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OFGEM Defends Govt Smart Meter Programme–Now There’s A Surprise!!

August 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood

The Telegraph has run a few anti-smart meter articles recently, not to mention a hatful of letters, of which all the ones I have seen have been extremely critical except for ones from the SmartGB charlatan and Claire Perry.

Has the government been exerting pressure on the Telegraph to provide a counter narrative? I don’t know, but yesterday Ofgem’s CEO was given the opportunity to cut and paste Claire Perry’s propaganda:

image

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/08/12/time-switch-smart-meter-revolution/?WT.mc_id=tmgliveapp_iosshare_ArGjp4bMr6yX

Nolan rehashes all of the stale and debunked arguments for smart meters, which we are all only too familiar with. No more estimated readings, putting customers in control of their energy usage, lower energy bills, blah blah.

But this is the real crux of his argument:

Smart meters provide the foundations for an energy revolution as Britain moves to a smarter, cleaner and lower-cost system.

Ofgem, as the energy regulator, is working with the Government and industry to ensure all consumers reap the benefits today and in years to come. Britain is generating increasing amounts of electricity from wind and solar power. As well as being clean, renewables are increasingly cheap.

But because renewables are intermittent, they won’t always create electricity at peak times such as winter evenings when solar doesn’t generate and the wind may not blow.

In the past, energy companies would have built lots of expensive back-up power stations and reinforced the grid to keep the lights on, with consumers footing the bill.

Smart meters save on some of these costs by helping to smooth the peaks and troughs of electricity demand on the system. According to research from Imperial College, having a more flexible energy system, supported by smart meters, could save Britain between £17bn and £40bn by 2050. That means lower energy bills for all homes and businesses.

Smart meters can help shift electricity demand to times when supplies are higher and prices are lower through “time-of-use” tariffs. Rather than charge the same flat rate for each unit of gas and electricity regardless of when it’s used, these tariffs offer lower prices for energy used during off-peak periods and higher prices at peak times.

This is the same principle as Economy 7 electricity meter tariffs, which charge a lower fixed night-time rate, typically after 10pm. But in the future, prices will depend on how windy or sunny it is, or whether there is a lot of demand on the system.

This is because unlike existing “old-fashioned” meters, smart meters can communicate in near-real time with the energy system to help balance supply and demand. If consumers choose to take one of these time-of-use tariffs, their smart meters can then “talk” to smart devices in the home and automatically find the cheapest time to charge or to switch on, saving customers money and time.

Take the driver of an electric vehicle who gets home from work in the evening and plugs in their electric car. If they have a smart meter and have signed up to a suitable time-of-use tariff, it will be able to automatically find a time to charge overnight when prices are lower and ensure the battery is full to drive to work in the morning. According to research by Cambridge Economic Policy Associates, consumers who opt for time-of-use tariffs save money on their energy bills on average. This is on top of the wider savings to all of us from not having to build expensive back-up power stations and grid infrastructure.

However Dermot Nolans’s logic does not stand up to scrutiny. The idea that smart meters will make any significant contribution to solving the problem of intermittency is ridiculous.

Currently the government is contracting for around 51 GW of standby capacity via the Capacity Market mechanism, at a cost of about £1bn a year. This could conceivably rise to £2bn during the 2020s, as old coal plant closes.

However, even if we could smooth day and night demand perfectly, we would still need well over 40 GW of capacity, so the saving on standby payments will probably be in the order of 10%, about £200m a year. Bear in mind as well that the Capacity Market auctions have already factored in a certain amount of smoothing, via Demand Supply Response and storage.

Clearly an annual saving of £200m is no justification for spending £16bn on rolling out smart meters.

As for his claimed savings of £17bn to £40bn by 2050, these are not savings at all. As I have explained before, they simply mean that the suicidal cost of the Climate Change Act might be slightly lower than otherwise .

The second argument deployed by Nolan is that consumers can “save money” by accessing cheaper off-peak tariffs. This however is a bit like the three card trick.

Put simply, smart meters cannot reduce the total cost of generating electricity. If anybody saves by switching consumption to night, others will simply have to pick up the bill. Overall, nobody saves.

The reality is that Claire Perry and her cohort of ex DECC green fanatics have got themselves into an almighty hole regarding smart meters. Millions of them don’t work as intended, the crippling cost of the roll out is now gradually becoming public knowledge, the original claimed savings have been shown to be a sham, customers are becoming increasingly put off by bully boy tactics, and installation targets are likely to be missed by a wide margin.

Meanwhile the contradictions posed by the Climate Change Act are becoming ever more real.

Rather than confront the problems facing us in years to come, the government is hiding behind smart meter technology as a cure all. It is not.

As is becoming increasingly evident, smart meters are going to end up as an extremely expensive white elephant.

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66 Comments
  1. Joe Public permalink
    August 14, 2018 12:07 am

    Gotta love the …

    “According to research by Cambridge Economic Policy Associates, consumers who opt for time-of-use tariffs save money on their energy bills on average.”

    So equally true is … ‘consumers who opt for time-of-use tariffs don’t save money on their energy bills on average.’

  2. HotScot permalink
    August 14, 2018 12:10 am

    EV’s next up.

    • John permalink
      August 14, 2018 10:26 pm

      Yes the battery technology does not stand inspection.
      Hydrogen fueled cars anyone?

      • Duker permalink
        August 14, 2018 10:53 pm

        Hydrogen isnt a fuel source as such, its created from either natural gas or surprise , electricity. Its main up side compared to batteries is faster refueling

  3. BLACK PEARL permalink
    August 14, 2018 12:12 am

    “As is becoming increasingly evident, smart meters are going to end up as an extremely expensive white elephant.”

    Like everything else in this on going saga of so called green energy

    • Silver Dynamite permalink
      August 14, 2018 3:15 pm

      …and HS2

  4. markl permalink
    August 14, 2018 12:59 am

    Smart meters do not reduce the energy requirement but only displace it in time so the overall cost stays the same. They’re telling you that your previous availability will be gone and you’ll pay more for using energy at your convenience. Why they are still trying to put lipstick on that pig is a testament to their arrogance and hubris,

    • August 14, 2018 9:55 am

      They’re only “smart” as a relative term to the people who install them. They really should be called “dumb meter” – because only dumb people get them installed.

    • Duker permalink
      August 14, 2018 11:00 pm

      Yes. Shifting from peak to off peak mostly benefits larger users. In my country they use ripple control to turn on or off hot water heating which is stored anyway. Thats a sensible approach as they only need to do for short periods and rotate around the suburbs. In extreme instances it could be for say 6 hours and that was for extremely dry years which affected the hydro stations.

  5. John Palmer permalink
    August 14, 2018 3:20 am

    When you’re in a (£16bn and rising fast) hole, any sensible entity would stop digging- but this is the UK Government!!

  6. Robert Fairless permalink
    August 14, 2018 4:47 am

    One thing is absolutely certain; this man from OfGem is completely devoid of practical common sense.
    Could a man attaining such an important position be so lacking? Certainly but only for money.

    • Jon Scott permalink
      August 15, 2018 6:03 am

      Amazing what people will do and say for money. Just look at all those with their noses in the climate alarmism business.

  7. August 14, 2018 6:55 am

    Here is Nolan’s background:

    “Dermot joined Ofgem as Chief Executive Officer in March 2014. He brings with him extensive leadership experience in energy regulation, market competition and the protection of consumers’ interests having most recently been Commissioner at the Commission for Energy Regulation in Ireland from May 2008 and its Chair since May 2011. Prior to this, he was Senior Economic Adviser at the Commission for Communications Regulation and was manager of the mergers division for the Irish Competition Authority. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he undertook further study at Yale where he gained a PhD in Economics. He has lectured at the University of London, specialising in the areas of market structures and firm performance.”

    According to this he was paid £190k in 2017 when he awarded himself a £15k bonus. Clearly he has no commitment to the job, other than for the money, so giving our propaganda for the Government is not issue for him.
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/2884895/energy-watchdog-boss-awards-staff-1million-in-bonuses-as-skyrocketing-bills-mean-families-struggle-to-make-ends-meet/

    • bobn permalink
      August 14, 2018 9:30 am

      I note he’s never actually worked in the real world or had a productive job. Just sat in ivory towers speculating with no experience. He has so little knowledge of the Energy market that he states ‘This is the same principle as Economy 7 electricity meter tariffs, which charge a lower fixed night-time rate, typically after 10pm.’ Everyone with knowledge of the UK electric market knows the Economy 7 switchover is, and has always been 1130pm GMT (0030am when daylight saving). He thus displays no knowledge of the market he purports to regulate. Another ignorant overpaid theorising quangocrat.
      However the cats out the bag, he confirms what you Paul have long claimed – electricity rationing is coming. To prepare i now have a generator to run off my diesel tractor’s PTO which will connect to the house supply (experimenting with fermenting my own ethanol). I’ll augment with solar and windturbine bought cheap from the scrap yards (where most will end up).

