Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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bobins
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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

A bit of background to why Smart Meters are being rolled out:

"Annex I to the Electricity Directive 2009/72/EC requires the EU Member States to roll out electricity smart meters to 80% of consumers by 2020, unless the result of a Cost Benefits Analysis (CBA) is negative.
For the gas sector, Annex I of the Gas Directive 2009/73/EC requires Member States to prepare a timetable for the roll-out of gas smart meters based on a CBA (with no indication of a timeline).

The so-called 'Winter Package' defines a 'smart metering system' as an electronic system that can measure energy consumption, providing more information than a conventional meter, and can transmit and receive data for information, monitoring and control purposes, using a form of electronic communication......<much snippage>

Article 16(7) of the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the internal market for electricity (recast), 30.11.2016, COM(2016) 861 final 2016/0379 (COD), moreover, stipulates that where the EU Member States have implemented the deployment of smart metering systems, regulatory authorities may introduce "time differentiated network tariffs, reflecting the use of the network", in a transparent and foreseeable way for the consumer.

Commission Recommendation 2012/148/EU of 9 March 2012 on preparations for the roll-out of smart metering systems (OJ L 73, 13.3.2012, p. 9–22).......
.........The meters must provide two-way communication for maintenance and control, support advanced tariff systems, allow for remote control of the power supply and/or power limitation, and provide import/export facilities."

Quoted from: https://www.emissions-euets.com/interna ... t-metering

Deanxm
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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by Deanxm »

bobins wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 15:10
The elephant in the room is that all this 'greeness' is merely prolonging the inhabitation of this utterly insignificant little blue-green planet* by a few hundred / thousand years - a mere 'blink' in its existence :lol: Here's an existential question for a wet Sunday afternoon - would The Universe miss The Earth if all its inhabitants died ? :-D

*- ...whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea (HHGTTG) :rofl2:


Was it more than 98% of all animals and organisms that have ever lived on earth are extinct? i don't think anything will miss us when our time comes :lol: the earth will certainly live on without us.

D

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NewcastleFalcon
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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Deanxm wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 14:31
Cheap energy is the foundation that our society is built on and so far as I can see, we have no replacement that is as cost-effective, energy dense, safe or as flexible as fossil fuels.

D
Interesting to step back just 200 years. A mere “atom” of time in the history of the planet. Maybe the first time the King of fossil fuels was gorged on in an industrial scale, albeit with actual wooden barrels of oil.

it’s staggering how much every single day is now extracted to fuel our energy feeding frenzy.

Image

Here’s one of my POTD’s from the archives, which sprang from a radio discussion I heard on such matters.
Spoiler: show
NewcastleFalcon wrote:
12 Dec 2016, 07:38
Every picture tells a story....these two are from here...an interesting story to read in its own right

http://aoghs.org/transportation/history ... il-barrel/

Image

Image

And the reason for the picture today....snippet from "Wake up to money" on 5-live mentioning the world oil production figures per day in barrels (42 US Gallons, 35 UK Gallons). Can't remember the exact figure but it was staggering. Put it this way there would be no oak-trees left on planet earth if they still literally packaged it in barrels!

Looked it up and the IEA Market Report as one source reports it as being 96 million barrels per day.

I think that since those images from Pennsylvania in the 1800's, and a miniscule time period for the earth, the current generation, and those before us have indulged in a bit of an energy feeding frenzy.

Regards Neil
Regards Neil

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white exec
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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by white exec »

Marc asked 'who needs cheap energy at 3am?'. If you heat your hot water by electricity, or operate a washing machine or tumble drier (the sort that doesn't catch fire), or have under-floor/storage heating, then it's quite advantageous to operate these at night.

Benefit, nationally, is smoothed out energy demand, and so savings in infrastructure where daytime peaks are reduced. Carrot for consumers is reduced unit costs at off-peak times. Here in Spain, Endesa (about as large as Iberdrola) currently structure our off-peak tariff this:
2200-1200h: normal unit charge less 40%
1200-2200h: normal unit charge plus 30%.
At home here, we manage to do 70% of our units consumption at the cheap times. That also includes irrigation and pool pump circulation, as well as all the things mentioned above.

Our smart meter is, like others, capable of transmitting its readings and being controlled by either
- GSM phone signal
- down the power cable itself
- manually, by IR link, or display reading
There are NO estimated readings - that is the whole point.
The last time it was read manually was on installation, some six years ago.

Is it accurate? Absolutely: I have a second (private) Landis & Gyr analogue (rotating disc) checkmeter, which I purchased and installed to check the erratic and inaccurate billing - always in Endesa's favour - we endured with the previous analogue meter. The new smartmeter and our check-meter agree within 1% on our 3ph units used.

There is evidence that appreciable numbers of very old analogue meters had been under-reading for years, and where these were replaced with new meters (smart or otherwise) consumption could show an increase. This fed into the myth that smart meters produced higher bills.

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by Gibbo2286 »

The time price differential is nothing new, I had 'Economy 7' for years which priced night time at a lower figure than daytime and 'night storage heaters' which were supposed to release the heat stored overnight through the day but it was still an expensive set up and I was glad to get off and onto gas central heating.

In my business I had an even worse set up from the nationalised board (MEB in my case) they fitted what they called a 'maximum demand meter' this had a normal rate and a higher rate 50% higher for he whole quarter if my consumption exceeded 3Kw for any thirty minute period during the quarter.

Because I was very very careful to not let that happen I once had a couple of MEB investigators dash into the shop and go straight to the meter to check if it had been tampered with.

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bobins
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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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Whilst it's perfectly accurate to say there was always the old Economy 7, it's generally accepted that people signed up to that through informed choice. How many people sign up to the new Smart Meters in the UK and are ignorant of the fact that they "support advanced tariff systems, allow for remote control of the power supply and/or power limitation" ?

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

So how do smart meters communicate?

Is this reassuring :?:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/sm ... le-signal/

The new wireless smart meter network, operated by the Data and Communications Company (DCC), will cover more homes than are currently covered by 4G . In Ofcom’s latest Connected Nations report, just 88 per cent of premises receive data from mobile networks. The new national communications network will cover more than 99.25 per cent.

Once the new network is up and running, existing smart meters will be automatically enrolled over the air, so customers can enjoy automatically updated, accurate bills. The network is highly secure and was designed with British intelligence agency GCHQ. And because smart meters don’t connect via Wi-Fi or to the internet, homeowners are secure from the attentions of hackers.

Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 03 Mar 2019, 20:21, edited 2 times in total.

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Gibbo2286
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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by Gibbo2286 »

bobins wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 19:35
Whilst it's perfectly accurate to say there was always the old Economy 7, it's generally accepted that people signed up to that through informed choice. How many people sign up to the new Smart Meters in the UK and are ignorant of the fact that they "support advanced tariff systems, allow for remote control of the power supply and/or power limitation" ?


That's really a non-starter bobins, consumers never had too much choice in what they get, certainly none at all when it was in the hands of the nationalised 'boards', they told you what you had to pay and how it was metered and if you didn't pay they cut you off, the private companies are regulated and cannot do that any more without first helping you to sort the debt.

This from the official rules:

People with smart meters are protected by exactly the same strict regulations that protect anyone with a traditional meter relating to an energy supplier switching off or disconnecting their gas or electricity supplies.
'Your energy supplier cannot disconnect you without first assessing your situation and how a disconnection might affect you. They must also have discussed options for you to pay back any debt, for example through a prepayment plan.
'As with analogue gas and electricity meters, disconnection can only happen as a last resort and is only taken after every other opportunity to settle the debt has been exhausted.'

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

Gibbo2286 wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 20:15

That's really a non-starter bobins, consumers never had too much choice in what they get, certainly none at all when it was in the hands of the nationalised 'boards', they told you what you had to pay and how it was metered and if you didn't pay they cut you off, the private companies are regulated and cannot do that any more without first helping you to sort the debt.

This from the official rules:

People with smart meters are protected by exactly the same strict regulations that protect anyone with a traditional meter relating to an energy supplier switching off or disconnecting their gas or electricity supplies.
'Your energy supplier cannot disconnect you without first assessing your situation and how a disconnection might affect you. They must also have discussed options for you to pay back any debt, for example through a prepayment plan.
'As with analogue gas and electricity meters, disconnection can only happen as a last resort and is only taken after every other opportunity to settle the debt has been exhausted.'



But that's the difference, Gibbo. They told you what the Economy 7 tariff would be. The difference with the modern meters is that I don't think most of the people realise that they've signed up for a piece of technology that's intended to modify their energy usage to a greater extent than just turning the odd light off. One of the key - if not THE key - reason for the smart meters is to allow control of energy usage in the future - either by variable tariff charging or power limitation, and I don't think the UK public are signing up for the new meters for that reason.

As you said before:
The time price differential is nothing new, I had 'Economy 7' for years which priced night time at a lower figure than daytime and 'night storage heaters' which were supposed to release the heat stored overnight through the day but it was still an expensive set up and I was glad to get off and onto gas central heating.
People that sign up for new meters are effectively signing up for a similar deal to Economy 7 at some point (theoretically at least) in the future, and I don't think they realise they're doing so.


I agree that the energy companies have to follow due process to cut anyone off, but once they've made that decision to cut you off, it's quite easy for them to do so. They'd even (possibly) have the option of cutting you off for and hour or so a day so you realise they mean business and that you should pay any debt sharpish.

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

NewcastleFalcon wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 20:14
So how do smart meters communicate?

Is this reassuring :?:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/sm ... le-signal/

The new wireless smart meter network, operated by the Data and Communications Company (DCC), will cover more homes than are currently covered by 4G . In Ofcom’s latest Connected Nations report, just 88 per cent of premises receive data from mobile networks. The new national communications network will cover more than 99.25 per cent.

