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Smart meter for business electricity?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Noah, Nov 9, 2017.

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  1. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,249 315
    Our electricity supplier has just offered to fit a "smart" meter; we use a fair amount of electrical juice, on 1- or 2-year contracts, and report our own meter readings directly (not that the wasters manage to use that info every time) - any experience on the benefits and drawbacks of switching to smart please? One suspicion is that it will make switching to a different supplier more difficult in future...
    Posted: Nov 9, 2017 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
  2. TomJ83

    TomJ83 UKBF Regular Free Member

    367 75
    The benefit I can see is that you don't have to take note of the meter readings yourself. It will be automated. Another benefit is that you will receive accurate bills. May I ask you why you suspect it will be more difficult to switch to another supplier in the future?
    Posted: Nov 11, 2017 By: TomJ83 Member since: Aug 30, 2017
  3. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,039 2,204
    E.On, for one, have been using all kinds of tricks to con customers into "upgrading" to a smart meter. They were in the news about this recently (and, yes, we did get that "badly worded" letter from them giving us the impression that we had no choice in the matter and that our meter had to be upgraded.)

    British Gas is another major offender in this regard.

    When big organisations try very hard to get you to do something, and even try to trick you into complying, the first response should always be, "Whoa! Hold on a second!" and not, as the average muppet on the street does, to say, "Of course, if you say that's better/easier/cheaper for me".

    But I love the terminology. Anything new is always an "upgrade", not a give-us-more-control modification or a help-us-better-screw-you change or a help-us-make-more-money switch.

    Six reasons to say No.

    In addition to those reasons, I could come up with several others. For example, if someone can tap into your usage data they know when you're at home and when you're not. That alone is valuable information that could be sold to, among others, your local burglars.

    Installing a smart meter is giving the provider a lot of valuable data on your usage and pattern of usage. If I'm giving data that could make them or save them money, then they've got to pay me for it! And none of them are offering a monthly fee for that data.

    They've also got to sign a legally binding contract to never use that data against me (differential pricing, for example). Neither E.on nor British Gas seemed very keen to sign my contract.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    Posted: Nov 11, 2017 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
  4. SteveJG

    SteveJG UKBF Contributor Free Member

    47 8
    Don't get one installed yet as it may have to be changed again. All of the 1st gen of smart meters need to be replaced as they are not compatible with the new network being installed. Alot of 1st gen are still being installed too. I would wait untill all the problems have been sorted. Obviously not common knowledge. Was on moneybox on radio 2 a few months ago
    Posted: Nov 11, 2017 By: SteveJG Member since: Aug 4, 2016
  5. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,249 315
    Thanks for the comments. Our existing meter is in a cupboard immediately behind my desk; it takes 20 seconds once a month to read it, and maybe a couple of minutes to send that reading to the supplier.

    Of course, I remembered that the main argument is the old mechanic's mantra : If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Eh? I don't suspect, I just start from the sensible assumption that all businesses are bastards, and the bigger the business the bigger the bastard.

    Except us, of course; and we're small, too.
    Posted: Nov 11, 2017 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
  6. DavidWH

    DavidWH UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,642 314
    Don't do it.

    We have a smart meter, Eon could read it perfectly, and we got accurate monthly bills.

    Switched to SSE and got an influx of estimated bills, then no bills for over 6 months, yet they insisted we double our DD. Now they've finally fixed that, we're spending 1/2 the DD amount again, yet are insistent their bills are right.
    Posted: Nov 12, 2017 By: DavidWH Member since: Feb 15, 2011
  7. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,931 2,486
    A small in fact tiny thing in fact miniscule thing we had a smart meter on our old building a few months before we left it as the mechanical one went wrong

    We left the building and the landlord took the end readings and gave them to the supplier all well and good

    Six months later he got a bill for a small amount of electricity used so paid it and went around to check nothing had been left on, found nothing but did turn off the main breaker to make sure

    Six months later another small bill and after a few calls it was the smart meter that was using the electricity to power itself and charging the company for its power even though the customer was not using anything
    Posted: Nov 12, 2017 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
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