  8. CheshireRed permalink
    August 14, 2018 7:06 am

    Smart meters are a blatant scam predicated on the AGW scam. At last, a positive feedback we can actually see.

  9. Terry Breverton permalink
    August 14, 2018 8:04 am

    there has been advertorial, 2-page or 4-page spreads disguised as unbiased reporting, in every local and national paper I know – the promotional cost must be immense – perhaps a FOI request would be fun… keep up the good work, Terry Breverton

    ________________________________

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 14, 2018 8:19 am

    Everyone will have to throw out all their perfectly serviceable white goods and replace them with ‘intelligent’ white goods so that your freezer knows when to freeze or your washing machine knows when to wash. Or at the very least you will need to install some sort of ‘intelligent’ plug sockets/FCUs.

    This will all be very expensive and wipe even more off any fake anticipated ‘savings’.

    • Ian permalink
      August 14, 2018 8:40 am

      This sort of point has been made to the minister, via my MP, many times. Water off a duck’s back. Then they bemoan the stupidity of voters who elect people like Donald Trump.

      I also see a new spin emerging on the actions of Mrs T in supporting climate change (at first), which was to do down the miners. Hadn’t she already defeated Scargill by this time?

      • dave permalink
        August 14, 2018 10:00 am

        Mrs Thatcher was just an “early faller,” a mediocre scientist (Second-Class in Chemistry, all rapidly forgotten) who automatically believed other mediocre scientists. She like to “swank” a bit at International Conferences. It might have been because she was a woman that she wanted to show superiority in the scientific field to other politicians, who tended to male chauvinist piggery. “If you knew anything, you would know that Science tells us that the world is warming, due to industrialization. Now here is what I suggest we do about it!”

        The modern metro-generation do not know or care about Mrs T. They do not need an OLD hate-figure to fuel their prejudices – they have got Trump and Boris. As for Scargill? Probably not a clue who he is.

      • bobn permalink
        August 14, 2018 12:10 pm

        Dave. Mrs T in the late 1980s heard the various global warming theories and said there should be analysis of the science to see what is or isnt happening. Thus she supported the IPCC to investigate the claims. She did not know the IPCC would be highjacked by the left (though perhaps with hindsight we can all say that anything under the UN will be thus highjacked). She was not in power when the biased reports came out and she is not on record as backing the IPCC and Green agenda that emerged. Just like she early on supported the EEC but then opposed the EU that it grew into, it is very likely that while she supported syudying the climate she would have disputed the antiscience biased reports that the IPCC etc eventually spewed.

      • dave permalink
        August 14, 2018 1:33 pm

        To respond to Ian’s point:

        The coal-miners’ strike was, indeed, “ancient history” (remembering Harold Wilson’s perfectly serious point that a week is a long time in politics) when, in 1988, she deliberately “broke new political ground” (her own words) in starting the scare in Britain.

        That is why it is a bit of a stretch to relate her action back to Scargill. Three years had passed since he mattered, she had “had a good war” (Falklands), and won a General Election in the meantime.

        I think she was looking for a new issue to stir. She was simultaneously starting the idiotic suicide mission to be known as the poll-tax.

        She was never a true Conservative, who is careful not to invite trouble into the house.

    • dennisambler permalink
      August 14, 2018 11:33 am

      “FCUs”

      Sums it up….

  11. Ian permalink
    August 14, 2018 9:11 am

    And another thing – the piece above discusses the merits of being able to charge electric vehicles at convenient-to-the-grid times. I’ve read somewhere that to get some cars fully recharged could take up to 14 hours, so that could make things a bit tricky.

    Another factor v/v the power rating of the car is the CO2 created from grid-generated charging. I’ve just seen an article on a new Merc all- electric SUV, a snip at £55K but more important, 400bhp via 2x250kW motors. Being “0g/km CO2”, this car will get our tax £s in subsidy. What’s the annual cost in CO2 to run this car compared to a small petrol or Diesel car? If subsidies are to be given, surely it should only be for genuinely low CO2 outputs, like from a Nissan Leaf?

