Energy Smart meters to be fitted in every home

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
My Ombudsman case went in last week, not that I expect to hear anything until well into the New Year but I have discovered how the utility firm can manipulate the data and payments with the bloody things when I was putting last bits of evidence together.
I logged into the account to take a few screen shots of usage and costs and discovered that while the gas usage remained the same, the costs suddenly plummeted to a few pence, down from the £1.50 a day I was paying. Happily the readings were for 7 days so I could show what they did have me paying. This was sent off and today I log in again to see if I need to add credit to keep the place warmed through.
Interestingly Monday I didn't use any gas and yesterday I used double the typical amount of gas (well it was Xmas after all) while the electricity use remains constant. Quite an achievement for an empty property that just has a boiler kicking in for 30 mins a day!
Now call me cynical, but the cheap tariff didn't kick in until I emailed them to complain about being overcharged, the sudden fluctuation in gas use doesn't leave them out of pocket but potentially shows that the meter is at fault and needs swapping and 'interrogating'.
Of course you could look at this as manipulation of the data from their end so that the evidence they present in defence of my complaint 'proves' its not their fault and they can safely ignore the real earner which is the week with no electric (£70 every 12 hours) as I'd never mentioned it!?
I wonder if the recording of the original phone call makes in to their evidence, or has sadly been lost?
 

sunny james

Old-Salt
I'm with Robin Hood energy (as opposed to Robin B'stards). It's the only one I can find that has a no standing charge apart from one that demands a smart meter install as it varies the power cost depending on the time of day.
The charges we pay are a little higher than most but as we are away most of the year it suits us fine. I call the Winter Fuel Allowance the aircon allowance.
We're back in 'Nam just now saying hello to Betty Swallocks.
Happy New year.
 
My smart meter must be incredibly bright. It's generated me a bill from February 2012 for £254.
As I paid by direct debit it seems strange to be hit after so many years. Anyone had any experience overturning old, odd invoices?
 
I'm with Robin Hood energy (as opposed to Robin B'stards). It's the only one I can find that has a no standing charge apart from one that demands a smart meter install as it varies the power cost depending on the time of day.
The charges we pay are a little higher than most but as we are away most of the year it suits us fine. I call the Winter Fuel Allowance the aircon allowance.
We're back in 'Nam just now saying hello to Betty Swallocks.
Happy New year.
Just looked at Robin Hood Energy... offered three tariffs for Electric and three for gas but all had a standing charge. In the cold light of day I will make some comparisons but I like the idea of a not for profit local authority (Nottingham City Council) reselling energy.

We are still with Scottish Power following the collapse of Extra Energy. Scottish Power are dragging their heels in getting our account set up so we can switch suppliers without an exit fee. Presumably they think that consumer apathy will set in and people transferred in by Ofgem from Extra Energy won't bother to switch if they are held captive for long enough.

My view is of course, if we wanted to be with Scottish Energy we wouldn't have been with Extra Energy in the first place.
 

sunny james

Old-Salt
Just looked at Robin Hood Energy... offered three tariffs for Electric and three for gas but all had a standing charge. In the cold light of day I will make some comparisons but I like the idea of a not for profit local authority (Nottingham City Council) reselling energy.

We are still with Scottish Power following the collapse of Extra Energy. Scottish Power are dragging their heels in getting our account set up so we can switch suppliers without an exit fee. Presumably they think that consumer apathy will set in and people transferred in by Ofgem from Extra Energy won't bother to switch if they are held captive for long enough.

My view is of course, if we wanted to be with Scottish Energy we wouldn't have been with Extra Energy in the first place.
Sorry I should have said I'm with Ebico who resell Robin Hood.
I just sent my meter readings in via a smartphone, was a tad difficult due to previous readings displaying over the date but got there in the end. Otherwise highly recommended.
 
In my little case with the Ombudsman I'm currently awaiting both sets of evidence to be allocated for investigation.
Happily after the firm add their stuff you get to add comments, and boy was it bad.

The highlights were they didn't even acknowledge the electric supply complaint and offered no defence at all.

Stated twice that I'd never asked for normal meters to be fitted.....after first stating that on X date they attended to fit them and not prepay ones.
Claim that the meters had been reconfigured to credit after I complained that I was being over charged for gas (they hadn't, but then why would they as I hadn't asked had I?!) and basically said I was an idiot for saying I was using too much gas and it was their fault, not that I was overpaying for the gas I used.
Agreed that I had asked only to be contacted in writing and that they always phoned but missed pointing out that their version is after complaining via email they email you to tell you to call them.

I had to read it 3 times before I could get my head round the inaccuracies and it took me about an hour to pick it apart and add comments, not because it was complex but just soooo bad. Voice recordings weren't included as suspected and the usage data they provided as evidence was in pounds and pence so without the constant KwH readings it didn't look excessive, all useful evidence from the smart meter that I had screen grabs for.

