Donate to Remove ads

Got a credit card? use our Credit Card & Finance Calculators

Thanks to tea42,yyuryyub,Howyoudoin,Anonymous,EverybodyKnows, for Donating to support the site

Smart meters

Straight answers to factual questions
Forum rules
Direct questions and answers, this room is not for general discussion please
bungeejumper
Lemon Half
Posts: 6525
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Has thanked: 2241 times
Been thanked: 2861 times

Re: Smart meters

#508803

Postby bungeejumper » June 22nd, 2022, 11:24 am

tjh290633 wrote:Did we get new meters when we switched from Town's Gas (50% H2) to Natural Gas? They replaced them every so many years, in any case. Measurement of volume is the only criterion.

No scientist here, but I'm guessing that the stored heat in a litre of hydrogen is different to that of a litre of natural gas, so there'd need to be a numerical adjustment to the cost per metered litre. Not beyond the wit of man to achieve, of course, but possibly beyond that of British Gas, in my experience. (Don't even ask..... :roll: )

Another off-the-wall speculative thought. Smaller molecules raising questions about gas tightness through the meter?

BJ

staffordian
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1931
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 4:20 pm
Has thanked: 1322 times
Been thanked: 627 times

Re: Smart meters

#508813

Postby staffordian » June 22nd, 2022, 12:24 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
tjh290633 wrote:Did we get new meters when we switched from Town's Gas (50% H2) to Natural Gas? They replaced them every so many years, in any case. Measurement of volume is the only criterion.

No scientist here, but I'm guessing that the stored heat in a litre of hydrogen is different to that of a litre of natural gas, so there'd need to be a numerical adjustment to the cost per metered litre. Not beyond the wit of man to achieve, of course, but possibly beyond that of British Gas, in my experience. (Don't even ask..... :roll: )

BJ

That's already part of the calculation for a gas bill - the calorific value.

The energy in natural gas varies so is averaged over the billing period.

Hallucigenia
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1336
Joined: November 5th, 2016, 3:03 am
Has thanked: 87 times
Been thanked: 755 times

Re: Smart meters

#508869

Postby Hallucigenia » June 22nd, 2022, 4:02 pm

tjh290633 wrote:Did we get new meters when we switched from Town's Gas (50% H2) to Natural Gas? They replaced them every so many years, in any case. Measurement of volume is the only criterion.


In most cases - yes, particularly the prepayment meters. And all meters needed new governors to ensure the new gas flowed at the right pressure. See eg
https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/ ... ers&gbpv=1

The OBR make that comparison here :
https://obr.uk/box/decarbonising-domest ... tural-gas/

Mike4 wrote:Not that it will ever happen in my opinion, as there are loads of other, better things we should be using scarce hydrogen for ahead of piping it into houses to burn in boilers and cookers.


Well quite. A lot of HMG's much-vaunted hydrogen strategy is a bit of a con, to avoid frightening the investors who HMG need to keep investing in pipelines with 35+year lifetimes. There will be lots of posturing and trials, but in the real world I doubt we'll go beyond 10-ish% hydrogen mixed in with methane, and economics will push normal people towards electrified heating in some form except for marginal cases.

Arizona11
Lemon Pip
Posts: 92
Joined: November 17th, 2016, 4:35 am
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Smart meters

#508873

Postby Arizona11 » June 22nd, 2022, 4:15 pm

Thanks for all the replies so far. It would appear that the promise shown on the websites about cutting the nation’s CO2 emissions is just gobbledegook as nobody can explain how it cuts emissions. If anyone does find out, please let us know.

Mike4
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4731
Joined: November 24th, 2016, 3:29 am
Has thanked: 1126 times
Been thanked: 2383 times

Re: Smart meters

#508919

Postby Mike4 » June 22nd, 2022, 10:26 pm

Hallucigenia wrote:
Mike4 wrote:Not that it will ever happen in my opinion, as there are loads of other, better things we should be using scarce hydrogen for ahead of piping it into houses to burn in boilers and cookers.


Well quite. A lot of HMG's much-vaunted hydrogen strategy is a bit of a con, to avoid frightening the investors who HMG need to keep investing in pipelines with 35+year lifetimes. There will be lots of posturing and trials, but in the real world I doubt we'll go beyond 10-ish% hydrogen mixed in with methane, and economics will push normal people towards electrified heating in some form except for marginal cases.



Here is a chart of the hierarchy of uses for hydrogen. Domestic heating and cars are quite low down.

