Yet another smart meter question

I'm being continually bombarded by letters and phone calls from both
my gas and electricity suppliers to install second generation smart
meters. I'm reluctant to get one for my electricity, as I envisage a
time when they may use it to throttle or even cut off the power for
short periods when it suits them. But I don't see how that could
happen with a smart gas meter; it could be dangerous if the supply
were cut and then restarted. Am I right, and would a smart gas meter
actually inconvenience me in any way (although I can't see any real
benefit either, as the existing meter is outdoors and gets read once a
year by the meter-maid, and once a year by me. I think having a smart
meter would obviate the need for one of those readings, but I
understand they have to check it annually anyway)?
Reply to
Chris Hogg
Had this email from SSE recently: As part of our customer care, we want you to be aware that your energy meter will need to be replaced by the end of 2024. Instead of waiting until then, take the opportunity today to upgrade to the new generation of SMETS2 meters.
We?re currently offering a smart meter installation at no extra cost from 17 February 2020.
I'll wait to 2025ish and see what happens then.
Reply to
Richard
In message , Richard writes
I had the same last week. As the latest type of meter is still smart when you to change supplier, I might go for it next time I get a letter.
Reply to
Ian Jackson
Not sure how they would "throttle" the supply on/off on the other hand is a known feature of smart meters.
Well considering the fuss they make if the mains fails, ie visiting every affected property to turn off the gas at the meter. Being reluctant to restore supply until they have done that, then going around all the properties again to turn the gas back on check pilot lights etc are lit. The using a remote cut off for a given meter is not very likely, though they could do an area...
If smart gas meters have a remote cut off it would be easy enough to arrange that to lock out and need an technician visit to reset. Is Tuesday next week alraight for you? B-)
Not quite the same drive for remote cut off for gas as it's going to be phased out for domestic use. Peak demand trimming of electricity on the other hand...
Something like that, a "safety check", though I suspect that it is really no more than a no (signs of a) meter bypass check.
Reply to
Dave Liquorice
The gas pipe network stores something like 3 days' gas supply, so there's no mileage in varying tariff by time of day. With electricity there is, and I'm sure it'll go that way at some point. There are several downsides to electric smart meters.
NT
Reply to
tabbypurr
Smart meters allow the supplier to vary the charge by time of day, so in the future we may pay more to use electricity at times of peak demand such as when we want to cook the dinner. The supply can be cut off remotely, though I have not heard of this happening. Presumably mistakes are possible. I dislike the idea of a supplier being able to work out when a property is unoccupied.
Reply to
Michael Chare
Freeze an OAP week?
It will be interesting to see how that pans out. There must come a time when the realities hit home that no amount of hand waving and virtue signalling about "green" energy will actually heat homes.
They can already do that to an extent, just by dropping the voltage at the sub-stations or trimming a few hundred volt off at the last legs of the HV network.
Reply to
John Rumm

