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Smart meters

Making your money go further
Nemo
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Smart meters

#156256

Postby Nemo » July 31st, 2018, 9:12 am


Slarti
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Re: Smart meters

#156300

Postby Slarti » July 31st, 2018, 11:54 am

Energy bills always rise, but I doubt if smart meters will make that much difference.

I haven't clicked the link as I will NOT use the Daily Wail, and wouldn't trust them to get the day of the week right.

Slarti

swill453
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Re: Smart meters

#156303

Postby swill453 » July 31st, 2018, 12:10 pm

Slarti wrote:I haven't clicked the link as I will NOT use the Daily Wail

I'm brave, I'll do it...

The article does indeed say that bills will rise. It also says that bills will be lower, and also that they will stay the same.

So there you go then.

Scott.

TUK020
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Re: Smart meters

#156318

Postby TUK020 » July 31st, 2018, 12:47 pm

Yes, but in each case, whose fault is it?
This is the Daily Wail that you are trying to report on......

Redmires
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Re: Smart meters

#156344

Postby Redmires » July 31st, 2018, 1:50 pm

As the article suggests, electric suppliers will be able to charge more in peak hours. And just wait till electric cars become more dominant - there will be no such thing as "off-peak". Glad I don't have one (a smart meter, that is).

swill453
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Re: Smart meters

#156346

Postby swill453 » July 31st, 2018, 1:54 pm

Redmires wrote:As the article suggests, electric suppliers will be able to charge more in peak hours.

And less in off-peak hours. And it'll be a tariff that one can choose, not one that's forced on anyone.

(says the article)

Scott.

johnstevens77
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Re: Smart meters

#157789

Postby johnstevens77 » August 7th, 2018, 9:43 pm

I also read that "smart meters" save an average of £11.00 per year. Surely the cost of instalation is not worth it.

john

gbjbaanb
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Re: Smart meters

#163938

Postby gbjbaanb » September 3rd, 2018, 2:45 pm

Probably the simple cost of not having to send a bloke round to read your meter makes it worth the cost to the energy companies.

Though I like the long-term implications, if "off peak" disappears it'll be because we've changed the generation model from large power plants that have to be kept running overnight anyway, to renewables that run when they feel like it, and the only way they can implement "off peak" as a form of "when there's more being generated than used" to offer cheaper pricing is with smart meters that can download pricing info on an hourly basis.

In the meantime, my meter is just like the only one except I no longer have to hop in the cupboard with a torch.

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Re: Smart meters

#164016

Postby gryffron » September 3rd, 2018, 11:20 pm

Renewables mostly generate during the day. For Solar that's obvious. But also wind is usually stronger by day than by night.
Consumption mostly occurs in the early evening. Especially in winter when it is dark by then.

So let's suppose loads of people buy electric cars. The easy thing to do is to get home from work, plug the car in at 6pm, and let it charge. The problem for the govt is that early evening is already the period of peak power usage, and also when renewables are pretty minimal. So electric cars make the generating problems much worse.

Of course, electric cars, with all those batteries, could be the solution to this problem. But only if they can persuade us to charge them when surplus cheap power is available. That's either the middle of the day, when all those renewables are chucking out peak power, OR middle of the night when nuclear stations are generating power no one wants.

So variable pricing is essential to encourage us to use power when it is available. It will happen. It can't not. The generators need us to change our behaviour. That's why the govt is pushing smart meters so hard. And it is govt, not the energy supply companies, who want this.

"People won't be forced into variable pricing" they say. And whilst that may be true, those who don't accept it will just pay peak price 24/7. (Or very, very close to peak price)

Gryff

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Re: Smart meters

#164124

Postby Meatyfool » September 4th, 2018, 12:27 pm

Don't forget that the car parked up at home during the evening peak can be used to power the house rather than paying the silly "time-of-day" prices for electricity during the peak.

OK not yet, but the next gen of electric cars will all be "selling" their vehicle-to-grid capabilities.

Great for those who can afford electric cars and a home with off-road parking. Not so good for the poor and those with on-road parking.

I wonder whether off-road parking housing will go up in price quicker than those without?

Meatyfool..

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Re: Smart meters

#165286

Postby Slarti » September 9th, 2018, 11:57 am

gbjbaanb wrote:Probably the simple cost of not having to send a bloke round to read your meter makes it worth the cost to the energy companies.


Or better still, not getting a large fine from the government for not getting enough of us to switch to "smart" meters makes it worth the cost to the energy companies.

Slarti

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Re: Smart meters

#165290

Postby Slarti » September 9th, 2018, 12:28 pm

Meatyfool wrote:Don't forget that the car parked up at home during the evening peak can be used to power the house rather than paying the silly "time-of-day" prices for electricity during the peak.

