N.S. senior suspects smart meter to blame for shocking $666 power bill

N.S. senior suspects smart meter to blame for shocking $666 power bill

Heidi Petracek 2016

Heidi PetracekCTV News Atlantic Reporter

@HeidiPCTV Contact

Published Thursday, June 11, 2020 11:43PM ADTLast Updated Friday, June 12, 2020 8:13AM ADT

UPPER GULF SHORE, N.S. — A Nova Scotia senior says she couldn’t believe her eyes when she opened her most recent power bill.

Gloria Chu was billed $666 — more than double what she normally pays.

As someone who always pays her bi-monthly Nova Scotia Power bill in full and on time, Chu couldn’t believe it.

According to her bill, her electricity usage almost tripled during the month of May, compared to last year, and is even more than it was last winter.

She insists she and her husband aren’t doing anything differently — but one thing has changed.

“I have had a problem since they put the smart meter in,” said Chu, who lives in Upper Gulf Shore, N.S.

Chu got a big bill right after the meter was installed in January, too. That one was more than $530.

She paid it, but couldn’t understand why it was so high.

As for this bill, she says she just can’t afford it.

“That’s all of my CPP,” Chu said. “Actually, it’s more than my CPP.”

Chu says a neighbor up the road who also has a smart meter had her bill double, too. In nearby Pugwash, she says some residents have seen an increase of about $20-$30.

Nova Scotia Power had put a pause on installing smart meters because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has resumed as of June 1, with the goal of upgrading 500,000 meters by 2021.

In this case, the utility says it’s not the meter that’s the problem, it’s the pandemic, because Nova Scotia Power had to suspend meter readings for two months.

“As a result, every one of our customers in Nova Scotia received an estimated bill,” said Jennifer parker, Nova Scotia Power’s director of customer care.

The utility estimated Chu’s bill at $182 — less than she normally pays — so her latest bill is considered a catch-up bill after meter readings resumed last month.

Parker admits how estimates are calculated isn’t perfect.

“There would be a lot of customers who probably had a more accurate bill because of the way that we estimate, and that’s actually one of things that smart meters will get rid of, is that we won’t need to do estimated billing,” Parker said.

Chu isn’t quite convinced.

“It is pretty smart for the power company, but it’s not smart for us,” she said with a laugh.

Nova Scotia Power has put a hold on her bill and says it will work with Chu on an affordable solution.

She just hopes to never see a big bill like this again.

https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/n-s-senior-suspects-smart-meter-to-blame-for-shocking-666-power-bill-1.4981033

Smart meters have little impact on people’s energy usage habits, research finds

Smart meters have little impact on people’s energy usage habits, research finds

energy
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

When the Smart Meter Rollout Programme launched a decade ago, it was touted as a way of helping consumers cut down on their energy usage, but new research has found that environmental concerns have little impact on reducing energy consumption.

Smart meters were introduced to allow customers to manage their  and it was hoped they would save money on bills and lessen their environmental impact by reducing , as well as changing their attitudes towards their energy use.

But new research by Keele University using focus groups has found that 10 years after the programme was rolled out, people’s awareness around strategies for improving our  is still only limited.

The findings also showed that  are not a key driver in promoting energy reduction behaviours, not because participants don’t care about the environment but because they felt a reduction in their  would have very little impact on the environment.

These findings are in line with recent estimates which suggest that reductions in  are only at around 2% since the start of the rollout, and far lower than the meaningful energy reductions which were hoped for.

The researchers—Professor Zhong Fan, Dr. Sandra Woolley, Dr. Ed de Quincey and David Fredericks from Keele’s School of Computing and Mathematics—obtained these insights by conducting a series of focus group interviews with postgraduate consumers and asking them how they perceived their own efforts to reduce their energy use, as well as those of their employers.

Professor Fan said this study contributes to the ongoing debate about the effectiveness of  and in-home energy displays, adding that little appears to have changed in the perception and experience of energy feedback in the decade since the programme was launched.

The project was funded by the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) programme, in collaboration with Connexica. SEND is a pioneering initiative at Keele which is a European first, turning the campus into a living laboratory for smart energy research, testing and development, and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Professor Fan added: “This project, part of the SEND programme, is a first step towards understanding people’s perception of smart meters and energy feedback.”

https://techxplore.com/news/2020-06-smart-meters-impact-people-energy.html

Study: “Smart” Meters Reduce Energy Use Around 2% – Not Environmentally Meaningful as Promised

Study: “Smart” Meters Reduce Energy Use Around 2% – Not Environmentally Meaningful as Promised

 

By B.N. Frank

Since tens of millions of 2-way wireless transmitting utility “Smart” Meters have been installed on homes and throughout communities in the U.S. and worldwide – you probably have them even if your utility company doesn’t call them “Smart”.

They are so unpopular (see 123) and problematic and EXPENSIVE (see 12) that a documentary was produced about them in 2013 and then updated and re-released in 2017.  Most of the costs for their installation AND their replacements have been and continue to be passed onto customers.

Proponents – including environmental groups (see 12) – promised they would help customers reduce their energy use.  OMG No!  In fact, because they are 2-way transmitting, they actually use more energy to operate than original 1-way transmitting meters and that additional use is at least sometimes being passed on to customers (see 12).

By B.N. Frank

Since tens of millions of 2-way wireless transmitting utility “Smart” Meters have been installed on homes and throughout communities in the U.S. and worldwide – you probably have them even if your utility company doesn’t call them “Smart”.

They are so unpopular (see 123) and problematic and EXPENSIVE (see 12) that a documentary was produced about them in 2013 and then updated and re-released in 2017.  Most of the costs for their installation AND their replacements have been and continue to be passed onto customers.

Proponents – including environmental groups (see 12) – promised they would help customers reduce their energy use.  OMG No!  In fact, because they are 2-way transmitting, they actually use more energy to operate than original 1-way transmitting meters and that additional use is at least sometimes being passed on to customers (see 12).

 

Read full article:  https://www.activistpost.com/2020/06/study-smart-meters-reduce-energy-use-around-2-not-environmentally-meaningful-as-promised.html

Smart meters have limited impact on consumer energy usage reveals study

Smart meters have limited impact on consumer energy usage reveals study

smart metersrollout
Image credit: Stock
  • A new study released by the UK’s University of Keele states that smart meters have little impact on reducing consumer energy usage.

    Although previous studies on energy usage consumption suggested that direct energy feedback could result in reductions of up to 15% in energy usage, the new study estimates that reductions in energy usage and costs may be as low as 2%.

    UK consumers also have a limited awareness around energy efficiency strategies and opportunities for more visual, mobile, engaging and target-driven interfaces for energy data.

    This is despite previous reports stating that majority of UK consumers are aware of the smart metering technology, AMI data, benefits, and energy efficiency.

    Related stories:
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    COVID-19 slows meter market, accelerates software spend

    The study has also revealed that environmental concerns are not a key driver of energy reduction behaviors. This is so because consumers feel a reduction in their energy consumption would have very little impact on the environment.

    Consumers’ concerns of smart meters, and indirectly energy feedback relate to the loss of control or privacy, mistrust of profit-driven energy suppliers and negative perceptions on how energy feedback could affect their lives.

    The researchers – Professor Zhong Fan, Dr Sandra Woolley, Dr Ed de Quincey and David Fredericks from Keele’s School of Computing and Mathematics – obtained these insights by conducting a series of focus group interviews with postgraduate consumers.

    The project was funded by the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) programme, in collaboration with Connexica.

    Professor Fan said: “This project, part of the SEND programme, is a first step towards understanding people’s perception of smart meters and energy feedback.”

Other study findings are available here.

Smart meters have limited impact on consumer energy usage reveals study

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