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Smart Meter - estimated readings

  • 08-11-2021 3:18pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,344 ✭✭✭

    Like many others, a smart meter was automatically installed in my house earlier this year. I didn't immediately sign up to a "smart" tariff, and just looking at it now.

    Despite not having signed up to a special tariff, my understanding was that my meter reading would be regularly sent to my supplier doing away with the need for physical meter reading. I'm just looking at my account now and I see that there are monthly "estimated" values, and that there have been two actual "read by technician" readings during the year.

    I'm just curious as to why/where these estimates are coming from - they're vastly out of whack with reality. While I presume they may be calculated based on previous usage, any idea why they're still estimating? Or do they only receive the data if I sign up to a smart tariff?


  • Registered Users Posts: 422 ✭✭Max Power 2010

    I moved to the smart tariff a few weeks after the installation but same, the bill in the meantime was estimated which I thought was odd.

    But I did notice when your moving to the new plan you agree to further terms allowing them to collect the data from the meter every 30 mins to generate the analytics or whatever, the bills no longer indicate if it's read, estimated or customer as there getting a reading every 30 mins I guess.

    So it's probably just a standard meter until you change your plan

  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭sandra_b

    I live in the apartment block. Our meters are based in the underground parking space, where 2G signal (signal which smart meter is using to send the data) is too low.

    My readings were estimated as well after smart meter was installed, I have never checked why, but it may be due to the low signal.

    I could not switch to Smart Plan with Electric Ireland online due to low signal.

    I was talking to ESB as well and they told me it is not their responsibility.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    Most likely an issue with the signal where the meter is.

    If meter is inside a garage / shed in a poor signal area, it may have transmission issues

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,891 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    There is a time lag between installation of a smart meter and when they go live from a billing perspective.

    My own was one of the 1st installed (rural location) almost two years ago. It only went live about 6 months ago.

    I'd assume the time lag between installation and going live has greatly reduced but new billing is not immediate and its likely customers will get estimated bills for a short period after installation. For EI customers who can check their accounts online, you'll see when the billing systems registers your meter as being a smart one along with a list of new smart Tariffs available.

    I've personally not choosen a smart tariffand am under no obligation to do so, they are far to expensive for my needs. I'm with EI over 20 years.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,891 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    Not quite, when the smart meter goes live, your estimated billing will end however I believe you will have to consent to allow usage data collection in order for the billing system read the data in order to generate accurate billing. By doing so, you are not Changing your plan or choosing a smart Tariff, that's a different issue. I'm speaking from an EI customer perspective.

    I can't say for sure if you don't consent to usage data collection but would assume you'll continue to get estimated bills. One advantage to consent is an average usage facility, I can log in daily/weekly and get an accurate up to date usage reading and more importantly bill, I can then choose if I wish to pay as I go, weekly or just leave it until I get bi monthly bill. Anything paid off during billing cycle is taken off bi monthly bill. A good tool for those budgeting etc.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,344 ✭✭✭Thoie

    So far, no-one asked me to consent to anything, so I presume my shiny new meter is just sitting there acting as a normal meter for now. Seems a little pointless. There shouldn't be any signal issues where my meter is located. The general "smart" tariffs seem like a terrible deal in terms of unit price, so while I will be changing supplier, I won't be signing up for smart tariff. In which case I presume I'll continue to get estimates or do my own readings for the new supplier.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,891 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    It's not about being asked as such, if your a EI customer and have access to your account online , you should see when or if your Meter is now live. If it is, you'll be given options re billing and separately if eligible to consider smart Tariffs (eligible as in out of current contract) , EI won't be calling you, it's your choice to avail of the features smart meters offer.

    I can't comment on how other providers manage the transition after a smart meter has been installed.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.