OK not yet, but the next gen of electric cars will all be "selling" their vehicle-to-grid capabilities.

Great for those who can afford electric cars and a home with off-road parking. Not so good for the poor and those with on-road parking.

I wonder whether off-road parking housing will go up in price quicker than those without?

Meatyfool..


You are aware that many places are already installing charging points, like Lidl, RSPB, hotels/restaurants and some forward looking companies, so that you can charge when out and about?

And that lamp post charging points are already a thing? https://www.independent.co.uk/environme ... 09126.html

Also, you can get electric cars for not much more than normal ones They're not all Teslas.

Slarti

modellingman
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Re: Smart meters

#165412

Postby modellingman » September 9th, 2018, 11:58 pm

From the Daily Mail article in the OP

  • One of Britain's biggest energy firms has admitted for the first time that smart meters will allow suppliers to introduce 'surge pricing'.
  • Scottish Power said new tariffs which lead to price shifts every half an hour will be put in place as soon as the energy regulator gives them the go ahead.
  • The controversial scheme – which relies heavily on smart meters - could significantly change the way households consume energy.

I used to work in the energy supply industry. One of the challenges is balancing supply and demand. For electricity, it is particularly challenging because the storage of large amounts of electric power is problematic. Pumped storage has a very limited capacity and battery technology (such as Tesla's Powerwall) have yet to achieve any sort of market penetration.

The game plan with smart meters has always been to complete a feedback loop between domestic consumption and the the production system (generation and the transmission/distribution networks) so that through variable pricing consumers are encouraged to reduce consumption at times when production costs are high by shifting consumption to periods when costs are lower. If this goal can be achieved then, in principle, greater system efficiencies should be achievable. The customer-savings aspect of smart metering has been overplayed by, IMHO, a woefully unimaginative Department for Energy and Climate Change aided and abetted by OFGEM.

Whilst I'm no longer an insider (and haven't been for over 15 years) there are, I suspect, a number of stages that variable pricing might go through:

  • Maximum Demand Pricing An element of pricing is related to the customer's maximum power take. Production needs to be sized to cater for maximum demand levels. This introduces large inefficiencies (mainly in the form of capital costs) since most of the time the production system operates at well below its peak capacity. The largest industrial users of electricity have had maximum demand pricing (and meters capable of doing the measurements) for a long time, so this is not a new idea. Smart meters simply provide an opportunity to apply it to domestic and other non-domestic customers.
  • Time of Day Pricing Prices vary throughout the day but follow a profile of rates in a much more sophisticated version of Economy 7. Instead of just two rates during the day there could be up to 48 rates (one for each the 30 minute "settlement periods" that form the basis of the UK's competitive supply market) with perhaps different profiles applicable at different times of year or on weekends and bank holidays. Again smart metering is the enabler of this form of pricing.
  • Smart Pricing The feedback loop is completed. As the Mail article notes this will additionally need smart appliances (such as fridges and washing machines) which can help to minimise the customer's energy costs by automatically shifting consumption from times of higher cost to those of lower cost.

A shift to electric vehicles could be a blessing or a curse from a balancing perspective. Low capacity domestic chargers (ie 3-pin plug connection) will have a capacity of around 3 kW and might require 5-10 hours of charging per day. If this charging commences in the early evening then it will overlap the evening peak of consumption so suppliers may start to respond (in a world where smart meters are the norm) by introducing the earlier stages of variable pricing. Higher capacity chargers (typically 7kW) reduce the charging time required and might be able to shove commuter charging into the overnight period when demand falls to its minimum and avoid reducing load factors(*).

However, electric vehicles use a lot of electricity. The average UK domestic electricity consumption is around 9 kWh per household per day. A Nissan Leaf has a 30 KWh battery and a range of around 100 miles (ie 1/3 kWh per mile) so a daily commute of just 15 miles each way will double a household's electricity consumption. Doing that and using tariff pricing to prevent the lowering of load factors will be a challenge. Given the hash that the government and the industry has made of smart metering so far, I'm not convinced that this challenge will be successfully met. If the challenge is failed then higher prices are inevitable.


(*) a load factor is simply the ratio of average to peak consumption. Since the production system needs to be sized to meet maximum demand, high load factors are inherently more efficient (in an economic sense) since there is less under-utilised spare capacity required. For UK domestic electricity consumption the daily and annual load factors are somewhere in the range 40%-50%.

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Re: Smart meters

#165506

Postby Slarti » September 10th, 2018, 3:46 pm

modellingman wrote: battery technology (such as Tesla's Powerwall) have yet to achieve any sort of market penetration.


Except in Australia and Portugal. In South Australia the battery saved them from a power outage when a coal fired station dropped off the grid https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the ... a773b0f717

Slarti

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Re: Smart meters

#165561

Postby modellingman » September 10th, 2018, 8:25 pm

Slarti wrote:
modellingman wrote: battery technology (such as Tesla's Powerwall) have yet to achieve any sort of market penetration.


