diamond geezer

 Friday, November 02, 2018

Yesterday I spent some time filing away several months of paperwork, including bank statements, updates to terms and conditions, council tax demands and fuel bills. I should do this more often.

While I was doing so, I noticed one particular missive kept cropping up - a letter from my electricity provider urging me to get a smart meter. I shuffled all of these into one pile and discovered that I've been sent no fewer than thirteen such letters since February last year. I fear there might have been more, but I binned them.
Feb 2017: Have more control over your energy with a smart meter
Apr 2017: Important - book your smart meter change today
Jun 2017: We're installing smart meters in E3. Book your smart meter change now!
Aug 2017: We're installing smart meters in E3. Only pay for the energy you use!
Sep 2017: We're installing smart meters in E3. Take control of your energy by claiming yours today!
Nov 2017: We're installing smart meters in E3. Only pay for the energy you use!
Dec 2017: Great News! You can now get a smart meter installed
Dec 2017: Don't forget to book your free smart meter upgrade
Jun 2018: We're installing smart meters in E3. Only pay for the energy you use!
Sep 2018: Great News! You can now get a smart meter installed
Sep 2018: We're still installing smart meters in E3
Oct 2018: Great News! You can now get a smart meter installed
Oct 2018: Don't forget to book your free smart meter upgrade
They sound increasingly desperate, I thought. Why are they so very keen for me to sign up?

Smart meters allow householders to view real-time usage data on an in-home display screen, and send back information about power consumption to the supplier, ending the need for estimated bills. The government would like all meters for electricity and gas in UK homes to be smart by the end of 2020. Connected consumers can make better decisions about over-hungry appliances, saving money, and energy companies are better able to manage demand. Installation is free, you can't be forced to have one, and it's your choice whether data is passed on half-hourly, daily or monthly. Unless you're employed as a meter reader, it all sounds pretty positive. [more]

But I've been holding back because there are two kinds of smart meter - SMETS1 and SMETS2. Almost all of the 12 million smart meters installed so far have been first generation SMETS1, which don't necessarily continue working if you switch to a new supplier, deterring early adopters from exiting a duff contract. SMETS2 meters use better technology so avoid such drawbacks, but are being rolled out painfully slowly. Only 2000 SMETS2 devices had been installed by the end of June, and at the end of September that total had only risen to 47000. [more]

The switchover from SMETS1 to SMETS2 was originally intended to take place in 2014, then 2015, so you can see how incredibly behind schedule this rollout is. Issues with a lack of trained installers slowed things down, as did delays to the secure data network which SMETS2 uses to communicate. Eventually the government set a deadline of 13th July 2018, after which SMETS1 would be mothballed and only SMETS2 meters could be installed. In January this year they pushed the deadline back to 5th October, and then at the very last minute extended it again to 5th December. It's no wonder I've been receiving letters with increasing urgency. [more]

Many energy companies, mine included, have a large stock of SMETS1 smart meters which they had hoped to have installed by now, and which will suddenly become entirely redundant after 5th December. Sending repeated mass mailouts to their unsmart customers may be expensive, and mostly unproductive, but it's still cheaper than having to bin a warehouse full of SMETS1 devices in five weeks time. I'm expecting at least a couple more letters before then, which I shall be disregarding because I don't want to be palmed off with the old version merely to hit a target. They need us at the moment more than we need them. Great News!

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream