British Gas Smart Meters

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

British Gas Smart Meters

British gas smart meter
There comes a time in your life when you realise that you are turning into your parents. I am now becoming like my Father. This isn't a bad thing, infact it is good for the environment and for our energy bills. My Dad is very aware of his energy consumption and will happily sit in a darkened room watching the TV rather than the switching on three additional lights like I do. A few days ago British Gas came and installed a smart meter in our house. A smart meter replaces your existing gas and electric meter. The "smart" bit is that your new meter sends your latest readings directly to British Gas so that you have accurate bills instead of estimates. It also provides you with a touchscreen box which allows you to view in pounds and pence how much gas and electricity you are using. British Gas are currently upgrading existing customers for free. I booked a convenient day for them to visit and they phoned about half an hour before to tell me they were on the way (which is extremely handy if you need to pop out and do things.) For more information  on the smart meters have a look at the video clip below:




So what have I found out from using the smart meter? For a start you are aware of how much energy you are wasting. I never really bothered about the odd light left on in an empty room before, but when you see it in pence on a screen it gets you thinking. I must also admit that I have previously been guilty of filling the kettle to the brim when it's just a cuppa for me. Now I know that boiling the kettle really makes that meter reading change so that won't be happening in the future. As you can see from the infographic below the average house could save £65 a year with a smart meter installed.

So if you are a British Gas customer and don't yet have a smart meter you can find out more information about registering for a free upgrade here. Are you careful about not wasting energy? Do you think this would really benefit you? What would you spend the money you saved on instead?


For more information on how we got on you can read our review here. You can also read about smart meters around the world and The Smart Energy Report.


We were already British Gas customers, so the smart meter installation was free of charge, but I have been compensated for writing this post to raise awareness of their scheme.

105 comments:

Kim Carberry said...

We had the smart meter put in early last year and it's one of the older one's nothing as fancy as that....Does the same job though!


Mine has three lights which are green, amber and red.....It goes onto red when we're using a lot of electricity and gas.....Usually when I'm in the kitchen cooking tea the kids always mess about in the living room....For months I convinced the kids that when it went onto amber or red that the fairies and Santa were watching and it they didn't like how my two were behaving....hehehe

Louise Fairweather said...

Yes ours has the traffic lights too. Why did I not think of the Santa thing? May come in handy on the lead up to Xmas. Just need to make sure that the tumble dryer and washing machine are on when they are naughty ;-)

Tracy K Nixon said...

Great review thanks!

katrina day-reilly said...

fab review

soozybee said...

Sounds like a great idea

Jennifer Carroll said...

It sounds like a good idea but how quickly can these go faulty and how would you know?

Linda Guest said...

I have one of these. It's great for showing you how much energy you are using. I do into meltdown if the light goes red :) Unfortunately it is supposed to pass your usage directly onto the supplier and this function isn't working so we still have to have the meters read but I'm sure this is just a glitch. Overall it's a good idea.

caro_mad said...

They do sound like a very clever idea. We're not with British Gas though.

Louise Fairweather said...

I know - now what shall I spend it on.....

Louise Fairweather said...

Well I can let you know if mine packs up, So far so good. I imagine it would turn itself off?

Louise Fairweather said...

I think it is a great reminder of how much everything you do impacts your overall bill. Give them a call - sounds like yours might need swopping

Jennifer Carroll said...

yeah that would be good thanks :) yh I suppose if the data doesn't change and the screen fades it's a sign that it's on it's way out.

Sharon said...

Sounds like a good idea, thank you for the details

Nancy Townsend said...

Thanks for the info. I'll sign up now.

Vanessa Booles said...

Sounds like a good idea

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PamGregory said...

What a great idea. I wonder if other providers offer this?

Zoe Roxby said...

good idea

Natalie Crossan said...

Great idea x

Katarzyna Szewczyk said...

Good idea.

Leonie Savory said...

What a great idea :o)

Karen said...

Great idea x

Samantha Ripley said...

this looks great

Rebecca Nisbet said...

Looks good

Stacey Dawn Robinson said...

i try to be careful not wasting energy

Siobhan Dignam said...

I know I do waste energy a lot but I'm trying to cut down lol

Rebecca Mercer said...

I think although this a good idea for some, I think for me not so much I'd be checking it constantly ha

Hayley Todd said...

I think this is a great idea, to help families especially save money on their power bills, especially since the price hikes yet again! I'm not with British Gas, so would love to see these rolled out by other companies.

deej71 said...

great idea to save money

Julie Jingle Baxter said...

fantastic idea

Linda Guest said...

thank you

David S said...

I had one of these as a free offer from somewhere. So, I knew what it cost to make a slice of toast or cup of tea - but so what? I still have my tea and toast. For someone already careful (mean?) with money, I reckon the device is pretty useless. The transmitter end needs new batteries from time to time. I have given up on mine.

