different ones.It is hardly rocket science in this day and age, y cannot they simply have a device that electronically uses wifi? Look how cheap such devices have become for weather stations etc? All the back connectivity, to allow suppliers to control them etc, has just made the whole thing over complex. Surely the saving of having to pay meter readers should pay for a the simple wifi devices?
No use having a smart phone app for me, I am blind and I don't have one, similar for older people of course. The powers that be seem to wrongly assume because so many smart phones are out there, that everyone has one. its the young uns that have them, sometimes one for every child, but you stand in a bus queue with people over the retirement age and see how many have them, normally one or two out of ten. Brian
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"Tim Watts" <tw snipped-for-privacy@dionic.net> wrote in message
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On 01/04/15 09:52, Brian Gaff wrote:

I suspect that WiFi from the meter would be the wrong option as it's very power hungry and gas/water meters would need to carry a 10 year lithium battery.
You'd be looking more at something like ZWave or Zigbee for the meter link - but no reason that there could not be an open standard API for customer reading of the live and perhaps recent historic values.
But you are right - why haven't the meter manufacturers come up with a standard offering across the board that offers (or at least allows firmware customisation, being site upgradable) for the suppliers.
I can't see the suppliers could need more than:
1) Instant current readings of the various tarrif bands;
2) Ability to update firmware or tarriff band parameters (this would be the hardest bit to agree on which is why I say make the units field reprogrammable then all future options are covered without trying to get it right at the beginning). Perhaps the easiest way would be to preload the meter with 24 "hourly" meter bands into which the kWh get accumulated. Pretty flexible.
3) Standard meter reader API. No reason this could not be the customer API. Needs some security - probably encrypted by meter number and another magic string that's made available to the customer.
Does not seem hugely hard to me.

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