    • August 14, 2018 10:14 am

      This is the best new Electric Mercercedes

      🙂

      • dave permalink
        August 14, 2018 1:55 pm

        Yes, almost persuasive!

        The sultry-voiced comedienne making the pitch with such an admirable straight face happens to be, in real life, the daughter of a billionaire. One of the few who could afford to change the batteries!

  12. August 14, 2018 9:50 am

    Matt Ridley has written an excellent book about how much of the world has come about by evolution, not just the DNA mechanism. So-called smart meters should be introduced over decades as just improvements in technology in a slowly changing grid system. Instead, politicians and vested interests want a planet-saving and vote-winning revolution, the only thing that will stop them is votes, but who do we vote for?

    • bobn permalink
      August 14, 2018 12:12 pm

      UKIP opposes the climate change act and the green bullshit agenda.

  13. August 14, 2018 9:51 am

    The simple fact is that many people have been conned with ridiculous tariffs when almost all of us get electricity at a single unit price. So it goes without saying that as soon as the electricity companies can bamboozle us with complex tariff schemes, that we’ll all end up paying MORE.

    Indeed, the whole push for this is in order to force us to have more expensive sources of generation – so by denying them the means to put in more electricity unreliables we’re actually saving ourselves money.

  14. TinyCO2 permalink
    August 14, 2018 10:02 am

    If they’re struggling to get these meters to be swapped from network to network, what is the likelihood they can do all the clever stuff the government imagines?

    The idea that people will or can significantly move their energy use to the late evening/night or weekends is flawed. Apart from washing stuff, hoovering and charging the car, most people need the normal morning and evening windows to do almost everything. Nobody is going to wait until off peak for their dinner or a hot drink. In theory fridges and freezers can chill off peak but it risks food safety as that’s not when non chilled food is put in or the door is often open. They’d need to be modified to cope with off peak working. Who is going to buy more expensive (new designs are also more unreliable) white goods that connect to the net if they don’t save a significant amount of money? Even for those tasks that can be moved, like washing and hoovering, a) a lot of that is done now and b) do we really want to put off doing stuff when we want, as opposed to when it’s slightly cheaper? Pensioners would have to become nocturnal to benefit. So that leaves charging the car. The government has a great many plans for electric cars and their batteries such that a simple off peak charger wouldn’t do. However such sophisticated chargers are moot if few people want an electric car or even fewer are prepared to prematurely age their batteries by letting the grid use them for peak backup and risk a flat battery when they need a full one. Surely such a sophisticated charger could supply the information needed without a smart meter?

    Wouldn’t the cheapest and smartest option be to bundle a smart meter to those who wanted to sign up to off peak tarifs and/or a smart car charger?

  15. james permalink
    August 14, 2018 10:03 am

    this is a complete ripoff most people could have done the same on our smart phones at no extra cost what a cockup

  16. Stonyground permalink
    August 14, 2018 10:14 am

    There are some highly annoying radio ads for smart meters which I suspect that we are paying for. I presume that they can get away with the blatant lying because of the rapidly spoken disclaimer at the end. This disclaimer should also contain the words ‘definition of the word free may vary’.

  17. August 14, 2018 10:37 am

    California’s PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric Company) has this…

    The SmartMeter™ opt-out program
    https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/save-energy-money/analyze-your-usage/your-usage/view-and-share-your-data-with-smartmeter/smartmeter-updates/smart-meter-opt-out-program.page

    • dave permalink
      August 14, 2018 10:59 am

      “…opt-out program…”

      I see that a new analog meter costs $75 to install and $10 a month for thirty-six months. So there is definitely as much bullying to be “a good little consumer” in California as in England (what a surprise!)

      • markl permalink
        August 14, 2018 4:13 pm

        My California analog meter was upgraded to a ‘smart meter’ without consent. The charges for it are hidden in the monthly electricity bill. As of now they only use the meters to eliminate manual checking for billing purposes. I’m sure the data gathered is being analyzed to maximize tier cut offs to their advantage (you pay more/kwh at each level). The only mention of involuntary service refusal through the meter is if you fail to pay your bill, no rationing.

