More than a third of UK smart meter users report having problems 

Posted: September 1, 2019 by oldbrew in Energy, News

Smart or not?

Beware energy firms bearing obsolete smart meters – or even up-to-date ones in many cases. Their record so far looks dismal.

New research suggests the number of people having issues totals around four million, with just over a year to go until the installation deadline, reports Energy Live News.
– – –
More than a third of households that have had smart meters installed have reported having problems.

That’s according to new data from uSwitch, which suggests the number of people having issues totals around four million, despite the installation deadline being just over a year away and the rollout needing to accelerate.

The study notes 39% of the issues relate to smart displays not working, while 32% of those who reported problems said devices went ‘dumb’ after switching and 13% said their meters ceased functioning entirely.

A third of households with second generation “SMETS2” meters have also encountered issues since they were installed, despite these newer models not being expected to experience technical problems.

uSwitch also claims a fifth of smart meter owners say they have been offered a first generation smart meter device (SMETS1) since March, despite suppliers being committed to installing only SMETS2 meters since this date.

More than half of smart meter owners say they are still unsure about their benefits and more than a fifth report feeling pressured by their supplier into installing one of the devices, although the amount of consumers who feel this way is decreasing each year.

More positively, 29% of homes say their smart meter has helped cut energy bills, while two-thirds say their device has made them more aware of how much energy they use.

Full report here.

  1. Joe Public says:

    Having moved house, we inherited so-called ‘smart’ electric & gas meters.

    Naturally, they’re incompatible for our chosen gas & electricity suppliers, so we have to take the meter readings. No big deal.

    The IHD displays electricity consumption in real time, and, monthly. However, that’s calendar month, no (our) contract month. Doh!

    It can’t even display any gas consumption data.

    They’re a total & utter waste of time, effort & money.

    BTW – Many electricity meters have the capability of measuring consumptions during 2x periods – so-called Economy-7, where the night consumption (usually the seven hours 23:00 to 06:00) is charged at a lower price than ‘day’ consumption. BEWARE – it’s not always financially beneficial to opt for a 2-part tariff. It depends *entirely* on the proportion of consumption 23:00 to 06:00 vs 06:00 to 23:00, AND your supplier’s respective ‘day’ and ‘night’ commodity rates.

    Our ‘night consumption’ is approx 15% of annual consumption, and a 2-part tariff would cost us approx £100 pa more than the single-tariff rate.

    BE AWARE that tariff comparison sites such as Compare The Market have a ridiculously high ‘Default’ ‘night’ %. (from memory it was 42%). Unless punters know their actual or approx %, they’ll be misled by the resultant prices offered if they opt for that default %.

    The only way to truly Compare The Market is to know and use your previous-year’s actual *quantities*.

    Also, don’t ignore the Daily Standing Charge figure. 20p/day or so may not seem much, but it can add 15% – 20% to the actual electricity commodity price over a year!

    Real figures for Sept 2019 – Aug 2020 based upon 2,640 kWh day rate at 15.803p/kWh & 360kWh night rate at 10.038p/kWh, plus 19.656p/day Standing Charge:

    Commodity Cost £453.34
    Annual Standing Charge £71.74
    Total annual cost £525.08
    Average p/kWh for 3,000kWh: 17.503p/kWh

  2. oldbrew says:

    Economy-7 is suitable for homes with night storage heating, maybe not much else (that’s legal) for the typical householder.

  3. ivan says:

    They never tell anyone the real reason for trying to force people to have the so called ‘smart meters’ which is active load shedding when the wind doesn’t blow and they have got rid of all the reliable power generators and the diesel generators (Stor) can’t start against the load. The ‘remote switch off’ section of the meter allows the operator to switch of (black out) selected regions of the country. The more unreliable renewables added to the grid the more deliberate blackouts will occur.

    The other thing they forget to tell is these meters almost total lack of security which allows undesirables to know when householders are away for periods of time, holidays etc.

    Here in France there is a very active anti ‘smart meter’ organisation – Stop Linky that is having success stopping the install of such meters.

  4. cognog2 says:

    The main objective of these smart meters is to enable Demand Management. This gives the energy supplier the facility to charge higher rates over periods of higher demand and, if necessary switch off supply to various units in your home. Eventually the cost of these units will be reflected in the energy bills without transparency as of now with the costs of intermittent power subsidies.
    Beware challenging your energy supplier thus armed with these devices.
    Be wary of inviting Big Brother to live under your stairs. He will even know when you have a brew at 3am in the morning.😯😯😯

    As for the competence in the implementation and the nature of the benefits I suspect it will be another routine fiasco we are all now used to from grandiose government schemes. Loads of dosh for some and a pain in the neck for the rest of us.

  5. ivan says:

    switch off supply to various units in your home.

    That will only work if your home is equipped with so called ‘smart appliances’ or each appliance is connected individually to a switching circuit controlled by the meter which requires a radical rewiring of the house.

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