Mark Goodwin said...

Are you sure your not talking about the one that has a collar that goes around the cable. This new version replaces the meters completely.

tenretnitb said...

Firstly, it is real time monitoring your energy use, so any hacker can see if you are on holiday, or at work by reading your consumption on line at any time.Secondly, it enables the power company to switch all your power off by remote control if they decide you should have a power cut but not your neighbour. They have control of your power supply, and know what you have switched on and what you have not switched on. Why do they need this control over you?

PaWiSu said...

Why would British Gas want its customers to use less fuel? The smart meters have been ordered by government at extraordinary cost. They are not fitted free; from figures I saw it will add about £100 to an energy user's bill. Don't be brain washed.

wheres the links said...

I think smart meters need to be proved safe before they are used in my house, The same principle technology used is from the original technology for the first mobile phones, Where will they place the mast to transfer the information?

wheres the links said...

smart meters "DO NOT REDUCE CONSUMPTION" they only tell you what you have used, its just more profit for the gas companies to make more profit, They say (BG) will save £170 million a year, but that saving is at the cost of human beings being thrown out of work, Sorry its a con and a threat to privacy and a threat to health from radiation.

wheres the links said...

What the companies are trying to do is change the usage to time to a dip in the usage which is late evening.

Whiffler said...

I too am cynical as to why smart meters are being introduced - and wary of the security issues when going on holiday.


BUT my 2 main reasons for resisting are different:

a) it is yet another nail in our levels of human contact, and
b) the reduction in paid employment .
- I also object to the assumption they can do what they like in my home without asking me.


I still have milk delivered, and the post of course, but every time a machine is substituted for a human being (doing a job for which they quite rightly receive a salary), human interaction is reduced. We could easily spend our lives without physically talking to another human being for days, weeks or months. I know, which is why I now resist every new onslaught.


A huge %age of the calls we make now connect to machines, not humans. The local shop has self-checkout, or we can shop on line for almost everything.


This absence of casual, quick, conversations with strangers is exactly the environment in which fear thrives, and isolation increases, producing a poorer, mentally unhealthier society. We are an ageing population as they keep telling us. It would be good if we are not even more isolated than currently.

Pete said...

It is MOBILE.3G tech, the meters have a mobile SIM card inside & the data is uploaded via the internet. There's no extra masts involved, it's simply a 3G or 4G mobile device.

British Gas Team said...

Hi tenretnitb, we’d like to put your mind at rest by answering your concerns about smart meters. The entire smart meter system has been designed to a very high security level and everything is protected with cryptographic keys, the same secure technology used in online banking. Only British Gas and yourself will be able to access your readings or smart meter settings. Smart meters send real-time readings to British Gas via GPRS, the same technology used by a mobile phone. The advantage of this wireless communication capability is that your smart meter can be upgraded without having to arrange for a smart meter expert to come to your home. We won’t be using smart meters to control your power supply or enforce power cuts. You can learn more about smart meters and how they work here: bit.ly/1gtXCpQ. Many thanks, Simone from British Gas.

tenretnitb said...

So you are saying that smart meters cannot be remotely switched off? and that the supply can only be switched off manually. ?

Enid Blyton said...

you pay £15 a month on dual-fuel from the get go, not for "What you use" as the cheery girl smilingly misinforms. I'm changing providers. Ebico don't charge a standing rate, so you really do only pay for what you use. Your claims in this advertisement could well see you in Court BG.

Enid Blyton said...

I'd like to put a collar around Cable..the silly old fart

Enid Blyton said...

My local Co-Op has been sold off. Was like a large corner shop but better than dealing with the robots that manned the Sainsbury's conveyor belt. They resented you as much as they did their god-awful job.

Enid Blyton said...

Any idiot knows that photo-voltaic cells will crap out in 10 years and wind-turbines will be hugely inefficient given the maintenance costs. Thing is (I mean domestic PVCs and turbines) are draining the grid (doshwise) rather than enriching it (yay, everyone kisses unicorns' arses). If and when Russia turns off the tap, we'll be kicking ourselves for not being fracking quicker.

Enid Blyton said...

We'll still get wildly inaccurate bills and see our direct debits hoiked up for a moment until we complain and in the meantime, a nice little earner. Enough for several dead-beats to go off on a Maldivian jolly.

Enid Blyton said...

They're well aware of the Eastenders' moment

Enid Blyton said...

"I'm gonna make a nice cuppa tea for the fairmly"

British Gas Team said...

With smart meters, energy suppliers have no more powers to disconnect than with a standard meter. On those extremely rare occasions when this is necessary, it will be possible to disconnect the meter remotely but for customers in payment difficulties, we will always look for alternatives to disconnection. With smart meters it should be possible for us to help customers having difficulty paying much earlier. Also anyone with a smart meter will be able to choose pay-as-you-go to help them manage their budget. If a customer is having difficulties paying their energy bills, we ask them to contact us at the earliest opportunity so that we can help them as soon as possible.