  18. Robert Jones permalink
    August 14, 2018 11:15 am

    I read Mr Nolan’s unconvincing piece and marvelled at his assertion that ‘Ofgem, whose sole purpose is to protect the interests of energy consumers, is working with the Government to help deliver the smart meter roll-out.’ So many falsehoods in one sentence!

    The EU-initiated smart meter is a busted flush and it will cost individual energy users between £440-600.00 added surreptitiously to their bills to reimburse the energy suppliers on top of them saving the cost of meter-readers. The Government should be deeply ashamed that it has not only blindly followed the EU’s proposal but also sponsored a deeply-flawed roll-out programme. This Government is proving to be hapless on too many projects, not least Brexit and so-called climate change, and needs urgently to take stock!

    • Ian permalink
      August 14, 2018 11:34 am

      Robert, you say “… blindly followed the EU’s proposal …”. If only that were true. In the usual British Civil Service practice, they gold-plated the spec to the point it wouldn’t be recognised in the EU. Not enough accountability.

  19. Bloke down the pub permalink
    August 14, 2018 11:57 am

    I pay for my gas and electric by direct debit in order to smooth out the monthly payments. Estimated readings are not really an issue as they read the meters once a year anyway and make any necessary adjustments then.

    • Ian permalink
      August 14, 2018 1:02 pm

      “Estimated readings are not really an issue …” May be Bitp if you don’t watch your balance and have a big credit when you switch (plus they’ve got your money during the contract). It could take a while to get it back from your old supplier. Best to submit monthly meter readings online and get a statement automatically (with my supplier, anyway). If you see you’re drifting towards a big credit balanceyou can then get them to adjust the tariff.

  20. A C Osborn permalink
    August 14, 2018 12:29 pm

    The comments on that article show that the public are not buying it.
    They recognise this scam for what it is.

  21. steve permalink
    August 14, 2018 12:49 pm

    Probably the biggest piece of garbage I have ever seen written in the Telegraph. they should be ashamed of themselves giving space for this propaganda

  22. CheshireRed permalink
    August 14, 2018 1:35 pm

    The claimed savings are so small (something like £48 pa by 2030, which itself will be their ‘best case’ scenario) that the whole thing is pointless on ‘savings’ grounds, but that’s the only way ministers can promote SM’s as being in the public interest.
    Plainly the agenda is as stated many times, demand-side regulation and demand-led price-controls. All this after worshipping at the Green Alter. Please someone rid us of this menace.

  23. CradleyJohn permalink
    August 14, 2018 2:11 pm

    The government thinks that the general public are stupid not to realise that when they switch on an electric appliance it uses electricity and hence costs money. You can be sure that when time-of-use tariffs are brought in that costs will all be in an upward direction and that there will be no reduction on today’s minimum rates. Furthermore it will make it easier, when demand exceeds supply, to cut off low risk consumers without the risks associated with blanket type power cuts that include hospitals, people on dialysis etc. which is the only way they can do it today.

    • August 14, 2018 3:06 pm

      The ‘way they do it today’ in the UK is to sign up businesses that are willing to reduce or stop their power usage in the event of a shortage of generated electricity at any given time.

      Of course there are standby payments for this, and further payments if they get called on to cut their usage. Should this not be enough to get out of trouble, obviously something more drastic has to happen.

    • Ian permalink
      August 14, 2018 5:22 pm

      I’m afraid a lot of people ARE stupid, or have more money than sense. A supposedly intelligent person on TV a few days ago, when it was suggested that switching is easy, replied: “Life’s too short”.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        August 14, 2018 7:11 pm

        The whole – blame the customer for not switching – when suppliers raise their prices yet again, is just another smokescreen.
        Pricing for essential utilities should be simple and transparent – everyone should pay the same.
        The whole idea of pretending it is some sort of competitive market place when they are all using the same infrastructure and electrons is ridiculous.
        You can only offset one price rise once by switching anyway, then you are just scratching around for pennies – and rises are coming 2 or 3 times a year now.

  24. Coeur de Lion permalink
    August 14, 2018 4:07 pm

    I think we should think that electric vehicles are never going to happen to any meaningful extent. My diesel pickup is worth about five hundred dollars and does the job. My diesel auto does 50 miles to the UK gallon and 500 on a tankful. Total capital cost about two fifths of an EV.

  25. Roger Desjardins permalink
    August 14, 2018 5:04 pm

    Please read Dr.Barry Trower.

