CHOICE membership

Do you have a smart meter and if so, have you accessed the data to save energy and money?


#1

If you have a smart meter it is measuring, recording and transmitting your energy use data to your distributor and retailer.

Some energy retailers make your energy use data available to you via apps or online and customers can use this to their advantage to find ways to make savings - eg. by moving the time of use of electricity, or swapping to a new plan. Alternatively customers can install an in home energy usage display - a screen which shows graphs of consumption data.

I’d like to know:

  1. If people who have smart meters are accessing their data
  2. How they are accessing it, and
  3. If this is helping them save electricity and money. Anyone?

#2

1 - yes
2 - I’m reading mine off the meter itself. The power company here isn’t as smart as the meter.
3 - awareness is everything - it’s helping save. I have an SMA solar inverter that I’m querying with a python script from a raspberry pi3, so I can log power the inverter generates - I compare that with the Lectrickery company smart meter, but of course it is net not gross and comparison is manual readings, so the full picture needs to be compiled. I’m looking into getting my own check meter, something that will give ‘trade grade’ metering and allow me to hit the raw metering data over the network with something like MODBUS/etc.

related: PV/Solar Smart Metering - Installation Costs and Reporting Options?


#4
  1. We have a smart meter and can access the data…
  2. …via Powershop’s website and smartphone app
  3. I can’t say that we’re using the data to save electricity or money, as we were already a low-consumption household :wink:

#5
  1. Yes I am accessing my Smart Meter Data.
  2. I am accessing by logging into my Origin electricity account online.
  3. We have an “all-gas” home, for water heating, general house heating, hotplates & wall oven, and I cant say that analysing electricity use data it is helping me save any energy, as being a retired electrician, and and test technician, experienced in the generation, distribution, and metering of electricity, I fully understand and appreciate what I have to do to save electricity. We have been on the General Domestic (GD) rate for years. I have looked into being on an Off-Peak plan, & the economics indicate that I am better to stay on the same fixed, and non-stepped tariff 24/7, 365 days/year.

#6

am accessing smart meter data

tried different ways (by the way, distributor is Ausnet, reseller is Origin).

Installed myHomeEnergy a free app from Ausnet;
looked at usage via Origin’s website for account holders;
requested detailed data from both Ausnet and Origin - which then needs to be played around this to put into useful form; and finally,
installed Solar Analytics Monitoring system (refer review at https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/energy-saving/reducing-your-carbon-footprint/articles/home-energy-management-systems).

definitely saving money with Solar Analytics Monitoring system - system is just about perfect (only potential fault is to do with tariffs, but there is a work-around). extremely easy to read and understand and gives various info in different ways.
Gives notifications suggesting usage changes based on previous usage patterns - eg one notification noticed that house was exporting power during the day and getting paid $0.1130 kWh, but then using air-con at night at peak rate - suggested that the house is pre-cooled during day using power generated from solar power system.

Last couple of monthly bills were $10.47 and $15.37 (previous year around ~ $80.00pm (although have just recently increased number of solar panels on roof, so am producing more than same time last year)


#7

I have a smart meter and 8 solar panels. I am not very IT savvy and just have to rely on what Powershop tells me. What sort of app could I have on my phone to get more info? I tried to contact Solar Edge Support to find out if I should get a battery, but despite several phone calls and messages left, I have failed to talk to them. So no, I haven’t accessed the date to save energy and money, but I would appreciate any advice! Basic answers such as how many watts should my system generate before I can stop using washing machine etc after 10pm!


#8

We are looking at the data smart meters provide and what this can and can’t do for the average customer who is not inclined to play with spreadsheets or get too technical. Thank you for your responses, they paint a good picture.


#9

And please keep them coming!


#10

Hi pmslaytor,

going from what you have written, I assume that your electricity company is Powershop - if so, it looks like they have an app that you can download to monitor your usage (http://www.powershop.com.au/mobile-apps/ ).

Also suggest that you check out your distributor’s web-site as some of them have free home energy management systems that you can use.

The ones that I’ve looked at are fairly easy to use - so suggest that you give them a go.

cheers Peter


#11

We have a 5kW solar power system (from Roofjuice).and get power from Powershop. I cant see how much power we are using from the solar power system. Just how much it generates and how much power we are using from powershop - also how much we are feeding into the grid at the woeful tariff. (Hardly anything). Honestly our power usage is really high and we cant work out why. It didnt drop much at all when we installed the solar power system. Rang RoofJuice and Powershop and havent got a good explanation from either company It seems as if the solar power hasnt been connected to our home’s electricity supply. One of us in full time work and the other retired. Our hot water is off peak. But still we have eye wateringly high electricity bills. V. Disappointing. Something is wrong here.


