Monday, 18 January 2016

ESB Issue Warning about Smart Meters


ESB have issued a warning about the discriminatory nature of smart meters and the negative impact they will have on working families. Their response to the Energy Regulator (CER) consultation can be read here. Ireland will be the only country to make smart meters mandatory in the EU. In Germany, they are only installed in houses that will benefit from them. But the Irish Energy Regulator intends to install them in every home by 2018.

However, we would restate our position regarding the mandating of a STT for all residential customers. The structure of the proposed mandated TOU tariff, will consist of day, night and peak time bands with three options for peak between 5-7, 5-9 and 7-9 pm. By definition, those who will benefit from TOU tariffs either already use more electricity at cheaper times of day, or are willing and able to shift their demand accordingly. Those households that are best off under the TOU tariff are those with below average consumption at peak times or those that are at home and able to shift consumption to off peak times. TOU tariffs will negatively impact families returning home from work and education in the evenings to cook dinner, eat together and heat the home and those with non discretionary load. 

We would repeat the point we made in our response to CER15053 in March this year that during the NSMP trial 50% of consumers involved incurred higher bills of up to €30 per annum and 50% of consumers involved saved up to €30 per annum. By introducing a mandated TOU tariff with a backstop date the CER risks seeing 50% of consumers incur higher bills after the roll out of smart meters (Electric Ireland (ESB) - September 2015).


  1. Stare at the picture of the smart meter above and see does anything strike you ---- don't read on until you do ---------
    See the words "first;utility" ---- (check again) ----- now remove the letters "irst;" and see what you get. An omen perhaps. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------futility

  2. Smart meters start house fires. I wonder will CER pay the increased house insurance ?.

  3. With a traditional system, the cables move out from the power station like the branches of a tree. With large wind farms, you effectively have a large number of power stations and each one requires a tree going in the opposite direction. With some small wind farms, the cables are connected to the distribution side. In other words, it connects not to the main grid which is stepped down a number of times to user voltage, but between the step down stages. Whether this arrangement can reduce any tradition applied load is debatable. I suspect that if the local load is greater than the wind output, some of the mains load is lifted, but if the local load is less, the conditioned wind output is fed back ways up the transformer. It's stepped up. In traditional distribution, there is only one step up transformer (at the power station), the rest are all step down. Transformers are designed to step it down. So a lot of extra cables is needed, but there is no saving on traditional generation so its a waste made possible only by forcing consumers to pay for it.