  26. Green Sand permalink
    August 14, 2018 7:58 pm

    Surprise, surpise! It’s hasn’t got Silly Jilly’s name on it!

    ‘Exceptionally hot weather predicted until 2022 according to new study ‘

    “Manmade global warming and a natural surge in the Earth’s surface temperature will join forces to make the next five years exceptionally hot, according to a study published Tuesday.

    The joint effects of climate change and so-called natural variability more than doubles the likelihood of “extreme warm events” in ocean surface waters, creating a dangerous breeding ground for hurricanes and typhoons, the study suggests.

    “This warm phase is reinforcing long-term climate change,” lead author Florian Sevellec, a climate scientist at the University of Brest in France, said.

    “This particular phase is expected to continue for at least five years.”

    Earth’s average surface temperature has always fluctuated.

    Over the last million years, it vacillated roughly every 100,000 years between ice ages and balmy periods warmer than today…….”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/14/exceptionally-hot-weather-predicted-2022-according-new-study/

    • dave permalink
      August 14, 2018 9:29 pm

      I have really enjoyed this hot summer. But any accuracy in the predictions of climate scientists will be purely accidental. My woolen undies stay close.

      • dave permalink
        August 14, 2018 9:37 pm

        Actually, I have no idea how CLIMATE scientists can predict the WEATHER. Not their business, on even the most charitable reading of their pretensions.
        Are they – shock, horror – merely bull-shitters?

      • nigel permalink
        August 14, 2018 9:56 pm

        “Are they… bull-shitters?”

        Possibly; or – alternatively – their delusional, invincible, ignorance has made them blind as bats:

  27. Kenneth Graham Rolfe permalink
    August 14, 2018 9:34 pm

    Hi, just some other pertinent information about so called smart meters. Average cost of a smart meter installation £450. Average lifespan of a smart meter 5 to 7 years. So called average savings even if they were true £46 per year. You do the maths. An electrical engineer with over 40 years experience.

  28. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 14, 2018 9:40 pm

    Let’s take a look at this switching argument. Here’s the UK generation profile for Jan 19, 2015 – when there was almost no wind or solar production. Actual demand was about 1.75GW higher during the day, because we were importing 1.5GW from France (nuclear), 1GW from the Netherlands (coal) and exporting 0.75GW to Ireland consistently after lower imports from France during their morning rush hour.

    The afternoon rush hour peak is now really quite modest relative to daytime demand. There is about 2GW of industrial demand that is subject to “Triad risk” – not Chinese gansters, but charges that are assessed on their demand during the three highest demand half hours on the grid over the winter. They either curtail operation, or start up their own generators to cover (and probably run them for several hours) – and thus avoid peak charging. Triad charging effectively amounts to tens of pounds per kWh, and is designed to reduce the peak demand that the grid must provide for. Of course, it really only shifts generation to private sources. Shifting demand to different hours around the peak, squashing it down, would soon create a problem in the world of EVs. There would be no spare capacity for recharging them during the day. Bad luck for anyone trying to do a longer journey, or needing to top up at work because the cold weather had flattened the battery or compromised its range for getting home.

    Of course, it’s easy to see that there is spare capacity overnight – for which an old fashioned Economy 7 meter to recharge your EV would be quite adequate. Vehicle charge management systems in the vehicle itself would spread the charging out overnight. No need for a fancy smart meter.

    The whole point about a day like this is that there is no time when renewables would be supplying anything meaningful at all – and the whole day would be supplied with generation that was trying to make money to cover its costs out of much reduced operating hours: that is, it would all be peak priced. Of course, not only is there no renewable generation, but also we have peak demand – the Central England Temperature averaged just 0.3C, and 0.0C on the 20th.

    Elsewhere ( http://watt-logic.com/2018/08/02/network-charging-reform/ discussing another can of OFGEM worms), I read:

    There is now 28 GW of distribution-connected generation (compared to 75 GW on the transmission system), potentially rising to between 37 GW and 71 GW by 2030.

    Of course, this is divided between solar panels and diesel STOR etc. Perhaps like large industrial users, we will all need our own diesel generators to avoid being raped by the system. Then our costs will be higher still. But they won’t appear on your electricity bill.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 15, 2018 11:49 am

      I think both Moyle and the IFA were capacity limited by problems at this time – an indication that even at this level, interconnectors cannot be relied on. Of course, if Europe had been heavily renewables dependent, there would have been a reliance on backup generation a.k.a. fossil fuels (or blackouts) across most of it anyway: the winter blocking high with minimal wind was covering most of Europe – you have to go to Finland, Spain, Bulgaria and Greece to find normal wind on that day. Additionally, being winter, there was very little solar production either.