Image

Chart from:
https://www.rechargenews.com/energy-tra ... -1-1033226

Lanark
Lemon Slice
Posts: 935
Joined: March 27th, 2017, 11:41 am
Has thanked: 423 times
Been thanked: 331 times

Re: Smart meters

#508927

Postby Lanark » June 22nd, 2022, 11:13 pm

scrumpyjack wrote:
didds wrote:
AF62 wrote:I know there isn’t much to watch on TV these days, but things are bad if that is the alternative.



seems about right . watching the wheel I mean.


It is satisfying to watch it go backwards occasionally :D

I thought the whole point of "smart" meters was to prevent people with solar panels making it run backwards, or is that allowed now?

Mike4
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4731
Joined: November 24th, 2016, 3:29 am
Has thanked: 1126 times
Been thanked: 2383 times

Re: Smart meters

#508934

Postby Mike4 » June 23rd, 2022, 12:32 am

Lanark wrote:
scrumpyjack wrote:
didds wrote:
AF62 wrote:I know there isn’t much to watch on TV these days, but things are bad if that is the alternative.



seems about right . watching the wheel I mean.


It is satisfying to watch it go backwards occasionally :D

I thought the whole point of "smart" meters was to prevent people with solar panels making it run backwards, or is that allowed now?


The 'whole point of smart meters' is to enable demand-sensitive pricing.

You ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until you are being charged £5 per kWh at 5-7pm and 10p at 4am... you'll regret getting that smart meter!

didds
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 3960
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 12:04 pm
Has thanked: 2137 times
Been thanked: 701 times

Re: Smart meters

#508955

Postby didds » June 23rd, 2022, 8:37 am

In essence, from this post and others, unless one really is fixated enough to constantly check the SM and act upon its display, hunting down things that could be turned off (which you could do without a SM anyway of course) all i garner is that SMs have no benefit whatsoever, unless a yearly visit for some is seen as a horrendous invasion of privacy. Whereas the downside is potentially as Mike describes.

didds

servodude
Lemon Half
Posts: 5356
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 5:56 am
Has thanked: 2499 times
Been thanked: 1834 times

Re: Smart meters

#508957

Postby servodude » June 23rd, 2022, 8:44 am

didds wrote:In essence, from this post and others, unless one really is fixated enough to constantly check the SM and act upon its display, hunting down things that could be turned off (which you could do without a SM anyway of course) all i garner is that SMs have no benefit whatsoever, unless a yearly visit for some is seen as a horrendous invasion of privacy. Whereas the downside is potentially as Mike describes.

didds


Possibly...but that's why you regulate utility suppliers.

Smart meters also do remote fault detection.
Unusual use detection (water/gas leaks)
And allow for accurate load balancing reducing the chance of a wide outage.

But hey... I work with a guy who's been singing the praises of his "spot price + 10%" tariff since he signed up to it a couple of years back. He's recently changed his tune and is looking to find something a bit more fixed for the short term.

Swings and roundabouts

-sd

Mike4
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4731
Joined: November 24th, 2016, 3:29 am
Has thanked: 1126 times
Been thanked: 2383 times

Re: Smart meters

#508966

Postby Mike4 » June 23rd, 2022, 9:26 am

didds wrote:In essence, from this post and others, unless one really is fixated enough to constantly check the SM and act upon its display, hunting down things that could be turned off (which you could do without a SM anyway of course) all i garner is that SMs have no benefit whatsoever, unless a yearly visit for some is seen as a horrendous invasion of privacy. Whereas the downside is potentially as Mike describes.

didds


There is a further serious potential downside to having smart meters. For those of us who worry that one day a less benevolent form of government might succeed in installing itself here in the UK, anyone protesting, making waves or otherwise drawing the attention and disapproval of the authorities "could" find their energy services suddenly cut off. SO very easy to do from an office in Whitehall (or the local police station) with some clicks of a mouse to people with smart meters.

