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Gas and Electricity

Discussion in 'Personal' started by enigma23, May 26, 2019.

  1. enigma23

    enigma23 New commenter


    Our dual fuel deal comes to an end soon and we need to switch.

    I have looked deeply into comparison sites, Martin Lewis, cashback etc but most of the switches suggested to me based on my current consumption rate say ‘signing up to this is accepting that you will also have a smart meter installed’.

    Now I’m not an expert on these and I know that some people love em and some people hate em. The rates offered to me are quite good so would like to switch to them if I can but not sure about the smart meter idea.

    Any suggestions either way?

  2. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I think - I am not sure though - it takes quite a few hours to get the thing installed (and you must be home) and then the real annoyance is they cannot guarantee the meter won't need to be changed again should you get a better deal elsewhere.

    So it will be a bit of a hassle to change suppliers down the line and I'd be very worried these good deal suppliers right now will get much more expensive later, on the basis you won't be bothered to go through it all again.

    If such things do not bother you then could be worthwhile playing them at their own game and when they up the price, change and get a new meter - as wasteful as it all is.

    My fear with the meters is I presume (again, do not know for certain) that once you have one installed that's it - no going back to analogue/basic meters.
  3. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I have an Ovo smart meter. They sent it through the post and I plugged it in. It took about three seconds, most of which was moving the kettle, so I could reach the plug. I could handle doing that again...
    Ovo are good. They do 100% renewable fuel, both gas and electricity, and they seem to me to be fairly good value. I have an on-line tariff and they send me monthly statements. I can adjust my direct debit when I need to and they always respond to any questions in a friendly and helpful way.
    I especially like the fact that they are not one of the Big Six (or maybe Five?) companies, and they stood against them when theyw ere all putting prices up constantly a coupe of years ago.
    Other providers are available.
    minnie me likes this.
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Yes we are with Ovo and I too would recommend. We don’t have a Smart Meter though
  5. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Smart meters. Like self-scan checkouts. Putting people out of work.
    border_walker, suzuki1690 and Dodros like this.
  6. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    Then yes, I was mistaken to suggest it took a while to install. However, did you already have a smart meter (previous supplier) or was this a first time installation?
  7. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    The basic problem with smart meters currently is that they are not necessarily portable, so the next time you change supplier, most of the functions stop working. I think the saving I have seen attributed to them is about £26 per year which is welcome but not really deal breaking.

    I actually tried to have a smart meter installed but the installation failed because the supplier got it wrong so we have an ordinary dumb meter. We also have an Owl meter which gives us the same functionality (though perhaps not as good accuracy) but is portable.
  8. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    The smart meter is actually attached where the supply enters the house, The thing you plug in is the display. We don't bother having ours plugged in.
  9. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Maybe I have a smart meter already in the house, then? We didn't have anyone coming to install for several hours' time that I can remember. And we have been here 12 years. And it's not new house.
    I am puzzled.
    But I still like Ovo...
  10. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Our smart meter was installed when we switched to Ovo four years ago. They insisted on it. It took ages to install and didn’t work, so they installed a booster signal. It still didn’t work.

    We haven’t been with Ovo for about three years now and their stupid meter just sits in the understairs cupboard doing nothing. Until they are able to be used with any energy provider and are reliable, I wouldn’t bother.
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I am with OVO at home and like them because you get interest on credit balances. I send monthly meter readings on-line. I am paying £70 per month less than I was forking out to Powergen and Scottish Power many years ago.

    Our rental property is with another supplier that mr.jubilee manages. That account was previously with British Gas and we had a smart meter fitted. There is no standardisation of smart meters and it no longer works with the new supplier and we will not have their smart meter fitted (or one from OVO at home) until the government regulates it and makes them fit a standad model that will work with all suppliers.

    When we were with British Gas, we did not need to ask our student tenants to send us regular meter readings as they were picked up remotely by BG via their smart meter. The students did not use the plug-in gadget that was provided.
    People seem to think that the gizmo you plug in to a socket is the smart metter. It is not. It simply allows you to monitor your usage and make adjustments (such as putting less water in the kettle). That's how you can save money. The smart meter itself simply measures your usage. It does not save you anything.

    The actual smart meter needs an engineer to change the current gas and/or electric meters.
  12. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    Indeed - even OVO say allow 2 hours for the installation. Maybe they burrowed through your wall and fitted it anyhow when doing the neighbour's one :D
    mothorchid likes this.
  13. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    mothorchid likes this.
  14. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

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