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Discussion > Smart Meters

I had a run-in with Eon today on behalf of my father-in-law, who is pushing 90 years of age, and who doesn't want a smart meter. Having moved him to a new tariff a few weeks ago, on the expiry of his old fixed tariff, I received a text from Eon yesterday saying that it was a term of his new tariff that he had to have a smart meter installed, and requiring mme to contact them to make an appointment.
I called and pointed out:

1. When I moved his tariff, I saw nothing on their website saying it was a condition of taking the tariff that he also had to take a smart meter (and, as a lawyer, I'm hard-wired to check terms and conditions);

2. Their standard terms and conditions don't seem to mention smart meters;

3. Their email to me confirming his new tariff didn't mention smart meters;

4. He had 14 days to change his mind and cancel his new tariff, but Eon waited more than 14 days before sending a text demanding that I make an appointment for the installation of a new smart meter.

The situation is now pending, as a "complaint", which seemed to be the only way of dealing with it. The chap I spoke to was as helpful as he could be within the constraints imposed on him by Eon, and he admitted that their personal targets for daily smart meter sign-up have just been increased. Also, they now only have one tariff (an expensive one) which doesn't oblige customers to take a smart meter.

Mar 6, 2019 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Some gratuitous advice. If Eon persist (even one step further) in insisting on a smart meter I'd say ditch reasonableness and swerve hurting the feelings of folk placed in the line of fire to absorb + deflect. Goto the top with the bluntest legal instrument you can deploy.

Over the years I've seen some truly miserable billing antics from utilities that have sapped he will of some acquaintances through tortured process and multiple "resets".... - while some of it is the product of simple ignorance and mistakes - much is contrived with considerable thought put in to the process of grinding down any challenges.

I would in the first instance address the board member with direct legal expertise (there will be one ) and cc the CEO.

The utilities are going to try a whole raft of antics to get punters to suck up smart meters.

Mar 7, 2019 at 7:11 AM | Unregistered Commentertomo

We have a new radio smart meter ad that no longer references individual household savings, but instead refers to (I presume) the BEIS report at the national level. Bunch of charlatans. A Project Fear economic projection seems as credible, even when it has already been disproven.

Mar 8, 2019 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Smart Meter ad on LBC just now
Maxine Peake "What a racket, if we all had a smartmeter we *could* stop 19.65million tonnes of CO2
from entering the atmosphere
which is like taking 600,000 cars off the road by 2030
(why add that, does it mean it's different from removing cars right now ?)
.. ah that's better isn't it ?
Save your energy for a cleaner Britain
.. See how much you are using and make changes to use less
Search -Get a Smart Meter- today
..from the Campaign For A Smarter Britain"
... (then disclaimer man "Eligibility may vary available in Eng,Scot, W by 2030)

Is that stat right ?
This ad didn't NOT quote "based on projected average savings of 2%"
So by 2030 smart meters will be available to all, and if we all save 2% ..that is a certain amount of electricity , and depending on the grid fuel mix ie nuclear/gas/coal that means X% less CO2 ...... NOT 2% CO2
Now if the 2030 grid is only 25% gas by 2030
... and that gas use might come mostly when wind solar is zero
What will X% be
Remember if the grid is zero-gas/coal in a sunny/windy hour , then the CO2 saving is zero
what does a 2% cut in leccy

Mar 10, 2019 at 1:17 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

continued ..
Now if the 2030 grid is only 25% gas by 2030
... and that gas use might come mostly when wind/solar is zero
What will X% be ?
Remember if the grid is zero-gas/coal in a sunny/windy hour , then the CO2 saving is zero
So what does a 2% cut in leccy actually add upto in a real time model rather than averaged ?

I really cannot see how this adds up to the CO2 from 600K I.C.E. cars


"UK cars Emitted 68.5 MtCO2e (Metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) during 2016"
If the entire fleet only emits 68.5 MtCO2e
Then how "19.65million tonnes" is one third of the UK vehicle fleet
..wonder if they've moved the decimal point somewhere

Mar 10, 2019 at 4:14 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

They repeat the claim in a tweet

It wasn't dead easy to find but they do have a webpage
Advertising claims
All our calculations are based on official published figures from the government department for Business, Energy & Industrial strategy (BEIS) impact studies
..which lead to PDFs for their claims

Looking at the PDF
#1 How do they get "19.65million tonnes of CO2" ?
They pull it from a government report and don't explain more

(BTW that report at
mentions the fig only once and doesn't give the origin of the stat)

#2 Then say
"The total life cycles CO2 emissions for an ICEV purchased in 2020 will be 28.7 tonnes per vehicle"
So 19.65/28.77= 0.685 million cars
ie " 28.7 (tonnes per vehicle) = 684,668.98 (equivalent number of cars taken off the road)

The first thing is they are talking about cars off the road in 2030 , but using an estimate of their carbon footprint in 2020
If in fact each ICE is much more efficient or less mileage is done then the calculation will be way wrong


I tried to check that "19.65million tonnes of CO2"

Whilst explaining another claim they state
first the average household saves 354kWh of energy per year with a smart meter
(lets see retail leccys costs 18p/KWh therefore a thousand times more = £180
.. that would cost per 1Mega Wh
.. they argue the house saves 0.354MWh ..that's about £60 worth)

They state "26,437,700 (total number of households in GB)"
so total energy saving is 26,437,700 X 0.354MWh = 9,358,945.8MWh
Call that 9million MWh
How would I know how much CO2 a mixed grid generates while generating that much power ?

I guess you could see how much CO2 gas plants would emit whilst generating 1million MWh

Mar 10, 2019 at 5:07 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I just came across the BBC page 2 December 2009

Energy suppliers are to be responsible for installing smart meters in all households in the UK by 2020.

Plans for smart meters for millions of homes have been unveiled with trials suggesting the £8bn scheme may help people save £28 a year.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change wants to see 47 million meters in 26 million properties by 2020.*
It is hoped the technology will help people cut their energy bills by paying more attention to usage.

That 2020 date is ridiculous now ..probably not even 2025

\\ The £28 a year figure for savings has been cited as a conservative estimate for a typical household.
But the DECC says case studies had shown people could reduce their bills by about £100 a year as the meters can encourage changes in behaviour. //
Talk about "make up a number" no way will people save £100 each

Mar 11, 2019 at 12:18 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The PR pot is still likely overflowing for those close enough to fill their hats with the overflow.

Meanwhile "research" that shows Smart Meters in a less than flattering light is handily Elsevier'ed

If the present trajectory of electricity as a utility continues like this - as I've said before - the UK will start to resemble Nigeria with thudding worn out diesel gennies dotting the landscape and suburbs...

Mar 11, 2019 at 12:04 PM | Registered Commentertomo

SSE to lay off 444 from smart meter installation teams
due to poor uptake
.. Have they got wind of news that they won't be fined for missing targets ?

May 9, 2019 at 4:38 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The Ch5 consumer guy just said "and get yourself a smart meter
cos then your bills will be real instead of estimated"

May 9, 2019 at 8:48 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


one can see sometimes with clarity how people like George C Parker were able to get away with it for so long.

May 9, 2019 at 11:12 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Surprisingly BBC have just a new article
that doesn't spin smart meters as a fantastic green thing
Smart meters: Why they are driving some people mad

It must have been re-edited cos the timestamp is just 10 minutes ago

May 14, 2019 at 11:29 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen
May 14, 2019 at 11:53 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

BBC rowed back a bit on that May14th article, using steal edits

See edit phase 3 of 6
backtrack on stating te screwups cost £1.7bn

There is of course a cost to the screwups
2.5 million meters, 15% of those installed not working.
The total overall cost is £11bn so the BBC said 15% of £11bn is £1.7bn

But the put it right cost might not be that full amount cos
#1 a portion those dumb meters, might be able to be fixed by a future software update.
#2 The cost of replacing some by Smets2 etc. should be lower that first time.

May 27, 2019 at 3:55 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Smart Meter installations have fallen again
third quarter in a row
Jan-March was just 1million
the overall target is 50m installations
I don't think they are half way yet.

Jun 1, 2019 at 3:08 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

British Gas customers now need a smart meter to unlock cheapest tariff - and those who refuse could be charged nearly £300 a year more
Five of the Big Six suppliers charge more for non-smart meter customers
British Gas have the biggest divide, however, charging customers an extra £300
The uptake of smart meters has been much slower than Government target

Jun 1, 2019 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Not directly Smart Meters .... but related

Living Without Electricity

Jun 11, 2019 at 10:31 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Times weekend section
we the public have paid for 2 page smartEnergyGB advert
all the artistic twaddle but adds "your energy supplier could rent you solar equipment..."

someone is going to end up with big costs wmhen that goes wrong.

Jun 15, 2019 at 3:06 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Smart Meter advertorial at The Guardian

Jul 6, 2019 at 6:33 AM | Registered Commentertomo

A charging smart phone should use almost no electricity
It should charge to 100% then the circuits should stop drawing current
except if there is a little red light on a charger
..absolutely nothing compared to proper KW devices like kettles.
I see
‘I’ve stopped charging my phone at night’: how a smart meter changed my habits
Paid for by

and then a blank cos my ad blocker blocks who pays for it
screenshot with ad blocker turned off

Jul 6, 2019 at 11:43 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Too good to leave unlinked

English "Smart Meters" suddenly start talking Welsh

Over the air software update ?

They can mess with your readings and tariff remotely..... What's not to like?

Jul 16, 2019 at 1:07 AM | Registered Commentertomo

The hassle we're getting from NPower is close to harrassment. Appointments made for a smart meter which I didn't ask for and don't want - onus on me to cancel. When I cancel, demands to know why - I told them it was none of their business.

Subsequently, bombarded by texts and emails wanting me to get in touch to re-arrange the appointment to install a smart meter, as the last one was "inconvenient" for me. It's getting beyond a joke.

And despite it all, in the small print of their emails, is this:

"All suppliers will be moving to Smart meters over the next few years. We don't want you to leave us, but if you decide to switch suppliers and your new supplier can't support the type of Smart meter you have, then you may temporarily or permanently lose some of your Smart functions. This could include your new supplier having to read your meter manually - it's worth checking with them beforehand."

Jul 27, 2019 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Gosden family thread on their SmartMeter experience

Note Jillian Ambrose of Gurdian is a friend in the thread

Aug 19, 2019 at 10:26 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Today's newspapers report "a survey says about smart meters"
I guess the fact that smartEnergyGB spends lots of money on newspaper adverts means the spin is positive
The YP doesn't report who commissioned the survey.

Mirror Money Saving @MirrorMoney
Smart meter
Ms knocking £108 off energy bills a year - but 1 in 3 are dodgy

Aug 29, 2019 at 4:39 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


more PR - coincides with a spend+push on Twitter today.

No mention of ransoming at peak times .... anywhere.

Those failure numbers would be catastrophic for an electronics company - on a flagship project like this there should be some sackings and a review. Greens and their cronies in the "utilities" and the berk politicians that have pumped the scheme don't want that though.

Aug 30, 2019 at 1:11 AM | Registered Commentertomo