Think about how difficult that would make life, and what an excellent tool for controlling you smart meters actually are, should those in power ever be inclined to use it.

servodude
Lemon Half
Posts: 5356
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 5:56 am
Has thanked: 2499 times
Been thanked: 1834 times

Re: Smart meters

#508968

Postby servodude » June 23rd, 2022, 9:32 am

Mike4 wrote:For those of us who worry that one day a less benevolent form of government might succeed in installing itself here in the UK


How low is your bar? ;)

Lanark
Lemon Slice
Posts: 935
Joined: March 27th, 2017, 11:41 am
Has thanked: 423 times
Been thanked: 331 times

Re: Smart meters

#508999

Postby Lanark » June 23rd, 2022, 11:04 am

Mike4 wrote:There is a further serious potential downside to having smart meters. For those of us who worry that one day a less benevolent form of government might succeed in installing itself here in the UK, anyone protesting, making waves or otherwise drawing the attention and disapproval of the authorities "could" find their energy services suddenly cut off. SO very easy to do from an office in Whitehall (or the local police station) with some clicks of a mouse to people with smart meters.

Think about how difficult that would make life, and what an excellent tool for controlling you smart meters actually are, should those in power ever be inclined to use it.

Or more likely in a resource limited future, to implement rolling blackouts to save energy.

servodude
Lemon Half
Posts: 5356
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 5:56 am
Has thanked: 2499 times
Been thanked: 1834 times

Re: Smart meters

#509003

Postby servodude » June 23rd, 2022, 11:12 am

Lanark wrote:
Mike4 wrote:There is a further serious potential downside to having smart meters. For those of us who worry that one day a less benevolent form of government might succeed in installing itself here in the UK, anyone protesting, making waves or otherwise drawing the attention and disapproval of the authorities "could" find their energy services suddenly cut off. SO very easy to do from an office in Whitehall (or the local police station) with some clicks of a mouse to people with smart meters.

Think about how difficult that would make life, and what an excellent tool for controlling you smart meters actually are, should those in power ever be inclined to use it.

Or more likely in a resource limited future, to implement rolling blackouts to save energy.


You don't need smart meters for rolling blackouts
- they're actually used in ADR systems to avoid the need for rolling blackouts (which are normally caused by peak delivery limits not generation issues)

You also don't need a smart meter to cut off someone's supply because of how they voted :(

-sd

Hallucigenia
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1336
Joined: November 5th, 2016, 3:03 am
Has thanked: 87 times
Been thanked: 755 times

Re: Smart meters

#509027

Postby Hallucigenia » June 23rd, 2022, 12:11 pm

Arizona11 wrote:Thanks for all the replies so far. It would appear that the promise shown on the websites about cutting the nation’s CO2 emissions is just gobbledegook as nobody can explain how it cuts emissions. If anyone does find out, please let us know.


It's fairly straightforward - you can regard it as the next step beyond Economy 7, which needs a different, "slightly smart" meter that effectively has two meters - one to record electricity use between say midnight and 7am and another to record use during the day, so that different tariffs can be applied because there is a surplus of capacity at night so it can be sold more cheaply.

Just to make it simpler I'll take the example of charging an electric car but the same could apply to any application where you just need electricity to be consumed at some point during the night but you're not too fussy when - storage heaters, washing machine, whatever. Say your car needs to be fed 21kWh to get it to a "full tank".

Under Economy 7 you set the car to charge for 7 hours from say midnight to 7am at 3kW. But let's say there is a weather front coming that means you know the local wind turbines will spin furiously from 2am to 5am, but then produce nothing for the rest of the night. Under Economy 7, you'd get 3 hours @3kW of wind electricity in your car, but 4 hours @3kW of backup power, probably provided by gas. Now that's not ideal for lots of reasons - the marginal cost to the power company of wind is virtually zero, whereas the marginal cost of gas power is very much not zero at the moment, that marginal gas has to be imported so there's energy security risks (as Germany is finding out), and (going back to the original question), gas-fired power has CO2 emissions whereas wind power has virtually no marginal CO2 emissions.

Obviously the better solution would be for the car to "know" that this weather front is on its way and that the optimal charging strategy is 7kW for the three hours during the weather front. The way that knowledge is imparted is by the power company setting a tariff of say 10p/kWh during the windy period and £1/kWh when there's no wind. Under that regime the steady charging at 3kW costs £12.90 for the night whereas "smart" charging costs £2.10. So the consumer pays a lot less, and a load of CO2 emissions are avoided.

Modern electric cars have enough technology in them that they could ring home to VW, Tesla etc by themselves to find out what the current price of electricity is, but that's less true of all the other devices in the home, and it makes sense to have a single standard point of reference in the household to receive information on variable tariffs. That single point of reference is a smart meter.

There's other things that smart meters can do, like coping with export from domestic solar panels or even the car battery at peak periods, but it's their ability to match demand to intermittent renewable power sources that's the reason the industry wants them. Obviously something like tidal power can be predicted years into the future, but modern weather forecasting means that they've got a pretty good idea of how much wind power will be produced over the next several hours, it's good enough for these purposes.