I suggested that the Ombudsman may like to request the recordings as they were offered to me at one point, but never forthcoming oddly enough. But, as their defence is so weak and (being generous) inaccurate, unless Sir General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett, VC, KCB, DSO is the Ombudsman its not going to go well for the firm who are also being looked at by Ofgem for their complaints handling process.
 

no_idea

War Hero
I had to read it 3 times before I could get my head round the inaccuracies and it took me about an hour to pick it apart and add comments, not because it was complex but just soooo bad. Voice recordings weren't included as suspected and the usage data they provided as evidence was in pounds and pence so without the constant KwH readings it didn't look excessive, all useful evidence from the smart meter that I had screen grabs for.
Just in case it might make a difference to you, the correct abbreviation is kWh.
 
Just in case it might make a difference to you, the correct abbreviation is kWh.
Picky...

... whilst you are not wrong, as long as the letters are in the correct order*, any permutation of upper and lower case will adequately and unambiguously indicate the the unit of energy referred to.

Nobody will get on anybody's case for that. Except you maybe ;)

*any order of those three letters is probably going to do the job too if taken contextually.
 

no_idea

War Hero
I am being picky and I would hope that the Ombudsman would not be. But I have found that, where lawyers are concerned, it is best not to give them the slightest opportunity to allow your argument to be side-tracked.

I once spoke at a hearing where a lawyer launched in to a 10 minute tirade on the fact that I had used the word "conditions" in my submission instead of the technically correct word "provisions".
 
I'm accepting the pickiness as I was wrong (and knew it) though happily my comments on their 'quality' evidence/defence were very accurate.
I doubt anyone even proof read their submission let alone anyone who knew someone whos mate did A level Law and got an E.

Having read reviews about their service in general I came to the conclusion that as they primarily deal with prepay meters they have a certain expectation of the education level of their customers and from that treat everyone the same on the grounds that the customer in their case doesn't have a choice.

The few times when I did manage to speak to the hopeless sods on the phone they got very flustered when, due to having a nice word doc in front of me with all the dates and info, I was able to counter any excuse or omission that they made. Clearly far more used to simply telling the 'thick' customer their version of events and expecting them to agree to what they say as they had a recording of the conversations and the customer couldn't prove otherwise.
 
E-on have been pestering me since October to have a Smart meter- even to the extent of one of their employees coming to my front door to make an appointment. Despite my declining their offer- I still don't feel Smart meters are reliable enough - E-on insists I give them a reason for opting out claiming it is an Ofgem requirement. However, having contacted Ofgem direct, they state there is no such requirement: it is a consumer's personal choice whether or not to have one fitted. E-on are BS'ing.

Several friends and colleagues have had them installed and the general consensus was "a total waste of time" because the things rapidly went dumb and folks were back to doing manual readings.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
Bang on cue for this thread resurrection, meter reader chappie turned up this morning. Just read the two meters and didn't say anything about Smart ones. It s not clear to me how in this house with the heating controlled at radiator level, these things could be anything but a nuisance. My yardstick for how well we are doing is simple - does the Direct Debit go up or not? I see these meters as a solution looking for a problem. But of course all this pushes the bills up for everybody.

Moral: Government only makes things worse.

Now Slithy Gove wants me to have yet another receptacle for which I have no room.
 

sunny james

Old-Salt
I far as I can see this is all to do with energy supply management. Under the guise of giving the consumer information the suppliers will be able to charge higher rates at peak times. After all what will they do with all the wind generated power in the middle of the night?
Don't think smart meters are for your benefit. Originally it was a 2006 EU directive:
"Member States are required to ensure the implementation of smart metering under EU energy market legislation in the Third Energy Package"
The power companies are fined if they do not meet targets to install smart meters.
EDF Energy to pay £350,000 smart-meter penalty
One ploy to get people to sign up for smart meters is to introduce new low tarrifs as an inducement. These tarrifs are not available if you already have a smart meter, only for new victims. A £111 penalty if you refuse a smart meter | This is Money
 
EDF have recently started pestering me to get them. Told them to bugger off on the phone and deleted the assorted emails, binned the letter and now the fix term is ending so I've swapped to a cheaper/just in so remains the same tariff with a bunch I never heard of.
When I was doing the Strangle the Meercat searches I was very careful to check if having a Smart Meter fitted was part of the deal, interestingly (for me at least) only EON had it as a condition but with the caveat that if they couldn't fit them then you retained the advertised tariff. As the gas meter is inside a wall (reason is somewhere else in the thread I think) I was tempted but a quids a quid so went with the other one that didn't mention them at all.
 
Second attempt at installing one in our cellar yesterday. Last time they couldn’t get a signal so had to wait until an upgrade was available.


Still no signal.
 
About 2years ago we were pestered by Eon to change to a smart meter. I told them that would never give authority to have one fitted. They then said that my old meter had to be changed for a newer model due to safety issues, I said that was fine as long as it was not a smart meter. When it came to arranging an appointment to have it fitted they were unable to specify a time just a date. I said that was not practical and we would at least need a reasonable time window. An appointment was never made but we did twice have cards put though our door saying that they turned up to fit a new meter, without notice, and to get in touch to arrange another date. Not heard anything else for over a year now - couldn't have been a serious safety issue then!
 

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