We were at Mums the other day when a meter reader turned up and we gave him access to the meters.
He asked us if we knew about smart (electricity I'm assuming) meters and left us a card.
He did confirm that the meter would be the latest spec but I'm not sure what advantage one would be to her (at nearly 90), living on her own?
Cheers, T i m
Reply to
T i m
The requirement used to be to /try/ to check every 2 years but Ofgem abolished that in 2016.
Reply to
Robin
'Smart' gas meters need to communicate with a 'smart' electricity meter as there usually isn't any power near the gas meter to power the cellphone (or whatever) technology. So you would have to have a smart electricity meter to have a smart gas meter, and (perhaps) the same supplier.
Reply to
Max Demian
yes
pre-SMETS2 I think it does have to be the same supplier, with SMETS2 I think the suppliers can be different.
Reply to
Andy Burns
On Sat, 8 Feb 2020 14:17:14 +0000, Max Demian wrote:
Ah, that's interesting. As I don't particularly want a smart electricity meter, I think I can also manage without a smart gas meter.
Reply to
Chris Hogg
+1
I have yet to be convinced they are not just a money-making exercise for someone - possibly the power companies, although if there are penalties for not meeting an installation target perhaps they won't profit so much. Who is actually paying the £14billion their supply and installation will cost? That's a rhetorical question...we all know that it's us, the customer.
I know I will be forced to have one in the end, but the display unit will be put in a cupboard and never be used. I /know/ what energy I consume each quarter; I know when the heating is on, when I'm watching TV, when the washing machine is on, when the hob/oven are being used, when I turn lights on, etc, etc, etc. So perhaps I've forgotten I've left a wall wart on? Would I know that an extra 2W is being consumed when there's 5kW of heating/cooking being used at the same time?
Oh, they'll save on a meter reader? I haven't seen one for a couple of years at least, and I've been submitting my readings online when requested for over five years.
In my opinion, for the customer they are a solution looking for a problem. For the power companies, though, they are an ideal means of increasing revenue simply and quickly. So what's not to like (if you're a power company...)?
Reply to
Jeff Layman
They'll find some way of fudging the figures, even if it's only planting trees to "offset" the vastly increased amount of fossil gas being burnt. Or simply to "forget" about the CO2 produced by the buring, like they appear to have/be doing about a proposed new deep coal mine in West Cumbria that is supposed to be "broadly carbon neutral".
True enough, "demand control"? Done by tap changing at the primary substations (ie the 33 to 11 kV) ones. "substations" are embedded in the 11 kV distribution, stuck up poles etc and not adjustable without sending someone out. There are regulators in the 11 kV system but they are automatic to maintain the "correct" 11 kV dependant on local load. There is one at our end of the backup 11 kV feed to the local primary substation, approx 15 miles from the primary substation that feeds it. Normally lightly loaded but if needed as the backup I'd guesstimate it has to handle an additional 2 MW or so (2,000 households, 1 kW baseload per houshold). 2 MW is 180 A at 11 kV, 15 miles of line is going to have significant loss. Yes, there are people fed from this "backup" at this end post the regulator. In fact there is one place fed before the regulator. Wonder what happens to their voltage...
Reply to
Dave Liquorice
They could limit your supply if you didn't pay, I suppose. I can't see the justification for any other circumstance.
Just had a smart gas meter fitted - it has an internal battery that sends a readout every 30 minutes for 10 years - the life of the meter, apparently.
I had the meters fitted because I could, and I quite like the readout gadget that comes with it. The reason why all of this is being done isn't at all clear to me.
Cheers, Rob
Reply to
RJH
I have no gas, but after laying down the law that I would not consider one till the home unit is accessible to me as a blind person they told me the units would be in last summer. After some enquiries there seems to have been another long period of silence. The only way these dweebs will ever be made to buy these readily available units is if, like smart phones the voice is built in to ALL the units, no other game in town, as I feel even the few pence it costs for these better devices than the ordinary ones makes the bean counters shy away, in the meantime they have to send around somebody to read it every quarter, which probably costs them more than the smart meter with voice built in. I'm so glad I never became an accountant. Brian
Reply to
Brian Gaff (Sofa 2)
and not only the supplier and its staff, but anyone in a position to coerce one of their staff to pass on that information, and any subcontractor they may share that information with and so on. As with any occasion you allow someone to collect potentially sensitive information about you, you need to be confident that they now, and at all times in the future, have benign intent; that they are also competent to keep your data secure; and that there are no weaknesses in their supply chain.
Reply to
John Rumm
In message , RJH writes
Snip
Demand management by price is my guess. 11.30 am on a windless, overcast Sunday morning....
Perhaps your readout gadget can eventually be used to display real time supply cost !
Reply to
Tim Lamb
On Sat, 8 Feb 2020 16:10:58 +0000 (UTC), RJH wrote:
That seems to conflict with what MD was saying about the smart gas meter having to have a smart electricity meter to communicate with, unless in both cases the gas meter is battery powered with a low-power transmitter which talks to the electricity meter, which in turn is mains-powered and does the communicating.
Does your gas meter talk to an electricity meter, or does it send data back to the gas supplier directly, or even via a separate modem or router situated indoors, do you know? (In my previous property, there was an LPG tank in the garden, with a battery-operated radio link direct to the supplier to tell them when it needed topping up, so I can imagine something similar with an independent smart gas meter).
Reply to
Chris Hogg

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