British Gas follows Ofgem's rules on disconnection and this will not change for customers with smart meters. Many thanks, Simone from British Gas.

Whiffler said...

Hi British Gas Team - you don't seem to understand that we WANT an 'expert' to come to our homes - or at least someone who can communicate with other humans and get paid for doing a job (instead of being on near starvation level Welfare benefits).

Yes it might cost more - no evidence has been provided either way (and please don't bother trying to persuade us otherwise as we know that, like any FTSE100 company - or Government, Centrica - BG's owners - can afford the most expensive accountants and 'spinners', to bend any facts to say what they believe will improve their profits).


No-one wants an ever-growing population of the unemployed on welfare benefits, reduced to choosing between food or fuel. Except, it seems, our Govt and the already hugely wealthy.

But the 'extra costs' should come out of excessive profits - by which I mean Centrica's excess profits. Centrica is reported as having threatened to withdraw it's 'investments' if it is forced to accept a short term limit on cost increases, rather than reduce its payouts to shareholders and some of the highest paid employees in the land ... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/02/20/uk-centrica-results-idUKBREA1J0FD20140220


Credit where it's due - Centrica does appear to be a British company, and it provides gas to 40% of the British market from what I can see. Which is probably why this Govt wants to break it up; to make smaller - but still huge - companies with big profits, which a few years down the line will buy each othe out and become ......


But Centrica should be evolving and supporting renewable forms of energy, not draining the non-renewable underground reserves of the world . And returning to the point - people add quality to a service, never just machines.

tenretnitb said...

Thank you for confirming the accuracy of my statement that smart meters give you two additional abilities. Firstly you have real time (I.E. at any time of day or night that you desire) you can observe power consumption, and from that information you can tell if my home is occupied, I might be at work or on holiday, this information being useful to would-be burglars. Secondly: smart meters can used to remotely switch all power off to my home at any time of your choosing. This new ability enables you to select individuals for selected power cuts, leaving neighbours` power still on. Furthermore, this ability renders burglar alarms ineffective because a would-be burglar can hack the system and switch power off, rendering home alarm system useless. Please state if you intend to charge home owners differnt rates if they decline to have a smart meter fitted? Will you charge a higher price for electricity if the home-owner declines to have a smartmeter fitted.Thank you for your help.

Festival-Eye Andy Smith said...

When has a corporation
ever introduced a new product out of feelings of altruism toward the customer?



This ‘Smart Meter’ will be
able to report on what device you use in your home and when, as it communicates
with other ‘smart’ appliances. Most home electrical devices will soon be fitted
with compatible spy chips and many already have. We are profiled every time we
shop at a supermarket. Devices like these can and will be updated to spy on you
in your own home. Make no mistake; this technology is for corporate benefit
sold to us on the back of very spurious benefits. If you think the data is safe
from people who may wish to use it for nefarious means, research how many
breaches of private, so called ‘Protected Information’ have already taken place
in other areas?



If we want to monitor our
electricity use you can already buy cheaply a meter, which simply plugs in
between your device(s) and the mains. These ‘smart meters’ may be offered
‘free’ but who will really pay for them in the end?



The argument may soon be
used “if you haven’t got anything to hide, you will not mind”. Important people
and their families will of course be excluded from compulsery compliance for
“security reasons”. If you want to want everyone to know what you are up to in
your own home why not install cheap webcams and put your entire life on line
for all to scrutinize?



This “smart’ technology can
and will be used to scrutinize even more of our private lives. There are added radiation risks as well as the
ability of power companies to introduce selective power cuts at the touch of a
button. I.E. less important people will be cut off before more important people
in the event of power shortages. Poorer people will be sacrificed before the
rich, just like on ‘The Olympic’ AKA ‘The Titanic’ (read up on the identity
switch of these ships). Third class passengers drown while the rich are floated
away to safety. ‘Smart Meters’ will be able to do much the same with our electricity
supply.

The time of day we use
electricity can and inevitably will be charged differently and there will be
several different tariffs each day, probably different at weekends and holiday
periods. We may only be able to afford to put our washing machine, heating or immersion
heater after midnight or early Sunday morning once the price has been raised
for peak hours. Social control or what?



Are we going to accept the official line or do
our own research?

john martin said...

How much energy does a smart meter use a year please?

whyworry said...