Mike4 wrote:
Hallucigenia wrote:Well quite. A lot of HMG's much-vaunted hydrogen strategy is a bit of a con, to avoid frightening the investors who HMG need to keep investing in pipelines with 35+year lifetimes. There will be lots of posturing and trials, but in the real world I doubt we'll go beyond 10-ish% hydrogen mixed in with methane, and economics will push normal people towards electrified heating in some form except for marginal cases.


Here is a chart of the hierarchy of uses for hydrogen. Domestic heating and cars are quite low down.


Quite - guess who was posting that chart a year ago....? ;-)

gryffron
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 3009
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 10:00 am
Has thanked: 282 times
Been thanked: 990 times

Re: Smart meters

#509029

Postby gryffron » June 23rd, 2022, 12:15 pm

Mike4 wrote:The 'whole point of smart meters' is to enable demand-sensitive pricing.
You ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until you are being charged £5 per kWh at 5-7pm and 10p at 4am... you'll regret getting that smart meter!

Except those without Smart Meters will simply be charged £5/Kwh ALL the time.

Gryff

richlist
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1366
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 3:54 pm
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 380 times

Re: Smart meters

#509050

Postby richlist » June 23rd, 2022, 2:20 pm

Better make sure you never buy a car then........you'll never know how high fuel costs or road tax or insurance might cost you !

marronier
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 243
Joined: November 7th, 2016, 8:31 am
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 73 times

Re: Smart meters

#509078

Postby marronier » June 23rd, 2022, 5:11 pm

I get my meters read monthly , by me when prompted by email.

If they really want people to reduce usage then I suggest that they levy 25% of the standing charge on the first X units , 35% on the next Y units and 40% thereafter. As in the old fable, if the donkey never gets the carrot, he stops making the effort and nothing is gained. The present system, whereby the standing charge is paid by the earliest usage , offers no incentive to economise.

JohnB
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1981
Joined: January 15th, 2017, 9:20 am
Has thanked: 353 times
Been thanked: 595 times

Re: Smart meters

#509099

Postby JohnB » June 23rd, 2022, 7:50 pm

Smart devices I can understand, though your car, immersion heaters and storage radiators are about the only things that can usefully shift to accommodate projected costs. About everything else uses too little power to justify the complexity, or can't time shift. And unless you introduce a new communication protocol between meter and device along the cables, when the smart meter knows power is cheap, so does the smart device, as they both use internet/5G

BTW, wind power forecasts go out to 240 hours now, though wind continental scale collection, the power variability will be not so much governed by a single front over a few hours than the overall jetstream position over a few days. https://www.sirocco.energy/

UncleEbenezer
Lemon Half
Posts: 8367
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:17 pm
Has thanked: 1167 times
Been thanked: 2113 times

Re: Smart meters

#509150

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 24th, 2022, 8:09 am

JohnB wrote:Smart devices I can understand, though your car, immersion heaters and storage radiators are about the only things that can usefully shift to accommodate projected costs. About everything else uses too little power to justify the complexity, or can't time shift.


Once upon a time I had Economy 7. So the washing machine and dishwasher always ran in the wee hours.

One day we'll have smart fridge/freezers that can concentrate most of their usage when it's cheap.

These are pretty insignificant compared to a car or heating, but all things are relative, and they are the bulk of my energy usage (and spend - until this year when the standing charges came to dominate).

MrFoolish
Lemon Slice
Posts: 921
Joined: March 22nd, 2020, 7:27 pm
Has thanked: 222 times
Been thanked: 427 times

Re: Smart meters

#509159

Postby MrFoolish » June 24th, 2022, 8:54 am

Hallucigenia wrote:Modern electric cars have enough technology in them that they could ring home to VW, Tesla etc by themselves to find out what the current price of electricity is, but that's less true of all the other devices in the home, and it makes sense to have a single standard point of reference in the household to receive information on variable tariffs. That single point of reference is a smart meter.


Most electrical appliances have no need to run at night (IOT toaster, anyone?). You are left with basically car charging, refrigeration and storage heaters. These few items could just as easily connect to your wi-fi rather than a smart meter.

And the problem with load switching ideas in general is that they will enourage the energy supply industry to have less spare capacity - which is inherently risky and will eventually backfire.


Return to “Does anyone know?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest