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Emily’s Not So Smart Energy

April 21, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t 1saveenergy

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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/revolution-heralds-change-in-balance-of-power-lz8xxz7rs

 

Emily Gosden writes in The Times about the wonderful new world of smart meters:

 

Irene Farrell gestures towards the electric fire on the wall of her living room. “I never put that on now.” The 86-year-old used to rely on the fire and a plug-in halogen heater to keep warm, because the old electric storage heaters that were supposed to heat her tenth-floor flat in Newcastle were so useless. “It was dreadful. Freezing cold all the time. My husband was an invalid and the cold affected him terribly.”

Last winter, for the first time in her 13 years here, things were different. Smart control boxes wired into the storage heaters have transformed the way they work, keeping the flat warm throughout the day and putting the octogenarian in the unlikely vanguard of a transformation in the way that Britain uses electricity.

The nation’s energy system has been built around the principle that power stations will supply enough electricity to meet demand. Now, with the expansion of intermittent wind and solar farms, the industry is looking at ways of reversing that relationship, adjusting demand to match available supply.

Last year the National Infrastructure Commission identified flexible demand as one of three innovations, alongside interconnectors and batteries, that could help to reduce the costs of Britain’s drive for green energy by up to £8 billion a year by 2030.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/revolution-heralds-change-in-balance-of-power-lz8xxz7rs 

The rest is the usual hogswash, that we have seen many times in the past.

But what is really interesting are the comments, all of which are highly critical:

 

 

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22 Comments
  1. April 21, 2017 9:46 am

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    This post deserves sharing as widely as possibly, particularly with our elected MPs. At some point someone in power has to have to courage to call a stop to this incredibly expensive white elephant.

  2. April 21, 2017 10:23 am

    Smart Meters breed smart hackers.
    Fancy controlling the energy bill of someone you don’t like? Or maybe getting their fridge to order a hundred weight of spuds? The mind boggles.
    Beware the dreaded penguin in sheeps clothing!

    Meanwhile, inevitably those without one such I will find themselves being charged extra, just as is done over Direct Debit requirements.

  3. Bitter&twisted permalink
    April 21, 2017 10:38 am

    In response to a request to install one of these devices I told my energy company that I will not have a “smart” meter.
    Furthermore any attempt to install one on my property without my express permission will be regarded as trespass and criminal damage.
    I got an immediate apology for causing me any stress and an undertaking not to fit such a device.
    More people should object to their installation.

  4. Joe Public permalink
    April 21, 2017 10:55 am

    Poor Emily demonstrates she fails to understand the contradictions in her piece:

    …… the old electric storage heaters that were supposed to heat her tenth-floor flat in Newcastle were so useless…… Freezing cold all the time….”

    Last winter, for the first time in her 13 years here, things were different. Smart control boxes wired into the storage heaters have transformed the way they work, keeping the flat warm throughout the day….”

    Smart control boxes wired into the storage heaters implies the storage heaters weren’t changed. Consequently, the only change would be the time of charging and the duration.

    The time of charging is the ‘Economy-7′ period, usually the 7 hours between 11:00pm and 06:00 am.

    It seems no one checked that the unfortunate residents understood AND were able to correctly set their storage heaters’ controls.

    • April 21, 2017 11:48 am

      Agreed, Joe. And it is also worth asking if the consumer was aware of the off-peak top-up (assuming there is one) which in the old days of NEEB, which is where Irene lives, used to be between 2 and 4 on weekday afternoons.

      You don’t need smart meters, just smart (as in knowledgeable) people.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 21, 2017 2:32 pm

      Joe, I had Economy 7 for decades but without electric heating the only thing we used it for was running the washing machine overnight. Then, we found the prices of energy under E7 was, without any publicity, creeping up until it was not much below the day price. I took this up with my supplier (BG) and they said it was only worth having with storage heaters. I got them to change me to a single tariff! (They don’t change the meter, you still give them the day and night readings and they just add them together and apply the single tariff.)

      • Joe Public permalink
        April 21, 2017 3:55 pm

        Hi Harry

        My ‘leccy meter (as all on our estate) can & does monitor ‘day’ & ‘night’ usage.

        None of the houses has NSHs, we’re all 100% gas heating.

        Nearly all suppliers offer two-part day/night tariffs, my Unit Rate is currently:

        10.82p per kWh (day) 6.08p per kWh (night) with a Standing Charge of 21.00p per day.

