I mentioned this morning about an email waiting for us which we needed to address before going to bed last night.
Neither of us were happy about the outcome and being backed into a corner for something we do not want or consider we need.
This post will give you an idea, so I’ll wait while you read it:
We received an email from our energy company saying that a fitter was coming to install our Smart meters in a couple of weeks.
I was furious as we had not invited them to do so having already made our feelings known last year.
We responded with an email saying in no uncertain terms that we did not want, and never would want, a Smart Meter, it was not compulsory or law, and therefore we would not accommodate their fitter, so please to cancel the appointment. We quoted paragraphs from their own web site and those of Citizen’s Advice and Which? to this effect and pressed SEND.
Our fixed tariff is due to expire at the end of October and we have selected a suitable alternative in readiness.
Oh joy. Guess what we just discovered?
In order to have a cheaper or fixed rate tariff, you have to agree to have a Smart Meter.
This is not just for our energy supplier, but anyone else, and the only tariff available without one is the most expensive Variable Standard Rate options which would put about £15 a month on our existing bill…….. this equates to about 35% for us!!
Hubby and I are far from happy about being ‘bullied’ by TPTB in our efforts at trying to save money on an income that is already stretched and under threat of being reduced.
Hubby’s research turned up that these things can send readings every day, every hour or even every half hour to the energy company, and I am terrified of running up a bill we cannot afford to pay if they decided to charge us monthly for variable consumption.
Our electricity is pretty stable at about 3Kwh a day, but obviously gas is a lot higher in the winter months at around 24 cubic metres a week compared to just 1½ in the summer.
We currently pay a fixed amount by direct debit which covers our usage over the year more or less to the penny, and I send our readings in every quarter accordingly for billing purposes. IT WORKS, and they want to change it!
Therefore this morning we had to eat humble pie, retract our email response and agree to have one of these dictatory meters for each fuel.
OK, Smart meters are free, and there is no standing charge for one (yet…… I remember they did away with standing charges some years ago but incorporated the equivalent in the unit charge as I worked it out, but surprise surprise, standing charges have reappeared at a daily cost of around 15p to 20p a day per energy supply, plus tax of course, so why should this be any different in the future?).
I spoke to three different people today, and suggested that when they come to fit the new meters on both our gas and electricity supply, we start our new tariff then.
They seemed agreeable to that. Bet they cock it up though.
Unlike the meters in my images above, it seems the Smart Meter will replace the ones we have outside, and we can agree that readings are sent to the company once a month. I shall continue to read them every week as normal anyway in case it turns out they run ‘fast’ and clock up more than our current meters. I trust nobody other than Hubby when it comes to money.
We supplied readings today and the guy ran the figures. It seems on the tariff we have chosen which is fixed until September 2021, our current direct debit should be sufficient to cover it. I don’t actually think it will so have already planned an increase, but we shall see.
We can continue to have our bills quarterly as we are now, but will not have to provide meter readings because the Smart Meter will do that anyway. I still intend to check!
So, they are coming to install the damn things at the beginning of October, which will take about an hour and a half per meter (???) and we will be disconnected for about thirty minutes whilst they are playing in our utility box.
No we are not happy.
We have been backed into a corner in trying to save money and forced to have something we are not comfortable with, do not want or think we need, see as an intrusion into our privacy, and foresee heavier outlay for us, the consumer, overall.
Watch this space, because if there is a problem, I can promise I will be blogging about it, but then again, if it’s not that bad, I will not be afraid to admit it.
I hate change, and firmly believe if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.