  29. John permalink
    August 14, 2018 10:28 pm

    After Brexit the Climate change Act has to go
    Trump has the right idea but no one in the UK

  30. Shalewatcher permalink
    August 14, 2018 11:20 pm

    The issue of course is not time of use but time of generation. Renewable suppliers have been given incentives for supplying an unreliable electricity supply and the rest of the suppliers have been left to pick up the slack.

    Renewables must have their place; who wouldn’t want a supply where the marginal cost is near zero at times during the day and ultimately, whether we believe in the climate change agenda or not, we must accept that the supply of fossil fuels is finite (probably).

    BUT the question is who pays for continuous supply and shouldn’t the nuclear and gas industries not be paid a premium for being able to supply 24/7. At the moment there doesn’t seem to be any incentive for new gas and nuclear investment because the renewables are so cheap when the sun is shining and the wind blows. It’s like a shop being expected to make a profit but only being allowed to only open when there are no people about.

  31. Shalewatcher permalink
    August 14, 2018 11:27 pm

    This year it’s a hot summer that’s allegedly caused by man-made CO2 emissions; last year it was hurricanes but this year it’s just been an average to below average hurricane season so that doesn’t get a mention in the BBC etc.

  32. Gamecock permalink
    August 15, 2018 12:18 am

    There is nothing wrong with Time of Day charging; it’s a good idea.

    £16bn for meters to enable it is not.

    In the U.S. – and I suspect in UK – electric utilities are regulated monopolies with guaranteed rates of return. I.e., they are going to get their money. Regardless. ‘Savings’ is delusional.

    • David Porter permalink
      August 15, 2018 7:09 am

      Time of day charging ought to make sense. But, the market in the UK is very different from that in the US. In the UK, the networks are regulated as monopolies, but, with price controls and not by ‘rate of return’ regulation. The generators operate in a competitive market, albeit one that is distorted by customer-funded subsidies to politically favoured technologies. The retailers – there are now about 70 of them for the customers to choose from – also operate in a competitive market, albeit one where some of them are required to meet certain government social requirements and where, currently, there is a political threat of a price cap being imposed.

  33. sean2829 permalink
    August 15, 2018 2:03 am

    Smart meters are time of use pricing devices. A more appropriate name might electric (price) shock therapy machines to train consumers to use electricity only when its available.

  34. sean2829 permalink
    August 15, 2018 2:03 am

    Smart meters are time of use pricing devices. A more appropriate name might electric (price) shock therapy machines to train consumers to use electricity only when its available.

  35. Maryam Riaz permalink
    August 15, 2018 7:02 am

    The smart meters I had installed canot only be used with the energy provider who put it in; I did not know this at the time. I am now with another energy provider who say the smart meter they put in can be used if I switch provider. Not sure if I want one now

  36. August 15, 2018 4:46 pm

    John Constable gives the issue good coverage:
    “The Chief Executive of the UK’s electricity and gas regulator, Ofgem, has published a prominent article in The Daily Telegraph reassuring the public about the Smart Meter programme, and stressing its potential benefits. Unfortunately, Ofgem is no longer the independent consumer champion that it once was, and the statement cannot be taken at face value.”
    https://www.thegwpf.com/energy-efficiency-smart-meters-and-climate-policy/

  37. Kenneth Maley permalink
    August 15, 2018 5:46 pm

    Another government scam this roll out was started when labour were in power ED milliband was energy minister, this was an EU
    Directives to start the roll out,the government at the time had the option not to roll out the smart meters if the cost was too much for the country, Germany portagal declined due to the high cost of rollout,just think what the country could do with 15 billion pounds. NHS/ repair
    Potholes,stop government taking away money
    From local councils so buses could be returned
    To the people how are now unable visit town centres and feel locked in there homes.

  38. August 15, 2018 10:31 pm

    Smart meters cannot be fitted in the space my existing meters occupy! I think the existing meters are probably 50 years or so old by design if not fitment.

  39. Gamecock permalink
    August 18, 2018 2:43 am

    Smart meters for your residential gas line and water lines under study.

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