All you conspiracy theorist must be driving yourselves crazy. Just relax and go with the flow... Who cares if they can monitor your energy consumption? It's no worse or better than being monitored by CCTV at every street corner, or paying by credit/debit card at a store and having every transaction you have ever made on some record in a dark corner of an office no one has seen in years. Do also consider that your lives might actually be as dull as you seem to come across in your rather delusional arguments as stated below; in which case you have nothing to worry about with people monitoring you (as most will be asleep from the drab statistics you produce on a daily basis)... you only really have to worry if you are actually hiding something... In which case I hope they find you!
And for all you people who are concerned about this being another step towards lessening contact with other human beings... have you ever thought that this might just give you a little more time to spend with a loved one rather than reading your gas meter/dealing with an incoherent technician... yes it may only be nano seconds; but with the increasing development of contactless technology and 'god forbid' the robots doing the jobs those nano seconds of time saving soon add up across your life... so instead of spending time worry about what is inevitably going to make your lives better in the long run, give your lover, son, daughter, auntie, uncle, cousin, friend some of that time... Time is short on this earth; stop worrying!

TK said...

If you can hack these meters, then you wouldn't have any need to go around robbing houses.
If someone wants to burgle your house, they will find a much easier way then hacking into a highly secure device.
As for turning your power off remotely, apart from the fact all power companies follow strict rules, you could always just make sure you pay your bills!

tenretnitb said...

If you read and understood BGas answer you would see that the information is passed via the ordinary mobile phone system. Isnt there a court trial going on at the moment about hacking the phone system?. Are the accused innocent because you know the phone system cannot be hacked.? As for the ability to turn your electric off at the mains without your knowledge, and without entering your house, why would they want to do that? You should also have read in BG answer that the system can be "upgraded", which means they can add other capabilities to their control of your electricity supply As we have managed so far without the obvious need for these capabilities, then what are they planning for the future which requires these additional powers they are taking.? Have you read 1984 by Orewell?. At the moment smart meters are optional. Next they will apply coercion by charging more for your electricity if you don't have a smart meter, and finally it will become compulsory. Then you will find out their intentions: too late. Better to have it in the open now.

tenretnitb said...

Have you also noticed that BGas have not replied to my question? Why would that be.?

tenretnitb said...

Yes , the info is passed by the mobile phone system. Therefore someone can hack the system and secretly watch your power usage as a guide to when you are away on holiday, or out at work. Valuable information for a burglar. How can you be sure it wont happen to you? Or they might just turn your power off to ruin the food in your freezer, or to switch off your burglar alarm. Why do they need to pay £ 600 to install a smartmeter to give them those capabilities to affect your families life ? Why are they doing this ? Do you know, or can you guess?

peterm0jfk@gmail.com said...

There not free and they will factor in the cost at a later date in your gas supply. Also they have done no long term testing of the device and the very high frequency exposure promotes tumour growth if constantly exposed to the Radio Frequency (RF) emissions. In America where they have deployed some of these devices in some of the states (not all yet) the meters always over charge and the public are up in arms over it over there. By the way I am a Amateur Radio Full Licence holder and we know what VERY HIGH radio frequencies to the body and we take precautions not to expose our bodies or people to any prolonged transmissions from our station using VHF, UHF UUHF (required under law in fact) yet these meters will be on all day, all night, all week, all year ON 24/7 exposing you all to all sorts of horrors with regards to ill health in the future. The gas companies wont tell you this information you will have to look it up yourselves for confirmation. They will tell you anything to get the meters in and IT IS about total control of your power supply. Even now they are realising cell phone towers are making people sick...they never did any exposure tests on them either...and now we are getting cancer clusters around them...surprise, surprise. I will be going to court and demanding they leave the analogue system in that way your not denying them the right to meter your gas or electric and have no legal recourse.

peterm0jfk@gmail.com said...

Plus they will ration your gas or electric, or even switch it off if your a naughty boy upsetting the powers that be. Its all about control in the end people. Never going to admit it tough are they? They will make a lot of money on savings on manpower and overcharging and by making you sick because they also have shares in the pharmaceutical companies and the government will have just one more terror weapon in their arsenal to use against you. Paranoid am I? You wait and see hey?

peterm0jfk@gmail.com said...

Well noted tenretnitb. Nice to see you have been doing your homework.
Not pulling the wool over your eyes are they T? They ever manage to get one under my stairs the bicycle will be smashing into it and breaking it very often.

peterm0jfk@gmail.com said...

I am wondering if you could saturate the signal with a more powerful one operating at the same frequency thus preventing the transmission of the data from the meter to the satellite? Or would the data go via the mains over the net?

tenretnitb said...

Signal goes over the mobile phone network, if they are to be believed. Observe that getting the whole truth out of B Gas is like getting blood from a stone. The whole story is not volunteered, which arouses suspicions. Why are they being deceitful.?

Danny Boyd said...

I had the smart meters fitted because I was fed up getting overestimated bills. I was a bit cynical about the whole thing but in fairness to British Gas I have found it to be a great product. I had one or two delays in getting the thing fitted but the British Gas staff were great on the phone and we sorted it out. All in all, I was impressed.

trish said...

