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posted by DaveD | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage
Hi Immy, your issue one is common. The wonderful IT people at SP broke their system early 2018 and only got it back online in October, I had words with them. Now the only way these brilliant IT guys could get it all going was to lump all of the previous billing data into that one month...you are the person that I told them about who would be somewhat confused. Don't worry the bill was not for that month alone.
Issue two, this could also be because the same IT people have broken the system again so unless your bill is massive I would probably sit back and laugh at the so called IT guys at SP. Easy way to check is to take a meter reading yourself and submit it for a bill.
Hope this helps,

DaveD

posted by Yingchun | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage

I am still following this thread after I posted a message half a year ago, was hoping we will have a clear answer from SP,  it seems to be still a hopeless on going problem. My case is a bit awkward as I switched supplier after SP installed the smart meters, SP is no longer my supplier, my online account is no longer active. 

I looked at our direct debit payment for past few years, thought I'll just share with you below. The monthly payment for both gas and electricity during 2015 to 2017 is more or less £100 in  average (2015 is a bit higher, our second daughter was born in Dec 2014 and my monther-in-law was with us during the first half of 2015, after we closed the account with SP, we had about £200 refund in total). SP installed the smart meters January 2018 (can't remember the exact date) and my fixed tariff with SP was soon expired. When I looked to renew it seemed there was nothing better than what we had before. Never shopped around before, but tried this time, used 'USWITCH' site, switched to British Gas after February 2018, I used the annual consumption figures in the past, uswitch predicted I may save over £200 with British gas. Initially the monthly payment was £77.5, then increased to £214 since August, now we have been paying this high monthly rate for half a year, and I don't think we are overpaying much based on the consumption figures from these 'SMART' meters. For our energy consumption behaviour and home appliances, we have nothing changed in the last few years, there is no obvious reason for the mysterious increase of consumption - more than doubled. My trouble is that - British Gas won't mind this, they charge based on the readings; I would assume Scottish Power won't bother either as I am no longer with them! The very first time I made a switch, and thought I could save money, how ironic!

posted by Jonnel | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage

@Yingchun Have you checked your balance ? I should think BG work on the same principle as SP when customers pay by DD in that they estimate the usage over the year and then divide the total estimated usage by 12 to get a monthly DD. But that's only a starting point. Any increase in your usage, however small, will increase the following DDs exponentially as the supplier assumes the increase in usage will continue proportionally during the rest of the year. If you joined BG in March and your usage was low, your DD would be low, then as you get into autumn and you use more, the increase skews the projection so the supplier thinks you're using incredibly higher than your original estimation, resulting in a huge increase in the DD

If your account isn't in credit with BG there may be another reason for the huge bill incease, but above is where these comparison sites usually fall down - they don't take into account the time of year people start with a new supplier and the usage projection that new supplier employs. It always comes as a shock when you're told your payments will be low and in autumn they go up dramatically - but then, if the suppliers told people the REAL winter figures they'd be paying, I suppose no one would go onto their tariff.

posted by Yingchun | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage
@Jonnel Thank you for your comments about how their DD works. I was hoping that was the case initially, but I don't think that is the case anymore.

I had british gas final bill on 7th of January 2019 (3 days ago, closed the account with British Gas at this point), we did have £296 in credit, that probably doesn't really explain the increase of the Direct Debit, the reason was, we moved out the house late November last year, so from late November to 7th of January, about a month and half time, the house was unoccupied (I did run the heating automatically for half an hour per day, just keep the system running in winter, switched off everything else including fridge/freezers). I assume if we were living in the house during this period, I don't think we would be in credit at all with the £214/month payment. The 6 months payment of £214 was already higher than any other years previously. I may never be able to get to the bottom of this, sadly.

posted by Davc | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage

Hi Yingchun, Check the daily standing charge of your BG account. We should always look at the daily standing charge and the p/kWh on our bills as these are the only true explanation of costs, assuming the meters record accurately of course.

posted by Jonnel | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage

@Yingchun So that makes your aug to jan DDs about 40% higher than 2015/16 even when for just over a month of 2018 you were using minimal supply. That does seem odd.