#12

Curiosity. Your solar panels generate power during the day not night, but you probably do not have a battery system to use your own generated power at night. Have you considered that the bulk of your power consumption might be after dusk when your solar system is not supplying it and the grid will be?

Consider that the retired might be watching the TV, doing the laundry, and using computers during the time the solar system is generating, or perhaps everyone is out and about more often than not during the day, If your usage pattern during ‘sun time’ was already on the low side you might not see much advantage from solar in your bill.

If that is the case your most visible benefit would not be significantly less consumption, just whatever you get from the feed-in tariff.

Could you be more specific what ‘eye wateringly high means’ and where you are located?


split this topic #13

12 posts were merged into an existing topic: RF Radiation and cancer - smart meters, mobile phones and WiFI


RF Radiation and cancer - smart meters, mobile phones and WiFI
RF Radiation and cancer - smart meters, mobile phones and WiFI
#15

When we bought our home 3-4 years ago I noted it did not have a smart meter. On advice from our retailer I rang the supplier to ask for one to be installed so I could use the data to save money. The supplier has never turned up. I recently compared plans and decided to stick with who I had. In the process discovered I had a flat rate. I guess no need to get smart.


#16

I guess that depends on your Lectrickery supplier … where I live we only have one supplier, and it’s worth the same amount both ways, as it should be :slight_smile:


#17

Very true and as you stated if someone is home during the day (possible as one is retired) then using the washing machine, cleaning and similar would be more beneficial during the hours when the panels are producing power, even preparing meals so that most of the power needed is not consumed after nightfall (and hopefully they already do these). They can further reduce after dark power usage by installing LED bulbs/tubes to reduce lighting power costs if they haven’t already.

The Hot Water Off Peak setting means it will be heating before the sun is up for the majority of the time it is operating, but Hot Water should not be a large cost in comparison to all the other usage and that is normally at a lower tariff because it is off peak. If the Hot Water cost is high (as they particularly point out the Hot Water) then perhaps there is an issue with the Hot Water Unit or piping eg leaks (if the pipes aren’t lagged/insulated they should get as much of them insulated as possible).

Also power generation will depend on what direction the panels face eg if West then mostly when getting afternoon sun, Easterly then mostly during the morning. There are a few factors that may be affecting @newcole99 's benefits from the panels including whether the roof section gets shaded by foliage or other buildings.


#18

If your hot water tariff is higher than your feed-in tariff, then you would be better off to heat your water during the daytime with your solar system’s output, rather than with imported off-peak power at night. You’ll need an electrician to switch it over, and install a time switch so that it only operates during the day. Also, there are devices available that will detect when power is being exported and turn the element on in the hot water system to use it yourself, rather than exporting.
Depending on your actual energy use, a 5kW system should make a significant dent in your bill, especially if you have significant daytime loads.

Have you asked whether your meter is configured as a net meter? (I don’t know when you had your PV system installed, so maybe you were never on the gross scheme). If you are stuck with a gross meter, then all your solar power will be exported and paid for at whatever you are paid per kWh, and you will not see any reduction in the actual energy use in your home, ie it wont be reduced by any output from your inverter.


#19

I have a smart meter for electricity. I have asked AGL (my suppler until recently) on two occasions to help me access the data via my computer. On both occasions they said they would do so but in fact did nothing. Because of this I changed my supplier (but have not yet begun to badger my new supplier for help).


#20

Hi Newcole,

Roofjuice should be able to advise but you could also look at getting some monitoring through a home energy management system.

https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/energy-saving/reducing-your-carbon-footprint/articles/home-energy-management-systems.

A 5kW system should make a good dent on your power bills especially if you have daytime usage. It’s well worth uncovering the problem!


#21

Two solar oxidane heating panels takes care of that …

My 5 kW system takes many people in these parts well into credit, even including my fixed daily charge for service. Over the last two months it seems to work out to about 14.5 kW/h I am charged for, but about 19 kW/h I am being paid for - so I’m credited for 4.5 kW/h per day … This is from manually reading the ‘smart’ meter.

I’m getting the impression that companies who pay the same rate they charge per kW/h are rare?


#22

It’s only your state based system that comes into play for that. Just about everywhere else is on a NET FiT with varying rates per kWh paid… mostly rather lower than what is paid for imported power, unless you were lucky enough to get onto a scheme like the Qld 44c/kWh FiT.