OMG smart meters mobile microwave wi fi your all killing us slowly.

trish said...

The sheeple are dumb they and their children will get sick.

Flaynock said...

With all the microwaves involved they create a virtual radiation zone in your home because of the microwave signals they emit. So if you also factor in mobile phones, WIFI, and other electrical devices you begin to build a picture of the of the environment you are creating in your home. In addition, the meters emit controlled bursts of radiation to the 'receivers' (locally installed monitoring towers) on a frequent basis throughout the day. So if you have a small community that all have smart meters installed then, again, you are changing the environmental dynamics within that community. The human body is electrical and can be vulnerable to the cumulative effect of electrical interference/radiation = dis-ease.
We now have more phone masts and they are talking about 5G, which basically means faster streaming of music/films on your 'smart phone', but this also means more towers emitting more microwave radiation. The power companies such as British Gas do not tell about some of the potential harm these meters can cause, so get informed before making a choice. Go to youtube: The truth about smart meters - Brian Tiesen for a really informative presentation backed by credible research.

Flaynock said...

''All homes fitted with smart meters by 2020''? You "WILL" in the next few years! Do people even have a choice? Or is this just another example of the dictatorial nature of the EU; and the profits driven nature of energy companies. Notice how everything is linked to 'saving the planet' and that ordinary people are responsible for so called 'climate change' (used to be global warming but they change this due to there being no credible evidence). Make no mistake the energy companies would not introduce anything if this meant customers would save money because ultimately, as we have seen with their price fixing tactics, they are driven by profits. Do not fooled by the slick advertising used here, because if they really cared about you they would inform you about the RISKS to your health. Do your research and get informed before making your choice.

Flaynock said...

What about the health risks?

Flaynock said...

I don't trust any of them. This is all about more power and control over your daily lives. The EU say 'everyone' will have smart meters by 2020. That is dictatorial and evades the issue of health risks, which they conveniently don't mention in their promotional video.

Flaynock said...

AGENDA 21. Interesting that my previous comments about health risks and background radiation have been removed. Matters not for the people will learn the truth about why these meters are being ENFORCED onto people, collecting personal data which can be sold on to other companies, such as what items are in the fridge, how often you use those items (such as orange juice). Then imagine being on the internet and seeing ads about orange juice coming at you 24/7.

Flaynock said...

Ok what about freedom of choice? Do you want to forced into something you don't want? Oh it must be good because British Gas says so. We are talking about genuine health risks here, not just unnecessary and intrusive monitoring of your personal lives. Eventually they will chip every electrical item in your home so they can know when you turn on your TV, when your out and when you return home, when and what you eat.
Your argument about 'more contact with loved ones' is simplistic insofar that technology is not bringing people together... playstations, internet, smartphones actually discourage genuine 'family time' together. Enjoy your smart meter, your WIFI, smart phones, internet etc... and know that you are turning your home into a low level microwave oven. And by the way, the term 'conspiracy theorist' is used against some people who are actually seeking the truth for the betterment of humanity.

Flaynock said...

Cute, happy looking cat being bombarded by radiation. British Gas: 'we do more to look after our profits - your world no longer yours'! Notice the '1984' language 'smart'. Know that when this language is used there is always an hidden agenda... like David Cameron's 'where all in it together' which, translated through the 1984 BS interpreter, means 'you own the debt and will pay the deficit'.
The information does not tell you 'how' the information is sent to BG. Again, this is done by microwave radio signals (pulsing information) sent to monitoring station receivers or masts. AGENDA 21: changing the planet to a more radioactive one.

tenretnitb said...

Please advise exactly what updates you have in mind and specify the additional capabilities which the updates enable?

tenretnitb said...

Did they tell you that anyone who can hack a phone will be able to know if and when you are at home, and when you are not at home and therefore it is a good time to break in and steal your TV etc.? or was that in the small print ?

angmarwitch said...

Since you keep bleating on about phone hacking tenretnitb, i think its about time you were told : the phone hacking you keep referring to regards the interception of voicemail messages left at a remote server by dialling a number used by the persons phone and accessing the mailbox, thats a totally different matter from intercepting the 3g/4g signal that the smart meter uses and reading the data live. As far as im aware the only way that would be possible is to clone the sim and imei number for each individual meter, not to mention crack the data encryption. seems a bit resource-heavy for someone who could just go and knock on your front door or peer through the windows to see if youre home or not.

tenretnitb said...

