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Smart Electricity Meter

  • 04-01-2022 2:21pm
    Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭

    Hi folks

    ESBN are currently installing smart meters in my estate, so will soon be ringing my doorbell! I have been reading various threads in this Renewable Energies section for a good few months as I was (and still am) interested in getting solar panels installed sooner rather than later. One general view on various threads seemed to be that we should resist getting smart meters installed, in the context of houses with existing solar panels, who's old meter was running backwards when exporting electricity back onto the grid.

    In my particular case, where I don't yet have solar panels, and definitely won't have them installed prior to ESBN landing on my doorstep, I am just wondering:

    (a) are there any drawbacks or downsides to getting the smart meter installed now?

    (b) if the answer to (a) is "yes", have I any grounds to try and stop the smart meter being installed? Note that the meter box can be accessed at the side of my house without the need to actually request my permission

    Many thanks!



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,944 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    The meter running backwards is the rarity. It's more that most of us are on day/night meters,

    Smart meters also have the day/peak/night plans but the reason why they are currently not a good choice is that the unit rates are more expensive across the board than traditional day/night plans.

    Also once you move to a smart plan you can't go back to the 24 hrs tariff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭PGL

    Thanks guys. "Yes" and "Yes" appear to be the answers to my questions, so I think i'll refuse the smart meter for foreseeable.

    One more question: what would happen if no-one was at home when they call? As I said the meter box is easily accessible....

  • Registered Users Posts: 44,914 ✭✭✭✭Bobeagleburger

    Stick a note on your meter box saying no smart meter! I've seen it done!

  • Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭PGL

    Does anyone know if they actually ring your doorbell before they start?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 44,914 ✭✭✭✭Bobeagleburger

    No idea. They need permission so I'd assume they let you know?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,717 ✭✭✭yankinlk

    In my case I had a day night meter installed recently and yes they had to ring the doorbell, and speak to me. I was working from home and in a meeting and he nearly drove away.

    I assume they can't take a chance installing without permission in case they nock off the power and cause you harm in some way.

    But the note on the box is still a good idea, I think I will do this as well!

  • Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭PGL

    Just following up on my thread. I have since contacted my electricity provider, who informed that I don't have to switch to the smart meter tariffs if the smart meter is installed, and instead I would need to opt in to the smart meter tariffs. Hence, unless I am missing something, I don't see an issue with getting the smart meter installed.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 497 ✭✭idc

    If you want the non smart day/night tariff that is only available with an actual day/night meter! Unless that has since changed. But at the time i switched was informed i could not get a smart meter as it can't do the standard day/night tariff!!!! (stupid that as its just a set period of hours -- and so basic it can't even handle the hour change)

  • Registered Users Posts: 723 ✭✭✭buzz11

    What happens when your contract ends?

    Isn’t that when your forced onto smart plans

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  • Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭PGL

    Good question which should have asked at the time! I called them back and they informed me that the same applies i.e. I don't have to opt for smart tariffs. One other thing she mentioned is that ESBN are aiming for all homes to have smart meters by 2024, and whenever that time comes its likely that everyone will automatically be moved to smart tariffs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭hold my beer

    Can you get day/night rates with a smart meter?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,046 ✭✭✭silver2020

    Yes. I can say that because I have day/night and a smart meter in a holiday home that uses storage heating. I also recently switch to electric ireland and opted for their standard day/night plan.

    Wasn't an issue - it wasn't even queried

    I also have a smart meter at home and switched supplier a couple of months ago and took a standard 24hr plan + discount.

    You will of course see the usual negativity about anything new or anything that some people just don't understand. And then you have the usual naysayers that are simply against anything and everything. You'll see some on the covid conspiracy forum and you'll see them anti vaccine, anti pylon, anti progress and anti everything in life. They'll point you to articles written by those thinking the same way and quote research that is just so flawed its unbelievable to anyone with any type of brain. And then they'll show news articles from many years ago that of a very very early model of meter that in some circumstances conflicted with dimmer lights using leds - that meter is long gone from the market.

    So try not to believe the utter sh1te from the anti everything shower. Read your own research from reliable sources and get the metre installed.

    BTW, after a few months you can look at where the use is and with a few changes make decent savings. Two we did was change to a 1hr 30min wash cycle on washing machine and a 50 degree 45 min wash on dishwasher. Both were biggish consumers of electricity

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,717 ✭✭✭yankinlk

    Would you mind just sharing the provider and the acutal Plan you are on please? (i mean the units rates) I dont doubt you have a D/N rate with a Smart Meter... but just to be sure to be sure. If its indeed the same as what im paying to Electric Ireland (i have DN meter) than that would be great - i wont have to worry about chaining myself to the Meter Box!

    Im happy today after only a few months (and some habit changes) my Meter reads higher for Night Usage then Day usage - I hope to never got back the other way!

  • Registered Users Posts: 44,914 ✭✭✭✭Bobeagleburger

    What's your day/night rates with smart meter, and what provider? What's the name of the plan you are on?


  • Registered Users Posts: 44,914 ✭✭✭✭Bobeagleburger

    Smart meters still to be avoided by the looks of it.

