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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
We're really confused so I hope someone can help us.

We've ordered our first EV (Kia), due in around a month. We're trying to organise a home charging system which should be easy because our fuse box is so close to our preferred installation point (through the wall, it's outside versus fuse box inside). Easy?

Our current system is single metered and non-SMART. I understand we need dual metering to measure the electric we use with night-time charging versus daytime. I've been very nervous about SMART meters because we have such a poor 'mobile phone signal' at home. That's absolutely no 5G or 4G, and very poor 3G. I heard nightmare stories of massive electric bills sent in error. Now it appears we need a SMART meter or dual meters at the least.

We do have good Wi-Fi so the installation can connect to that for the apps etc. but the energy supply aspect is bothering me. How do I get cheap night-time electricity if I only have a single electricity meter reading in the house? It sounds like I need to gamble on new SMART working but that makes me nervous.

Any help or thoughts would be appreciated,
Thanks
 

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Hi,
We're really confused so I hope someone can help us.

We've ordered our first EV (Kia), due in around a month. We're trying to organise a home charging system which should be easy because our fuse box is so close to our preferred installation point (through the wall, it's outside versus fuse box inside). Easy?

Our current system is single metered and non-SMART. I understand we need dual metering to measure the electric we use with night-time charging versus daytime. I've been very nervous about SMART meters because we have such a poor 'mobile phone signal' at home. That's absolutely no 5G or 4G, and very poor 3G. I heard nightmare stories of massive electric bills sent in error. Now it appears we need a SMART meter or dual meters at the least.

We do have good Wi-Fi so the installation can connect to that for the apps etc. but the energy supply aspect is bothering me. How do I get cheap night-time electricity if I only have a single electricity meter reading in the house? It sounds like I need to gamble on new SMART working but that makes me nervous.

Any help or thoughts would be appreciated,
Thanks
Your New Kia will charge just fine on your existing nom Smart meter. Just get the car, the charger installed and get a record of how electricity you use charging your car say for the first year.


Your future decisions on tariffs and meter types can then be made based on real data and not speculation.馃榾
 

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You can try to find yourself the cheapest single rate tariff if you like, and then have the freedom to use energy any time of day or night without worrying about metering issues.

You can alternatively just go ahead with an order with your supplier or choice. Generally most new tariffs like this come with the requirement for a smart meter anyways, so they will be in touch to arrange the installation soon after joining I imagine. The rules generally go along the lines of saying a smart meter must be installed wherever reasonably possible. If they can install it then great. But if they can't you can continue with a dumb meter, even if you end up getting a dual-rate one fitted.

While this would let you get a basic Economy 7 type tariff, you wouldn't be able to get the likes of Octopus' special plans which have variable pricing that is based on current electricity demand as they have no way of monitoring usage hour-by-hour however, unfortunately.

Smart meters generally don't use 4G or 5G for connectivity anyways, so this omission wouldn't immediately concern me however it may be a warning sign that you live in a fairly rural area where other connectivity options are also limited. Best advice I can give is just to go ahead and see what they ultimately say when it's time to fit new meters.
 

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Regarding smart meters. Depending on the area that you live in, your distribution network operator will have specified either 2G or some mesh networking. It's not your responsibility to ensure that the networking works, it's theirs. The amount of data that a smart meter needs to send is minimal compared to even a voice phone call, and it depends on how often it's configured by your energy provider to send updates. Mine is polled daily, which given that I don't have a time-of-use tariff, is about 90 times more frequent than if I were reading the meter manually and sending them the readings. Smart meters in the UK don't use wifi to send their readings to your energy supplier.
You don't need a smart meter to be able to install an EV chargepoint, and any electrician should be able to install the chargepoint; though it's probably better to find an installer who specialises in EV charge points. If you're getting the chargepoint through a deal with your vehicle dealer, then they'll probably arrange a suitable installer who will be able to work out how best to route any cables to your preferred location.
 

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you definitely do not need a Smart meter to have charger point fitted, mine was fitted a couple of months ago when I still had an electric meter with dials馃檮 I鈥榲e 鈥檜pgraded鈥 to a smart meter this week so I can access energy packages with cheaper unit rates, it has no effect on the charge point.