Thank you. I referred to the current phone hacking trial as a current example of what is possible.Why do you think hacking applies only to voicemail? Any transmission can be hacked. Also , there is more than one way to aquire control of your power supply, or your current usage. Cracking your code would be doing it the hard way. Far easier to aquire the access to your smart meter by obtaining a copy from BGas when some disgruntled employee either sell the data or just publishes it on u-tube. Have you never heard of mass failures to protect sensetive data? Further, BGas has not yet stated why it needs this information and control over its customers. Nor what it can also gain when it chooses to , remotely, upgrade the capabilities of their smartmeter. What more capabilities do they plan to use, and why?

stephanie stanley said...

They keep advertising them and asking you to sign up but when I did (I am a British Gas customer) they said because demand is high they don't know when they can give me one!

Sam Prince said...

I suspect that if you take off your tinfoil hat and rest it on top of the meter, it will block the signal. Of course it will do nothing to stop their nanobot army which I have reason to believe is being sent to all home in the gas supply and then activated by a control signal sent through everyday mains wiring, using your radiators as antennae. That's why I've switched to heating the house with camping gas stoves I'm importing from a country which I can't name here for security reasons.

Sam Prince said...

You can heat your house with Calorgas - that way you'll be able to get someone to come round to deliver it regularly rather than having to wait around for months on end for the meter reader to come.

Sam Prince said...

Yes angmarwitch, you're terribly closed-minded! Don't you see the voicemail hacking trial was just an example. Obviously there are no other examples in existence, but that doesn't mean the argument is completely and utterly invalid.


I'm going to teach those burglars a thing or two, you just watch. I'm going to turn my heating off in the middle of winter and wait behind the door with a baseball bat. If you don't think I could take on a burglar with a PhD in Cryptography, a deficient understanding of risk:reward ratios and a strong desire to break into my house and steal my tinfoil hat, then you're dead wrong buddy. Dead wrong.

British Gas Team said...

Hi John, running a smart energy monitor non-stop costs, on average, less than £1 a year.

British Gas Team said...

Hi Peter, we can assure you that smart meters are very
safe. They’ve been through strict testing to ensure they are in line with
product safety requirements listed by UK and EU law. Smart meters do emit low
frequency radio waves that allow readings to be transmitted wirelessly. However,
following research, Public Health England (PHE) states that: ‘the evidence to
date suggests exposures to the radio waves produced by smart meters do not pose
a risk to health.” For more information click the link: bit.ly/1hadnqy

British Gas Team said...

Hi Tenretnitb, all customers can decide how often
their smart meter readings are sent to British Gas; from every 30 minutes to once a month. It is also important to note that only the customer is able to see their near real time energy consumption via the smart energy monitor. Plus, the readings that we receive cumulatively once a day (maximum) are not complex enough to show when you’re out or taking a shower.


For more information click the link: bit.ly/1o1nlQv We’d also like to reassure you that British Gas cannot use smart meters to control your power supply or to enforce power cuts. In answer to your final question, homeowners will not be charged to upgrade, nor
will they be charged if they choose to opt out.
However, anyone choosing not to upgrade will be missing out
on the benefits they can bring such as at-a-glance view of your energy costs, personalised energy efficiency tips and an end to estimated bills.

Thanks.

Graham said...

"we WANT an 'expert' to come to our homes"? Yeah right! Why would I want an 'expert' to come to my home while I'm at work just to post a card through the door asking me to take my own reading? And then after a few years of customer readings and estimates they insist on seeing the actual meter so you have to take time off work just to let them in. No thanks; I'll take a smart meter any day!

British Gas Team said...

Hi Peter, we can assure you that smart meters are very safe. They’ve been through strict testing to ensure they are in line with product safety requirements listed by UK and EU law.
Smart meters do emit low frequency radio waves that allow readings to be

transmitted wirelessly. However, following research, Public Health England
(PHE) states that: ‘the evidence to date suggests exposures to the radio waves
produced by smart meters do not pose a risk to health.”
For more information click the link: bit.ly/1hadnqy

Thanks,
Simone at British Gas.

tenretnitb said...

Thank you. Please indicate where I can find instructions for changing how often the smart meter sends its readings to you . I understand from your reply that I can set this to send you my meter reading from every 30 mins to as long as once per month. Is this a one off decision or can I change my mind later without penalty or charge?

Flaynock said...

Wow... such a considered, patronizing and long-winded response. To start with, the effects on the human body are cumulative (like dry rot on a potato due to decay). Second, you defeat your own argument because you correctly informed that the human body is electrical. Therefore, any variation in the electro-magnetic field can effect the body and may cause dis-ease - in the form of headaches, dizziness, etc with some people.

In his book “The Body Electric,” Robert Becker demonstrates that our cells actually communicate with each other via bioelectrical signals and electromagnetic fields. These natural EMFs help regulate important biochemical processes of all kinds. Maintaining balance in those cellular electromagnetic fields is crucial to your physical health. Introducing a number of wireless electrical appliances creates dis-harmony and your body can be effected by the EM radiation that is around you.
So enjoy your 'smart' meter Sam. I would also guess you would be happy to be FORCED to drink fluoridated water too... because a government commissioned scientific report tells you it is 'safe'. Just consider that other people do not like this technology as, invariably, it will lead to greater control over our lives in addition to the strong evidence of risks to health.
Baa

tenretnitb said...