    Maybe they are just anti-value at the moment 😉

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,236 ✭✭✭eeepaulo

    Here is my working out for my actual usage using the EI tariffs you suggested.

    Over 20 months on 24 hour tariffs it was about day-64% offpeak-23% peak-13% without doing anything.

    Im using my percentages for each tariff over the last 2 months, day-59.8% offpeak-29.6% peak-10.8%. 2 in our household, below average usage, 3300 kwh last year, working from home so usually lower during day, the only thing we changed is most of the time we put the dishwasher and washing machine on over night, nothing else really changed, happy to use electric cooker during peak etc. washing machine and dishwasher appear to have altered it by around 6% which sounds about right to me, thats about 200 kwh. i've included up to 4800kwh although its not clear you can extrapolate my usage up.

    (ex vat) (i think my working out is correct)

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,117 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    Lol, ESB have no right to automatically install a Smart Meter and take out old one, been covered many times

  • Registered Users Posts: 741 ✭✭✭Bif

    Slave1. Thanks for that. Do you have a link to any official documents that could be used when they come calling? I have no issue changing to a smart meter if I can keep my current day / night tariffs. Thanks.

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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,944 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    I dont think anyone that is currently on a day night meter have had a smart meter install yet.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,944 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Ohh. Interesting.. EI have closed the gap, Esp with the reduction in standing charges. Thats the win there. Your on the border of the D/N vs 24 hr use. Its just the Home Electric+ Night Boost that has the higher standing charge.

    One last addition. If you were able to sign up for the EV plan (no checks!) that would be 100-150 euro better off. (300 euro cash bk instead of 150)

    Also had a look at the bord gais website. well... thats a nightmare to navigate the different plans, apparently they have the cheapest rates at the moment.

    Knowing your use, and profile of your use is key. eg im on about 8000Kwh/year (90% Night) import + about 5000 of solar.

  • Registered Users Posts: 291 ✭✭spose

    Just out of contract so have to change ASAP. Have a smart meter but based on advertised prices the only real option looks to be bord gais 24hr at 16.08c

  • Registered Users Posts: 741 ✭✭✭Bif

    Thanks for that. Next is to find out if / how they inform you of when they are due to change the meter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,128 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    On a letter from ESB I've recently got it says if meter is outside, they will simply work away. However, they say they will ring the door to notify about the works just before starting as they need to cut the power for up to 45 mins. I guess, if nobody opens the door, they just assume no one is at home and do their job. I think they don't need a permission when a meter is outside.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭Mav11

    Correct AFAIK.

    My old analogue day/night meter gave trouble in September. ESB networks came and replaced it with a new, non smart, digital meter. I was told that they could not replace with a smart meter (I didn't want one anyway) as their billing providers couldn't cope with this tariff on their billing systems.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,165 Mod ✭✭✭✭Zzippy

    We changed supplier on Monday to Electric Ireland from Bord Gais, 24hr plan (26% discount) @ 17.74c/unit incl. VAT. Two days later ESB Networks came to install the smart meter, unrelated? Anyway, if I use the calculator on and the only variable I change is the type of meter, I can still avail of the plan above and get the same 24hr rate. You are not tied into accepting a smart tariff if you have a smart meter.

    Also, for anyone with solar PV, only a smart meter will assess your energy fed back to the grid once a FIT is introduced. I'm not sure if companies will insist on a smart tariff in order to avail of a FIT, but I suspect they will.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,908 ✭✭✭✭KCross

    It has always been the case that you can stick with your current 24hr rate when you get a smart meter. The issue arises when you are currently on a day/night rate. Up to now, at least, it was not possible to get a smart meter and stick with your current day/night rate. You had to either use a 24hr rate or go to a smart tariff... neither of which are acceptable to anyone on a day/night rate as it would result in a significant increased cost.

    There is a suggestion by someone above that they have a day/night rate on a smart meter but its unclear if they are actually referring to the day/night rate built into a smart tariff or the traditional day/night rate (i.e. 17c/8c per kWh for standard day/night, no peak rate).

    If someone can confirm that they have a smart meter and are paying those day/night rates then we know that the situation has actually changed but until then I'm resisting a smart meter as I'm not going to signup to paying 24-28c/14c for the exact same service!

    Also, for anyone with solar PV, only a smart meter will assess your energy fed back to the grid once a FIT is introduced. I'm not sure if companies will insist on a smart tariff in order to avail of a FIT, but I suspect they will.

    Long term that is true. In the short term they are supposed to calculate an estimated amount of export and pay you for that estimate if you dont have a smart meter. Its small money either way. I wouldnt be signing up to rates of 24-28c/14c to get paid for €50 of FiT!

    Smart meters are a great idea and I'd like to have one but until the night rates offered in the smart tariffs are the same as the standard day/night tariffs, they are a ripoff.

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,165 Mod ✭✭✭✭Zzippy

    Yes, they certainly are a rip off, even in comparison to a half decent 24hr rate. And yes, it would make zero sense to sign up to a smart tariff just for a meagre FIT payback.