This is one of the hurdles that the mass uptake of EVs face, it鈥檚 so easy to think, or be told, it鈥檚 more complicated than it actually is 馃檪
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
you definitely do not need a Smart meter to have charger point fitted, mine was fitted a couple of months ago when I still had an electric meter with dials馃檮 I鈥榲e 鈥檜pgraded鈥 to a smart meter this week so I can access energy packages with cheaper unit rates, it has no effect on the charge point.

This is one of the hurdles that the mass uptake of EVs face, it鈥檚 so easy to think, or be told, it鈥檚 more complicated than it actually is 馃檪

Thanks for your reply.... I have a contract for electric until August so I'll continue with that and have the 'home charge' installed immediately.

When you upgraded to a Smart meter, did you have that sponsored by govt grant or via the deal with the energy supplier ?

Sorry to keep asking questions........ !
 

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Anyone tries to charge you for a smart meter install, tell them where to stick it. It is free at point of install, and is mandated that your supplier has at least made reasonable effort to install same by 2025??
Obviously nothing is really free, cost is socialised and recouped via everyone's energy bills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Anyone tries to charge you for a smart meter install, tell them where to stick it. It is free at point of install, and is mandated that your supplier has at least made reasonable effort to install same by 2025??
Obviously nothing is really free, cost is socialised and recouped via everyone's energy bills.

So, can I demand a Smart meter from my current electric provider? ......SO Energy.
 

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So, can I demand a Smart meter from my current electric provider? ......SO Energy.
Break the problem into chunks: get your car and get the wall mounted EVSE ( charger installed). Then just take your time over the Smart Meter, it's only icing in the cake. By the sound of it, you will have some getting used to just driving and charging a BEV without bitting off everything at once.

How many miles will you be doing a month. If it's low, say 500 a month it's probable you won't save any money by going to a overnight tarriff.

590 miles is going to be between 100 to 200 kWh per month, say worst case 拢30 probably less.
 

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Hi,
We're really confused so I hope someone can help us.

We've ordered our first EV (Kia), due in around a month. We're trying to organise a home charging system which should be easy because our fuse box is so close to our preferred installation point (through the wall, it's outside versus fuse box inside). Easy?

Our current system is single metered and non-SMART. I understand we need dual metering to measure the electric we use with night-time charging versus daytime. I've been very nervous about SMART meters because we have such a poor 'mobile phone signal' at home. That's absolutely no 5G or 4G, and very poor 3G. I heard nightmare stories of massive electric bills sent in error. Now it appears we need a SMART meter or dual meters at the least.

We do have good Wi-Fi so the installation can connect to that for the apps etc. but the energy supply aspect is bothering me. How do I get cheap night-time electricity if I only have a single electricity meter reading in the house? It sounds like I need to gamble on new SMART working but that makes me nervous.

Any help or thoughts would be appreciated,
Thanks
Also worth keeping in mind that if you live in the North of England and all of Scotland, the Smart Meter Comms will be by LF radio wave and not the same frequencies used by 2G.
 

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When you upgraded to a Smart meter, did you have that sponsored by govt grant or via the deal with the energy supplier ?
The short version is the energy supplier pays for it, although we all pay for it in the long run :rolleyes:.

The directors cut is....I was with British Gas but had the intention of switching to Octopus to sign up for their Go package. That is only available if you have a Smart meter. It appeared you had to wait for Octopus to 'be in your area' and offer you an upgrade although having now switched I'm not sure that is actually the case, but at the time that is how it read to me. Therefore I booked British Gas to upgrade the meters and obviously kept my intentions to switch to myself, but it got cancelled twice due to COVID so in the end I just switched to Octopus and made my willingness to have a Smart meter known on my account.

In the meantime I had a Podpoint fitted and the sub sub sub contractor that did it made a meal of it and for some reason, along with the main fuse seal he removed the seals from the meter. I let Octopus know as I didn't want issues further down the line. I laid it on a bit, making the case that it might look like the meter was being tampered with and as such I just wanted it on the record that I'd let them know. Shortly after I sent them a photo, they booked me in to have them replaced a few days later.
 

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Just to give a slightly different view..... The order in which I proceeded (and worked well for me) was.......