Regards Neil


So how are they going to achieve this ? Build more phone masts ? IIRC, there was legislation which meant the phone companies HAD to co-operate and allow rival companies onto their masts, and there was (IIRC) also a change that gave the phone companies far greater powers over landlords who they rented mast facilities from. Wonder how they're going to jump from 88% coverage to 99.25% coverage that's relatively low cost but involves a new network ???
Once the new network is up and running, existing smart meters will be automatically enrolled over the air, so customers can enjoy automatically updated, accurate bills. The network is highly secure and was designed with British intelligence agency GCHQ. And because smart meters don’t connect via Wi-Fi or to the internet, homeowners are secure from the attentions of hackers.
Glad to see that as it was always a consideration that an enemy nation state might gain control of the smart meter network and 'blip' all the meters off and on and fry the local / national distro network. 8-[

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by GiveMeABreak »

5g? Yeh, right, we are in that 25% of non coverage with barely a 2 g signal at 1 bar! So I take comfort that we will probably the last bastion of non-smart meter heaven there is.

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by white exec »

Smart meters are also able to send/receive data down the power lines to which they are connected, so don't necessarily require mob.phone coverage.

Disconnection for non-payment is illegal in Spain, as access to water and electricity is regarded as essential to life. Companies are obliged to make alternative payment arrangements. This doesn't stop companies from unscrupulous threats to disconnect, but these won't stand up in court.

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Excellent bit of participation today, thats what I like to see on the FCF.

My last contribution of the day is what may be described as the from the horse's mouth....

Yes our Government have a Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and they issued a policy paper on 31st December 2018, and here it is....

Smart meters: unlocking the future

Regards Neil

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by myglaren »

Is that like the Department For Rewriting History?

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by white exec »

NewcastleFalcon wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 23:46
Yes, our Government have a Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and they issued a policy paper on 31st December 2018, and here it is....
Smart meters: unlocking the future
Thanks for posting that Neil. I read the document more-or-less from end to end.

The text of the document seems to have come straight from the energy companies, with a good sprinkling of input from other commercial outfits that have an interest in riding on the back of the UK energy market. They have obviously succeeded in getting the ear of the government on this one.

UK selling and billing of energy in the UK was once fairly simple, with only the option of Economy 7 for domestic users, with its obvious and simple savings, and advantages for demand smoothing for the generators.

It was then realised that simple tariffs allowed consumers to make easy choices, and when "competition" was introduced into the energy and other markets - largely by selling off previous public utilities and services - it wouldn't do to allow consumers to make simple comparisons between the suppliers.

A multitude of tariffs and contract options was seized on as a way of heading off what was seen as dangerous consumer choice - surely everyone would simply go for the obviously best deal? - and the intentional result was the bewildering number of cost options we now have in
- mobile phones and internet
- electricity and gas billing
- insurance
- hotels
- flights
- train fares.

This was made further opaque (although transparency was the way it was sold) by the creation of Cost Comparison Websites, which purported to show the best deals available for a given set of requirements. These sites turned out to be mostly commercial, run by the provider companies themselves. As has been well documented now, their sponsors paid to steer consumers towards their own products, and often excluded company offerings which were not from their list of sponsors. Independent and comprehensive they were not, although they peddled the myth of offering "the best deals".

All this complexity of charges (and faux competition) simply leaves many consumers baffled, and, of course, this was the aim of the exercise. Opacity leads to helplessness, and the possibility of consumer manipulation.

Reluctantly, the government has had to admit (after Parliamentary and consumer investigation) that the savings in the Smartmeter and energy-switching 'market' can amount to no more than around 2%* p.a., and have obliged the advertisers to include that in their small-print text and sound-tracks.

Given that level of limited saving (assuming other obvious measures like switching off unnecessary things, etc), many consumers have decided not to bother; the government paper above states that 60% of consumers have not engaged in energy supplier switching. Is it any wonder?

It's clear from the Paper above, that increasing complexity of options and "consumer choice" is still the name of the game, and it looks all set to become yet more complicated and incomprehensible to many.

I'm all in favour of smart technology being used to make sensible use of the country's grid, generating capacity and other services (off-peak fares have a long history of just this), but let's not allow the largely now commercial providers to use this illusion of choice as a means of disguising the best possible deals.

There is currently a public backlash (reluctantly acknowledged by government) over rail fare complexity, and the blatant exploitation of passengers. Given the rest of the rail chaos, this one might get (partly) sorted. I'm not so sure about the energy market, in which the current government has little expertise or interest in rationalising.
______________

* This tiny potential saving is not limited to the UK. Here in Spain, where the energy market is similarly "deregulated", in areas of the country (we are one) where there is only one supplier of power, consumers are given a discount (of 2%) in lieu of supplier choice. This figure is there to substitute for the saving which could be made, if there were an alternative supplier.
At least, here, there is an independent government-operated energy supplier comparison website, into which you can put your requirements (eg off-peak, gas and/or electricity) and annual consumption and postcode. It crunches the figures, and lists simply, in order of cost, ALL the companies which can offer your requirements, or close to them.