        Never underestimate the cost implications of the daily Standing Charge.

        That 21p/day adds 2.8p/kWh to the above figures for my 2,700 kWh annual consumption

    • April 21, 2017 7:27 pm

      Cherry Pick Trick : The PR team scan 10,000 customers, find one that fits the narrative (here one who doesn’t know how to program her storage heater) and put her in front of the media.
      They did same with the solar/panel battery project the other day on Radio4.

  5. April 21, 2017 11:17 am

    There needs to be a GREXIT from the “Greenies” also.

  6. TinyCO2 permalink
    April 21, 2017 11:34 am

    I used to have storage heaters, they leaked heat all day and were knackered by the time I came home from work and needed the heat. They weren’t efficient enough to even make the place warm in time to turn on the gas fire when I got in. If electric heating isn’t as controllable as gas central heating I don’t want it.

  7. rwoollaston permalink
    April 21, 2017 12:05 pm

    It doesn’t take a Times Energy Editor to regurgitate this kind of pap from what is doubtlessly a PR piece from the BEIS or closely aligned body. Maybe the Editor should receive a letter?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 21, 2017 12:53 pm

      That’s journalism today. No resources, time – or in this case talent – to do the job properly. Nothing they love more than a press release which writes most of the article for them.

  8. April 21, 2017 12:53 pm

    ‘the industry is looking at ways of reversing that relationship, adjusting demand to match available supply.’

    They could show the weekday soap operas at different times in different regions 😉
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_pickup

  9. Stonyground permalink
    April 21, 2017 2:08 pm

    “The nation’s energy system has been built around the principle that power stations will supply enough electricity to meet demand. Now, with the expansion of intermittent wind and solar farms, the industry is looking at ways of reversing that relationship, adjusting demand to match available supply.”

    There is a name for that it’s called rationing. It happens a lot in countries where they have a hopelessly mismanaged socialist economy. It has happened in the UK, during and immediately following the second world war for instance, but generally speaking it does not.

    • Sitting Shivering in May permalink
      April 21, 2017 2:59 pm

      In “developing countries” it’s called “Load Shedding”

    • April 21, 2017 3:14 pm

      What happened to National Grid’s commitment to greatly expand generating capacity to meet the electrification of heat and transport?

      “In a presentation to its investors, the transmission system operator said the plan represented an annual spend of £3 billion on the electricity network for mainland Britain. And beyond 2012, the company said “that investment will continue at least at that level for the foreseeable future”…

      “During the investors’ day, Mike Anderson, director general of Defra’s Climate Change Group pointed to the “electrification” of the UK’s heat and transport as countering the reduction of energy demand in expected efficiency schemes. ’

      “With an increase in intermittent wind power, Mr Anderson said the UK would require a jump from the current 78GW of power capacity to more than 100GW.’ (‘National Grid to boost transmission investments by £2bn a year.’ New Energy Focus, 8 October 2008).

  10. Harry Passfield permalink
    April 21, 2017 2:19 pm

    The nation’s energy system has been built around the principle that power stations will supply enough electricity to meet demand

    What Emily really meant was that the system has been built around the principle that demand will be managed to meet a diminishing supply.

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 21, 2017 4:32 pm

      Emily is correct. That’s the model for electricity. She then states,

      ‘Now, with the expansion of intermittent wind and solar farms, the industry is looking at ways of reversing that relationship, adjusting demand to match available supply.’

      The industry doesn’t want to change that relationship, they are being compelled to.

      I worked in power cost for 20 years. I can tell you with certainty that people, given the chance to reduce their cost by demand management, will choose to keep having supply available, even if they have to pay more. I.e., Emily Gosden is pushing what the elites want, not what the people want.

  11. tom0mason permalink
    April 21, 2017 2:59 pm

    Every child in Britain, after seeing a Christmas pantomime, would know that any salesman selling new meters for old must be the nasty villain out to rob Aladdin’s mum. He’s trying to steal what is precious to her, her ability to make her own decisions about how much and when she can use the electricity.

  12. April 21, 2017 3:27 pm

    I hope those excellent commenters responded to section 7 of the BEIS consultation. Hopefully the responses should soon be available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/building-our-industrial-strategy

  13. April 23, 2017 12:48 pm

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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