Except in Australia and Portugal. In South Australia the battery saved them from a power outage when a coal fired station dropped off the grid https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the ... a773b0f717

Slarti


Thanks for the reference to the WP article.

It would appear that the battery system in question is (in the words of the article) providing a "contingency service". So, although based on very different technology, functionally it is similar to a pumped storage able to provide large amounts of power very quickly (and sub 1 second is extremely quick) but unable to sustain its power output for very long. Contingency services like this are useful for getting the grid out of a hole caused by a sudden spike in demand or a production outage but are not capable of flattening or even making a dent in the diurnal variation in power demand.

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Re: Smart meters

#165656

Postby Meatyfool » September 11th, 2018, 12:20 pm

Slarti wrote:You are aware that many places are already installing charging points, like Lidl, RSPB, hotels/restaurants and some forward looking companies, so that you can charge when out and about?

And that lamp post charging points are already a thing? https://www.independent.co.uk/environme ... 09126.html

Also, you can get electric cars for not much more than normal ones They're not all Teslas.

Slarti


Yes. A fag having to go shopping when you don't want to just so you can top up your charge. End up spending on a coffee and a cake and having to wait 30 mins for the charge to complete.

Or, turn up at home, spend 30 seconds plugging the car in, go indoors. Done.

Like I said, a bonus for anyone with off road parking.

As to the price of cars, true. But anyone buying a £300 banger is not going to be able to buy into the electric revolution for quite some years yet. What is worse, old petrol cars might have a lost a number of ponies over the years, but I suspect at least with the first few generations of electric cars, these bargain basement cars are going to have considerable loss of range on what was an already low range. I might be wrong!

If they can get an old EV that is! As to my Nissan Leaf, it is an old version so not geared for vehicle-to-home, but I'm hoping that by the time I look to replace in 5-6 years time, I will be able to park it up in the garage and connect it up to a third party product that will allow me to use it as a domestic battery. Here's hoping!

Meatyfool..

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Re: Smart meters

#165660

Postby Howard » September 11th, 2018, 12:59 pm

gryffron wrote:Renewables mostly generate during the day. For Solar that's obvious. But also wind is usually stronger by day than by night.
Consumption mostly occurs in the early evening. Especially in winter when it is dark by then.

So let's suppose loads of people buy electric cars. The easy thing to do is to get home from work, plug the car in at 6pm, and let it charge. The problem for the govt is that early evening is already the period of peak power usage, and also when renewables are pretty minimal. So electric cars make the generating problems much worse.

Of course, electric cars, with all those batteries, could be the solution to this problem. But only if they can persuade us to charge them when surplus cheap power is available. That's either the middle of the day, when all those renewables are chucking out peak power, OR middle of the night when nuclear stations are generating power no one wants.

So variable pricing is essential to encourage us to use power when it is available. It will happen. It can't not. The generators need us to change our behaviour. That's why the govt is pushing smart meters so hard. And it is govt, not the energy supply companies, who want this.

"People won't be forced into variable pricing" they say. And whilst that may be true, those who don't accept it will just pay peak price 24/7. (Or very, very close to peak price)

Gryff


The 2016 BMW 330e plug in hybrid which I leased for two years could be easily set to begin charging at any time. So I could plug it in my garage socket at 6pm and set it to start charging at, say, 1.00am. The speed of charging could also be varied. I didn't use these facilities because I didn't have an economy 7 tariff or similar. In fact the amount of electricity the car used over two years was not that much (around £240 which saved a lot of petrol and improved the car's fuel economy to an incredible 71mpg for a very powerful car used mainly for short journeys).

I'd guess it won't be too difficult for manufacturers of electric cars to offer the optimum settings to maximise the benefits of off-peak charging when these become available.

regards

Howard

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Re: Smart meters

#224558

Postby ursaminortaur » May 26th, 2019, 6:03 pm

Energy companies are obliged to replace the UK's analogue energy meters by the end of 2020 or face fines but don't have any powers to force people to switch and haven't had much success in getting people to voluntarily switch. British gas are now trying to force the issue by only offering their lowest tariff to those who switch. How long before other companies follow their lead and the price blackmail is extended to all bar the most expensive of tariffs ?


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/money/british-gas-get-a-smart-meter-or-well-charge-you-an-extra-300-93kzplzlj

Britain’s largest energy firm is refusing to offer its cheapest deal to customers unless they agree to have a smart meter installed.
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British Gas’s lowest-cost tariff, Energy Plus Protection Green, fixes rates until May 2020 and costs £938 a year for average consumption. A customer who takes the deal but declines to have a smart meter installed within three months of signing up will be switched to a deal costing £1,228 a year on average.


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