I would be inclined to look deeper into my account charges and pay,ments, looking for specific anomalies, especially if British Gas have been billing you from smart readings obtained from a meter installed by Scottish Power.  I wasn't under the impression this could be reliably done unless you are one of those lucky few who have a SMETs2 meter. I've always been told changing suppliers would dumb down the meter so actuals had to be taken until the SMETs2 infrastructure was s et up. If you have taken your own regular readings you would have noticed where and when the increas was cropping up. Is it possible all BG bills were actually estimates? Perhaps if you never queried them, they wouldn't have checked.

posted by Yingchun | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage
Thanks @Davc. Looking at a bill from British Gas, the charges are: For Gas - standing charge 17.49p / day; 2.76p/kWh (the kWh was converted from the meter reading 'cubic meter'); for Electricity - standing chage 17.49p/day; 13.02p/kWh. The point was, when I swiched, in theory, if my consumption stays more or less similar, I should save money, now I understand that was really 'in theory'.

posted by Yingchun | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage
Thank you @Jonnel. I think if we were continusing with the readings from these mart meters, my energy consumption would be nearly doubled like for like, in our household, we really have nothing changed which could have an impact on energy consumption like this. With busy working lives we had, just couldn't have time to pin down where the problems could be, the only thing new was the two new smart meters.

I had 4 bills (statements) from British Gas: the very first one was an estimate; then British Gas sent an engineer in person to read the meter once, I got the second bill; later I submitted a reading myself, another bill; then I submitted the final reading 3 days ago on the 7th of January (closed the account), I would assume the error from the first estimate would have been smoothed out by this point. When I phoned british gas shortly after the increase of my DD, was told - the energy companies supply their own smart meters, british gas won't be able to remotely read the meters provided by scottish power, so I don't think I have SMETs2 meter.
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posted by Davc | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage
Hi again. I’m confused by details now but if your tariff terms with BG were better than with SP then you should have lower bills. You are focussing on DD amounts but should be looking at kWh units. Sometimes DD estimates are wrong but meter readings are usually correct.
You are right your SP smart meters will only be smart with an SP account. With any other supplier they will require manual readings. Your IHD will continue to show kWh correctly but the £ values will be wrong.

posted by victoria0506 | A week ago
Re: Smart Meter showing incredibly high usage
Hi Dave and Dave,

Firstly thanks so much for taking time out to help me out with my problems, it’s so appreciated.

So I spoke to SP today - a post on Facebook resulted in a super quick response and phone call.

They did a really long and lengthy energy assesment asking me how many hours a day I use my tv, kettle, lights for and concluded that they are correct, we use between 25-30 kw per day and so the bills are all right.

She said that our useage started going up from 12/13kw per day in May-Sept to between 20-25 kw per day in Sept- Dec 2017 and peaking at 36 kw per day in January 2018. The smart meter wasn’t installed until the very end of January.

(I don’t have a copy of the Sept 17 - Jan 18 bill and it’s not online so I have requested a copy).

Based on my energy assesment and the fact that our useage was high before the smart meter was fitted she concludes that it’s our fault not there’s.

I’m flumoxed. I have absolutely no idea how our bills can be this high. Everything is exactly the same since we were with our last suppler and paying £99 per month (as opposed to £200 now). She did say that we have 2 fridges so they will be using around 15kw per day alone. Is this right?!!!!

In your experience do you think this is correct? Google tells me that the average house uses up to 10kw per day so it’s as though we’re running a hotel or something!

She was also very quick to say that I’d normally be charged £60 fee to end my contract and switch suppler but she would happily pay that into my account by way of compensation so that I can leave more easily!! (Once I’ve paid the debit on my account) That would be SO much easier for them wouldn’t it if I just stop fighting, paid my dues and left but I can’t help but think I’m paying back a debt that I just cannot have accumulated.

Your opinion once again would be welcome on this one!!