1. ordered my EV

2. had the distribution company upgrade the properties main fuse from 60A to 80A

3. had SMETS2 smart meter fitted by my existing electricity supplier

4. had EV charger fitted

5. took delivery of EV car

6. switched to chosen electricity tariff

The benefit of this order for me, and perhaps others, was that the distribution company fitted an isolation switch when they upgraded the 60A fuse. This meant that electricians fitting the smart meter and EV charger could proceed without being tempted to isolate the supply by (illegally?) removing the meter seals.

The electrician who fitted the 80A fuse or the one who fitted the smart meter (can鈥檛 remember which) also, without asking, upgraded the 鈥榯ails鈥.

I think the isolation switch, 80A fuse and upgraded tails are all prerequisites before an EV charger is installed (if not already in place). Therfore, for me, proceeding in this order meant that the EV charger installer had no reason not to proceed quickly and easily without any additional extra cost to that quoted in their 鈥榣ist price鈥.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just to give a slightly different view..... The order in which I proceeded (and worked well for me) was.......

1. ordered my EV

2. had the distribution company upgrade the properties main fuse from 60A to 80A

3. had SMETS2 smart meter fitted by my existing electricity supplier

4. had EV charger fitted

5. took delivery of EV car

6. switched to chosen electricity tariff

The benefit of this order for me, and perhaps others, was that the distribution company fitted an isolation switch when they upgraded the 60A fuse. This meant that electricians fitting the smart meter and EV charger could proceed without being tempted to isolate the supply by (illegally?) removing the meter seals.

The electrician who fitted the 80A fuse or the one who fitted the smart meter (can鈥檛 remember which) also, without asking, upgraded the 鈥榯ails鈥.

I think the isolation switch, 80A fuse and upgraded tails are all prerequisites before an EV charger is installed (if not already in place). Therfore, for me, proceeding in this order meant that the EV charger installer had no reason not to proceed quickly and easily without any additional extra cost to that quoted in their 鈥榣ist price鈥.
Thanks for this.
We've got a 100A fuse which is lucky but only a single traditional meter. I've always been cautious about the Smart meter after hearing issues from other people. Sounds like I have to do it though.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'tails' though ? Is that simply heavier wiring?
 

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Thanks for this.
We've got a 100A fuse which is lucky but only a single traditional meter. I've always been cautious about the Smart meter after hearing issues from other people. Sounds like I have to do it though.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'tails' though ? Is that simply heavier wiring?
No you don't have to get a SMART meter just because you are getting a BEV.
What is your estimate of your normal monthly mileage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No you don't have to get a SMART meter just because you are getting a BEV.
What is your estimate of your normal monthly mileage?
That's a tough question during Covid. Our mileage is way down because we're working from home and not even sure if we'll be returning to the office. Typical figures might be low (less than 500 per month). A holiday to the west country might change matters.
 

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If your post Covid normal mileage is likely to be less than 500 per month, it's most likely that it will be more expensive overall going with a cheap night rate tarriff via a SMART METER. It's probably a red herring in the overall scheme of things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If your post Covid normal mileage is likely to be less than 500 per month, it's most likely that it will be more expensive overall going with a cheap night rate tarriff via a SMART METER. It's probably a red herring in the overall scheme of things.
Thanks, do you mean because the cost of installation would outweigh the savings ?
 

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Thanks, do you mean because the cost of installation would outweigh the savings ?
In theory the cost of installations n is zero ( assuming it doesn't cost you any time to be at home when the meter technician does his job).
The tarriffs that provide overnight cheap rates generally have a penalty in that the daytime rates are higher. So this comes down to your own usage. If you like to cook your dinner electrically at 6PM and don't like the idea of time shifting your dinner to 0:30 along with your electrically heated shower then probably it might work out more expensive.
If you want to work it out, get two quotes from Octopus, one for Go tarriff and one for their cheapest single rate tarriff, then work out what consumption you would need to time shift. Another starting point is to look at your annual electrical consumption ( before BEV).
 

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It should be a relatively easy calculation if you know the consumption of the EV and the background consumption of the house.

It makes more sense if you have solar PV as the extra cost of the peak rate is offset by the solar generation, to some extent. In this case the calculation becomes almost impossible, as you have to make too many assumptions - averages don't work with solar PV.
 
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