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# 262137 7-Jan-2020 11:50
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Nova informs us that they'll be replacing our meter with a smart meter in the next few months.

 

Its described as an upgrade. Should I actually be thinking -

 

a) yay, finally, its an upgrade, welcome to the 21st century

 

b) oh crap, trouble and a mysterious increase in usage / charges

 

c) who cares...





rb99


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  # 2386534 7-Jan-2020 12:02
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c) who cares. They work fine, and you can get a bit more detail about usage.


'That VDSL Cat'
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  # 2386536 7-Jan-2020 12:05
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they will install the spy camera and steal all your data and radiate you!





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2386538 7-Jan-2020 12:05
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Combination of c) and a) ,

 

Overall its a bit of a yawn, but it does allow you to get (somewhat delayed) usage data via power company apps... also a number of retailers will only offer you certain plans if you have a smart meter,

 

But thankfully the reports that millions of NZers would be irradiated by their power meters appear to have not come true, but no doubt these will start up again if someone ever talks about upgrading them to 5G




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  # 2386540 7-Jan-2020 12:09
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Hmm. Pity. Was quite looking forward to a bit of radiation, always wanted to glow in the dark...





rb99


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  # 2386548 7-Jan-2020 12:23
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Isn't it that some electricity retailers won't even accept you as customers without a smart meter?

 

That's the case with my retailer, Electric Kiwi, which I assume couldn't do its 'hour of free power' without smart meters. It's the same with Flick.

 

EK is the lowest-cost option for me - and my bills are damn reasonable, what with their weird c. 20% discount for crediting $200 in advance - so, yeah, there can well be some significant advantages in having a smart meter (versus not)...


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  # 2386593 7-Jan-2020 12:35
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 By and large, NZ energy retailers do not install actually smart meters. What they are installing is better described as "not completely brain dead" or "advantage retailer" meters.

 

What these meters do is measure and record half-hour-interval consumption, and upload these readings - mostly by GPRS on the 2G Vodafone network - to the retailer. This allows the retailer to offer / insist on a time-of use tariff, and to avoid the cost of actually sending out a meter reader. There are no benefits to the customer.
Some retailers allow the customer to access readings from the retailer's web site (by browser or via an app), but these are only historical readings from yesterday or the day before. (1)

 

A real Smart Meter would provide the customer with on-premises real-time access to their consumption and pricing data, which would in turn allow the customer to understand and if they wish manage their load. This would require the meter to have a Wi-Fi connection and/or an opto-isolated physical customer interface (probably USB these days), plus a published & supported API, and free drivers / apps so that customers could access and use the data. To my knowledge no NZ retailer offers these facilities. (2)

 

So, this "smart" meter will offer you no benefit and offer Nova significant benefit.
However I expect that Nova will offer you no price reduction and point out some clause in the customer contract you never read that says you can't refuse to have the "smart" meter.
Bah Humbug!

 

 

 

[/rant]

 

 

 

(1) Yes, you can stand next to the meter and press a button and get instantaneous readings which you would have to write down or enter into a handheld device. This is such fun when the meter is outdoors and it's raining on you. Then you need a system to convert these observations into usable information.

 

(2) Yes, if you are technical enough you can rig up a system (Pi-based, for example) to read the flashing light on the meter and convert this to real-time consumption data, and probably into actionable information if you're a Home Automation enthusiast. However this is towards the expert end of the DIY home-owner spectrum.


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  # 2386595 7-Jan-2020 12:39
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The old mechanical meters are generally all gummed up and under reading, so if you have one of those you may be in for a significant surprise on the new meter. I know people who used to brag that their powerbills were half mine being sprung with a $600 bill after the meter went in, and its all the meters fault not the fact that they used the power of course.





Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 


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  # 2386606 7-Jan-2020 12:44
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PolicyGuy:

 

What these meters do is measure and record half-hour-interval consumption, and upload these readings - mostly by GPRS on the 2G Vodafone network - to the retailer. This allows the retailer to offer / insist on a time-of use tariff, and to avoid the cost of actually sending out a meter reader. There are no benefits to the customer.
Some retailers allow the customer to access readings from the retailer's web site (by browser or via an app), but these are only historical readings from yesterday or the day before. (1)

 

A real Smart Meter would provide the customer with on-premises real-time access to their consumption and pricing data, which would in turn allow the customer to understand and if they wish manage their load. This would require the meter to have a Wi-Fi connection and/or an opto-isolated physical customer interface (probably USB these days), plus a published & supported API, and free drivers / apps so that customers could access and use the data. To my knowledge no NZ retailer offers these facilities. (2)[/rant]

 

 

And even though they are getting 30 min intervals....they don't let you see the data for 48 hours (well this is the case of genesis).  And there is an API, but it's unpublished.

 

But everything else I agree with.





Previously known as psycik

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  # 2386671 7-Jan-2020 13:38
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richms:

 

The old mechanical meters are generally all gummed up and under reading, so if you have one of those you may be in for a significant surprise on the new meter. I know people who used to brag that their powerbills were half mine being sprung with a $600 bill after the meter went in, and its all the meters fault not the fact that they used the power of course.

 

 

As richms says, if you get a bigger bill with a smart meter than usual it's because your old one was running slower.  I've never understood people's arguments that smart meters cause all kinds of illnesses when they essentially stick the same technology on the side of their face when they make a cellphone call. (Some of the "lite" versions of smart meters talk to eachother before they find a way out to the retailer, however) 


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  # 2386747 7-Jan-2020 14:32
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My experience with Nova is that they provide very little usable info to the customer.  Best I managed to get was a csv file with daily readings emailed to me for 3 months.  Was going to cost to get any more than 3 per 12 months.

 

"As advised earlier, customers may have three free consumption requests in any twelve month period ... any future requests up until 31/12/2019 will incur a fee of $25 (incl GST).

 

Generous that it includes GST 😆!

 

So the change to 'smart' meter has been next to no use to me.  Its actually been a nuisance as the digital display on the meters is smaller and darker to the extent that (short of opening the cabinet), I now need to use a torch to read the meters.  

 

 

 

The other weird thing - 12 months down the track they are still sending out contractors to 'manually' read the meters every month.  This to a rural address!   I can only assume they have a fixed-term contract with the contractors.  But it still makes no sense to me (ecologically, at least) and is again a pain in the butt as our property is gated and we need to open the gate let them.  Then 2 or 3 times a year, a new meter reader turns up who cannot work out where the meters are so we have to give directions (three meters in total, two at the house and one at the back of a shed ~140 m from the house).


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 2386749 7-Jan-2020 14:35
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No apparent impact on our power bills / usage (based on regular meter readings for several years before and 12 months after installation)


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2386751 7-Jan-2020 14:36
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DS248:

 

My experience with Nova is that they provide very little usable info to the customer.  Best I managed to get was a csv file with daily readings emailed to me for 3 months.  Was going to cost to get any more than 3 per 12 months.

 

"As advised earlier, customers may have three free consumption requests in any twelve month period ... any future requests up until 31/12/2019 will incur a fee of $25 (incl GST).

 

Generous that it includes GST 😆!

 

So the change to 'smart' meter has been next to no use to me.  Its actually been a nuisance as the digital display on the meters is smaller and darker to the extent that (short of opening the cabinet), I now need to use a torch to read the meters.  

 

 

 

The other weird thing - 12 months down the track they are still sending out contractors to 'manually' read the meters every month.  This to a rural address!   I can only assume they have a fixed-term contract with the contractors.  But it still makes no sense to me (ecologically, at least) and is again a pain in the butt as our property is gated and we need to open the gate let them.  Then 2 or 3 times a year, a new meter reader turns up who cannot work out where the meters are so we have to give directions (three meters in total, two at the house and one at the back of a shed ~140 m from the house).

 

 

Do you know how Vodafone reception is at your property? Perhaps they need to install an external aerial - or if this has been done perhaps it isn't enough for the automated readings? 

 

They do audit smart meters now and then but normally it's approx once every 12 months


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  # 2386754 7-Jan-2020 14:45
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We have good VF reception (3G anyway).  In any case, since they were able to provide daily readings for the first three months, then clearly they are getting the data.   I only asked for daily readings.  I think they could have provided hourly (half hourly?) data also.  I recall some mention about it at the time.  Not certain if that was free or not.

 

I was really surprised that the data were not available online as a matter of course. 


'That VDSL Cat'
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  # 2386759 7-Jan-2020 15:00
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DS248:

 

We have good VF reception (3G anyway).  In any case, since they were able to provide daily readings for the first three months, then clearly they are getting the data.   I only asked for daily readings.  I think they could have provided hourly (half hourly?) data also.  I recall some mention about it at the time.  Not certain if that was free or not.

 

I was really surprised that the data were not available online as a matter of course. 

 

 

sounds like a good reason to switch vendors.

 

many others do offer up the data online.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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Master Geek


  # 2386760 7-Jan-2020 15:03
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davidcole:

 

PolicyGuy:

 

What these meters do is measure and record half-hour-interval consumption, and upload these readings - mostly by GPRS on the 2G Vodafone network - to the retailer. This allows the retailer to offer / insist on a time-of use tariff, and to avoid the cost of actually sending out a meter reader. There are no benefits to the customer.
Some retailers allow the customer to access readings from the retailer's web site (by browser or via an app), but these are only historical readings from yesterday or the day before. (1)

 

A real Smart Meter would provide the customer with on-premises real-time access to their consumption and pricing data, which would in turn allow the customer to understand and if they wish manage their load. This would require the meter to have a Wi-Fi connection and/or an opto-isolated physical customer interface (probably USB these days), plus a published & supported API, and free drivers / apps so that customers could access and use the data. To my knowledge no NZ retailer offers these facilities. (2)[/rant]

 

 

And even though they are getting 30 min intervals....they don't let you see the data for 48 hours (well this is the case of genesis).  And there is an API, but it's unpublished.

 

But everything else I agree with.

 

 

Totally agree. Smart Meters in NZ are half-arsed at best.

 

In the UK (and I think it's legally mandated, although I could be wrong) the smart meter comes with a little wireless display that gives real time consumption information so you can literally walk around the house flipping switches and see what happens.

 

That plus an API so you could set up Home Assistant or whatever to automatically kill the Spa Pool/hot water tank/freezer for a couple of hours when the price spikes would be pretty cool. 

 

The only real advantage is the end of those bill shock horror stories you used to hear when the power company had someone on "estimated readings" for months on end. 


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