Wont help you . You could use a jammer, or cover the aerial with lead foil etc , but if your meter doesn't reply when they phone it then they will know it is something you have caused and they will have the power to impose a fine. Don't pay it and they will cut off your supply. which they can do remotely using the phone. As can any hacker.

Peter Hewson said...

Can I direct all those concerned about the security of the GPRS system to this website? http://www.stealthgenie.com There are similar sites offering similar levels of access, and what I read is FRIGHTENING. It effectively make your life Open to all comers!!

British Gas Team said...

Hi Flaynock, smart meters have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they meet the
product safety requirements in accordance with UK and EU legislation. They
are perfectly safe. Like baby monitors and other household devices, smart
meters emit low radio frequency emissions. However, research by Public Health
England (PHE) suggests that these radio waves are likely to be thousands of
times less than that of a mobile phone and therefore PHE states that: ‘the
evidence to date suggests exposures to the radio waves produced by smart
meters do not pose a risk to health.”

For more information click the link:
bit.ly/1hadnqy

Micky said...

My Smart Meter is useless -
-it only works on the electricity meter, they couldn't replace my gas meter because it wouldn't talk to comms unit
-the signal doesn't work through walls
-doesn't know the difference between import and export from my solar panels
-the solar panel page doesn't work
-they haven't got a clue when they will cure all these problems.
Totally useless

Micky said...

The trial is not about hacking "the phone system" it is about listening to voice mail messages. This they could do easily because the users were too lazy to create a password in the first place, didn't pick their messages up promptly and didn't delete them when read.

British Gas Team said...

Sure, you can have a read through our Customer Guide to review your options: http://www.britishgas.co.uk/content/dam/british-gas/documents/customer-charter.pdf. When you wish to change your preferences, please call our dedicated Smart Metering team on 0800 980 6121.

Thanks ^Simone at British Gas

tenretnitb said...

Thank you for reply .I followed your link and understand that the customer has no controll over when and how often data is collected, because B Gas can read the meter at any time of their choosing, and as frequently as they wish.All the consumer can do is inform B Gas of the consumer`s preferred choice, E.G. once per month, but B Gas can choose to ignore the consumers wishes .So can any hacker! Therefore my initial statement that the Smart meter allows remote disconnection, and anytime monitoring of current usage(which indicates if the home is unoccupied or not) is completely accurate.You expect the consumer to pay you for giving you the power to monitor whether the home is occupied or not, and to disconnect power remotely.By accepting a smart meter consumers are enabling any hacker to have the same powers. Imagine going away on holiday and returning to find some joker has hacked the system and turned off power, thereby disconnecting your burglar alarm and your deep freeze. Also, in winter they could switch off your heating so the house freezes solid while you are away. Please explain how this can be an advantage to the ordinary consumer?

Simon said...

Maybe you are right.....maybe they are too busy breaking into their customer's homes to reply to you!!! Why on earth would they care whether you are at home or not?? Presumably you don't have a mobile phone or digital TV? I've got a smart meter and haven't been burgled yet...apparently burglars go for slightly less technical methods of working out if you are not at home...they go to your house and find out for themselves! Keep the posts coming though as I love all this conspiracy theory stuff - hilarious!!!!

tenretnitb said...

Anyone fed up with overestimated fuel bills has an easy solution. Use the Freephone number to provide the actual reading. That way you need never get an overestimated bill againl. The power company saves the wages of the old meter reader, and the comsumer gets the advantage of accurate billing and cheaper bills.

tenretnitb said...

Well now. So far we have established that no-one needs a smart meter in order to avoid overestimated bills. All you have to do is use the free=phone number to report your actual usage and get an exact bill.Is that hllarious enough for you ? And the power company saves money because they no longer pay a meter reader. But British Gas is planning to spend £600, of your money, fitting a smart meter in order to ensure you never again have to pay an overestimated bill. You find that hilarious enough? you are paying. bye bye.

tenretnitb said...

There is the capability for a signal to go from the smartmeter, via your house mains wiring, to appliances in your home which are equipped to receive powerline signals. This capability is not yet in use in the smartmeters(although it is already fitted inside) and is referred to as an upgrade to the present system. It will be implemented when sufficient appliances fitted with control chips have been sold. It gives the power company the ability to override the manual controls on all your suitably equipped home appliances. E.G. immersion heaters, central heating etc.

TK said...

