I can’t offer any suggestions other than just bin the letters unopened, (or return them with a scathing message if there’s a prepaid envelope), but if you think the smart meter scenario is bad - try getting rid of your telly and convincing them you haven’t got one!
We didn’t have one for about ten years, (after a period of having one) and they were still pestering us several times a year for the whole ten years.
I just scan the outside of envelopes and bin them immediately if they are bin fodder. I guess things things from the electric company need opening if you still have paper bills but a quick glance can determine if they are important or just sales blurb. My advice would be to pick your battles, caring is hard enough without worrying about relatively trivial things. The world is full of people and machines sending out sales blurb.
I think they sometimes can want to ‘con’ us into thinking we ‘must’ accept them. I have letters that say ‘We’ll be in your area changing meters so phone up for your appointment’ (that sort of thing), and also saying things like ‘Your meter is due for upgrading, so we need to come and do that’ (MAYBE, but NOT to a smart meter!)
They try and ‘imply’ that having a smart meter is ‘inevitable’…
Pet, I’d say they are useful in themselves, but the BIG downside (unacceptable to my mind!) is that the electricity companies can ‘spy’ on us and see what we use and when.
Believe me, like all who sell to us, they will NOT be using this information to make life better for us, only more profitable for THEM.
Also, there have been many reports that each electricity company installs its OWN proprietary meters, which then (amazingly!)(er, NOT)(ie, see above re ‘profitability’!) do NOT work if you swap to a new electricity supplier! (hey, who’d have thought the electricity companies could POSSIBLY be that devious as to try and ‘lock us in’ to THEMSELVES!)
There are SUPPOSED to be ‘supplier-neutral’ (ie, non-proprietary) smart meters coming out soon, but I don’t think they are available yet. Probably the consumer websites (Which, Martin Lewis etc) will have more information on this!
By the way, for inaccessible, unreadable meters - my son simply lifts up his phone and takes a phone photo of the meter! (It also date stamps it, which is useful!) (me I just scrawl it down on a scrap of paper then lose it!!!)
PS - don’t ever read the meter when you have just put the kettle on to boil. The damn thing spins round HORRIFICALLY FAST!!! Really depressing!
**Smart meters rollout labelled a " Fiasco " as consumers face extra £500m bill.
National Audit Office says that with 39m meters still to be replaced, government has no chance of hitting 2020 deadline.**
**_Consumers face paying half a billion pounds more than expected for the rollout of smart meters and the programme has no chance of hitting its deadline, the UK’s spending watchdog has warned.
The National Audit Office said that with 39m old-fashioned meters yet to be replaced, there is “no realistic prospect” of meeting a goal of all homes and businesses being offered one by the end of 2020 as planned.
In a damning report on the £11bn infrastructure project, the group said that energy suppliers were expecting just 70-75% of households and small businesses to have a smart meter by then.
The NAO urged the government to consider whether a new deadline should be adopted. An influential group of MPs said they would examine whether ministers should stick to the 2020 timetable.
Smart meters automate readings in an attempt to make energy use easier for householders to understand and are considered a critical upgrade of the energy system.
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Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: “Costs are rising, and timescales slipping, but smart meters can still succeed over time.”
Labour said the report was evidence the government had failed and had created a “fiasco” with a botched rollout.
The NAO said bill payers would be hit with an increase in costs over the rollout of £500m above the government’s last estimate, or an extra £17 per household.
However, the watchdog said that estimate was conservative and the true cost was likely to be much higher. The extra £500m, for example, does not include energy companies’ marketing costs.
The NAO also noted that the central body established to handle data from meters, run by the outsourcing firm Capita, had already incurred costs of £329m, 69% higher than expected.
The cost of the scheme could have been reduced if the government had chosen to take a “simpler, lower-cost approach”, the group said.
The report was strongly critical of the government allowing 12.5m first-generation smart meters, known as SMETS1, to be installed – more than twice as many had been expected by this point.
Around 70% of SMETS1 meters “go dumb” when customers switch energy supplier, and nearly 1m are operating in dumb mode, meaning those households still have to manually submit readings.
“This means that many consumers will face a choice between remaining with a more expensive tariff or losing the benefits of their smart meter,” the NAO said.
By comparison, the number of second-generation meters, which do not suffer problems after switching and have greater functionality, has been a tiny fraction of what was expected.
Just 109,000 such SMETS2 meters have been installed so far, rather than the 23m expected by now.
The report also laid bare the geographical divide in the rollout. Just 3,000 of those second-generation meters have been installed in the north of England because of technical problems in the region.
Rebecca Long Bailey MP, the shadow business secretary, said: “What should have been an uncontroversial technology has been mired in costly delays and self-defeating technical mistakes.”
Consumer groups urged a rethink of the 2020 deadline. Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “We firmly believe that 2023 is a more reasonable timeframe. This would allow technical problems to be fixed and to ensure that consumers get the best experience.”
The energy minister, Claire Perry, said: “We’ve said everyone will be offered a smart meter by the end of 2020 to reap these benefits and we will meet that commitment.”
Smart Energy GB, the body tasked with promoting the meters, said the rollout was an essential but “hugely complex and challenging infrastructure upgrade”._**
Re the ‘over-connected home’ - I quite agree. I don’t want my home hacked - aliens taking over my talking fridge. No thank you!