Your paranoia is rampant. You obviously have no knowledge of how hacking works and the fact you've compared hacking these smart meters to the current phone hacking scandal only strengthens my views on this.
It would take a hacker of some skill to crack into one of these, I'm sure they'd have far more lucrative endeavours they could pursue then robbing houses.
...and if you don't want your power turned off by the power company, then pay your bills. I've managed to go 40 years without having my power turned off. Do you think there is some sort of conspiracy for power companies to randomly turn off your power? I'm sure they're as keen as mustard to cut off their revenues... not!

tenretnitb said...

If the businesses/people whose phones are hacked knew every method by which the hacking can be done, then they would be able to stop it. It is precisely because there are so many methods available in this fast-evolving technology that they are unable to prevent hacking. This situation is unlikely to change. Your judgement of myself , and other people, as being paranoid and ignorant of the facts which, you imply, are understood by yourself, because you are happy with the situation, is absurd and not based on a realistic appraisal of the facts, but no doubt it makes you feel good to slag others and claim knowledge and superior evaluation of a situation for yourself.. I suggest you look into a mirror when the light condition is good enough for a clear view. You will be looking at an arrogant idiot who feels free to offer insults and poor advice to others, based on an incomplete and arrogant ignorance of the relevant facts. That situation is also unlikely to change too, Have a nice future. I am sure you get along well with other people. P.S. have you had your free smartmeter fitted? do tell.

tenretnitb said...

Thanks,

TK said...

I've worked in IT for over 20 years and spent a good amount of that time dealing with IT Security, I now work more primarily with online security. What you are insinuating about the possible security flaws of a device like this is unfounded and it is obvious your knowledge of hacking is basic at best. So if you feel pointing out your obvious lack of knowledge in the subject is an insult, then I'm sorry but I'm not one to leave out details, especially when someone is using incorrect information to try and make a point.
Whether you like it or not, this smart metre is the type of device we'll eventually see in every home across the country. No one can stop progress, as unwanted as it may be.
I want one, I'm sick of rude meter men visiting my house. I'm sick of paying a set rate every month and 6 months later finding out we're £300 in credit. The current process is antiquated and slow, time to move on.

tenretnitb said...

You didn't answer my question about a free lunch. There is no unhackable phone system any more than there is an unhackable computer, guaranteed immune to virus/Trojan/whatever. Freely giving control of your house electrics to anyone with the determination and the ability to take control seems very foolhardy, especially when there is no necessity or advantage to yourself in doing so. You don't have to find you are £300 in credit. Use the Freephone number to give an accurate reading, and ask what your balance is. You can ask for a change to the regular payment and/or get a refund. That is what the Freephone is for. The situation you describe, though admittedly not of your making, is, nevertheless, avoidable with minimum effort and no cost to you since it is a Freephone. Why suffer as you say you do when, by 5 minutes effort each month you can avoid the situation which causes you so much irritation. you choose to do nothing and hand control to someone else. That is your choice, but you have alternative courses of action. Incidentally, there have been earlier attempts to control consumer choice in their own home. Many houses were compulsorily fitted with a device named a rhythmator, or similar word. This device was wired compulsorily into the immersion heater circuit to enable the authorities to turn off all immersion heaters. Electric cookers were scheduled for same deal, so baby belling production soared. Ask the authorities to confirm the smartmeter cannot be used with powerline controllers, to switch off cooker, deepfreezers, fridges, immersion heaters, and see if that is their plan for the forecast "future upgrades". The rhythemator devices were , to my knowledge, rarely used. The reason was because the govt solved the problem an easier way. They built a few more power stations. It is true our power situation has since deteriorated, but that is mainly because the population has risen by approx. 20 million since those days in the mid 1950s , and more people means there is less capacity per head now. The result of the first time home appliances are switched off remotely will be that all who can afford will buy a portable generator to power their deepfreeze and fridge, and possibly their central heating pump. It is doubly suspicious that their intentions are concealed behind the offer of a free smartmeter and bland assurances that it is all for the consumers free benefit. Please answer my question about a free lunch. And do ask how the powerline controllers will affect you. after all, you will be paying for them to be fitted in all new home appliances very soon. They are not being fitted for "free".

tenretnitb said...

24 hours later and you are presumably too busy, or disdain, to reply to my efforts. I don't believe meter readers are rude. You don't have to let the power company run your finances for you. You can send them the accurate data for free and always get an accurate bill, and you can monitor your payments, again for free via the Freephone number, and keep control of your hard-earned money. The things that irritate you are entirely your own fault because you do nothing to help yourself. Have you asked the power company if it is true that powerline controllers are scheduled to be fitted in home utilities, and that they will be switched off remotely via the smartmeter when the company is instructed to , or when they are empowered to.? If you are as docile as you seem , and prefer to leave everything to the power company, as you have done so far by your own admission, then it is a fair bet that you have not bothered to find out if power line controllers are planned for your home, whether you like it or not.