And the LAST thing I want is that stupid Alexa talking back to me! Go take a hike, sweetie!!! (I don’t even listen to my satnav when I disagree with it! I once drove twenty miles REFUSING to ‘turn around and go back in the other direction’. NO I WON’T I yelled at her - I’ll find ANOTHER WAY to where I want to go, you see if I don’t! )(I did, too, an hour later. BUT I HATE HATE HATE TURNING BACK!!!)
The Yorkshire Post says : Un-smart meters – time to switch policy approach.
**_NOT only is the rolling out of so-called smart meters costing more money than anticipated, and taking longer than envisaged, but it is also meeting unexpected opposition from consumers.
As such, today’s critical National Audit Office report will come as no surprise to all those readers who have written to this newspaper in recent months to express their misgivings.
Until these meters live up to their name, and enable householders to change tariffs – or suppliers – at the switch of a button, people will continue to be sceptical about a policy which has already seen a lot of time, money and energy wasted, not least because new devices are invariably required when householders do follow the Government’s advice and try to shop around for the best deal. As such, it’s about time that the public interest was put before the commercial interests of the energy industry – and it’s still not too late for Ministers to make this particular policy switch._**
Our company is so presumptuous to send a date and a time slot for the installation of a smart meter. All I have to do is ring up and confirm the appointment. Mmm, I don’t actually want one either. They have also left messages on my answerphone about “not missing out,” on my allotted date and slot.
I don’t want the hassle or inconvenience of it being fitted nor particularly want the company knowing when and how I use my power, if it means they try and screw more money out of me.
having had ours for years now it has been the best thing to do , no more going outside in the rain to top up a pay as you go meter , no more having to trapes around the town for a shop that has a working machine to put a top up on . as it seems every other week the machines are down and not able to apply top ups .
as a kid my mum had electric as DD but every single month would get letters saying she has over spent , missed this bill so has late payments , missed bill , late payments . as she always used more than what she thought and more than the company had estimated she would use.
so she went to an old hamster wheel meter for years , and when i finally convinced her to change companies for gas and electric we instantly saved £60 a week . and once i done my own research on smart meters i made the call and was given a further discount for changing over to a smart meter. and mum loves it , being able to see how much is in gas / electric , rather than having to go outside to read the old one , or me having to go outside on my hands and knees to read the old meter that was so close to the ground.
quick 10 seconds on the phone app and electric on , gas on.
Called British gas for mum to apply for the warm home discount again , and the guy said okies you get a choice this year , would you like the money added to Gas or Electric … Gas please . ok sir done …
and then he gave the better news “” and this year we are not sending out vouchers , due to arguments with some stores who wont accept them or say they are fake and never heard of the warm home discount , instead this year we will automatically stick it on for you.
And i am sick of people always aiming the gun at the UK government , the whole entire thing on smart meters is straight out the EU camp . all countries in the EU were to sign up to it for the eventual “” smart electric / gas supply “” …
the entire idea was eventually smart meters one for gas and a sep one for electric was to send signals to the electric / gas network so each home only drew what it needed from smart network grids with the aim further down the line making electric / gas cheaper for those who use less rather than companies having diff rates for those on DD / smart meters / pay as you go . and again this was to eventually all link within the new smart homes that are starting to be built.
this is to lead to a “” smart network “” .
even on the EU’s website it states “”“”“” smart meters provide savings of €160 for gas and €309 for electricity per metering point (distributed amongst consumers, suppliers, distribution system operators, etc.) as well as an average energy saving of 3%.“”“”". and they reckon nearly 80% of the EU will be hooked up to a smart meter for the eventual aim of a smart network grid .
and they have an entire DATA protection section on who can and cant see what details , and what the companies them selves can and can’t read and no personal data is stored .
just the other day i was looking at a smart home in Cornwall , you had no key for the home. everything was linked to an app you install on your phone when you bought the house and controlled the entire heating , lighting , water temp . opened the doors , windows all within the single app.
**_Consumers are being forced to pay higher energy bills thanks to the cost of installing smart meters – and things could still get worse, according to the spending watchdog.
An investigation by the National Audit Office (NAO) into the £11bn roll-out of the meters has suggested that energy bills could rise by more than £500m in total. It criticised the Government for allowing so many first-generation meters, which can “go dumb” after a switch of supplier, to be installed.
The costs of the roll-out are being added to energy bills and work out at around £374 per dual-fuel household. While there are said to be long-term benefits of having a smart meter, with the annual saving estimated at £18 a year by 2030, the NAO said the roll-out had had a negative impact on consumers’ bills so far.
The watchdog also warned that the savings estimates were based on the current budget for the roll-out. They do not factor in any cost increases if, say, first-generation meters need to be replaced. The Government’s bill-cutting estimates also assume that the industry passes on savings to consumers.
Lily Green of Look After My Bills, a switching service, said: “The smart meter roll-out has been an utter shambles. The endless delays, technical flaws and underestimating of costs to the taxpayer are no way to instill confidence in people that smart meters are a good choice.”
Claire Perry, the energy minister, described the roll-out as “world leading” and said it would bring benefits worth £40bn to consumers and the industry._**