Only as "smart" as the dumbest link
Even if meters were truly "smart" and wonderful, you still have to deal with the energy companies that read them, and as soon as there is any little problem, you face their ineptitude.
Ok ,this is my current situation. I don't have a smart meter, but it's a good excuse for a quick rant anyway.
TL-DR? My current gas bill. Look at my "minimum payment"! ---> https://www.jamie.wales/misc/gas_bill-20231024.png
When I moved into my new flat 8 or 8 years ago, it turned out they'd messed up the meter - all the meters are in the "boiler room" downstairs, so the meters are read by someone getting access via the landlord etc.
This wasn't a problem for the first 5 or so years (or so I thought)
I never really use heating (I probably spend more on the air con over a year) but this was the first place I'd been where the plumbed in shower was powered by gas, so I expected to see a rise in my typical gas bill.
I was getting charged around £15 a month - I was surprised, but I had this "state of the art" new efficient gas boiler, (arranged by the builders, not me) so I assumed it was doing a good job. After all, my meter was being read regularly, and there seemed to be no issue.
Anyway, fast forward to covid lockdowns.
I get a call from SSE (my supplier) asking me to send in a meter reading, as their meter readers can't get out due to lockdown.
I go downstairs, locate the meter for my flat, and the reading is about 38,000 units! The last value they had was around 480!
I did some back and fore with Scottish Power (at the time) and they said that obviously my meter is buggered, and when the covid restrictions are lifted, they'll be replacing the meter with a smart meter anyway, so it will all be sorted by then, so for now, just continue as I am.
About a year later, getting concerned, we called them again. They had no record of the prior conversation! so we had to go through the whole rigmarole again. Sent photos of the meter etc. and it became apparent that there was a meter mixup: Whilst the flat numbers on the meters were correct, they were billing based on the serial numbers, and they'd mixed up my meter with the meter of the guy next door!
Now, the flat next door was empty for about 6 months when I moved in, and after that, the guy who lived there was out 8.00am to midnight every day for years. So that is why my bill was so low!
They said they'd need to send someone out to check the meters in person... And some time after that... Scottish Power sold the account to OVO energy. No information about my meter or issues were passed on - the account was passed on with the original low usage reading on the meter.
At this time, the landlord for the building got involved, because not only was this affecting my neighbour, it turned out it was affecting 2 other tenants too! Similar issue! Her dealings with OVO had to start again from scratch.. They were just as slow as Scottish Power were, faffing around for photos, and saying we need an engineer to visit. etc.
Fast forward to last December. It seems the "correct" meter reading has now been put on the account (and it's not even positive that the "correct" meter reading is accurate!).
Since they inherited the account with the low number about a year ago, in their eyes, I've used pretty much 8 years of gas in the last year, and they have thus billed me for it all, based on gas prices THIS YEAR, and have also averaged out the monthly usage based on this figure, hence why my monthly usage the last year is averaging so highly!
We had to call OVO again, explaining the situation, etc. all over again. The landlord finally sent the whole thing to the ombudsman. She had to have a name on the ticket of one of the customers involved, so she chose the guy downstairs from me, but the ticket was dealing with the 4 flats.
Now this was sitting with the ombudsman, who was also dragging their feet. 6 weeks ago, unfortunately, the guy downstairs died. The ombudsman, and OVO, on hearing this, CLOSED THE WHOLE TICKET. The ombudsman did add "I couldn't really do much anyway, they said it was with their technical team" BLOODY HELL, that's what they've been telling us for 2 years, that's why we called the ombudsman... Anyone have the number for the ombudsman ombudsman?
The landlord mentioned that it affected 4 of us, and will still affect the new tenant, but they said nothing they can do, account is closed, so we have to start from scratch for the third time.
I know this, because when this happened, all the accounts got unfrozen, and all the phone calls forgotten, and I got a bill last week (attached).. They expect me to pay over £6,000 a month - I live alone in a one bedroom flat! Ok, I have a living room, bathroom, and kitchen, too, but they aren't THAT extravagant! :-)
To me it's a laugh - but this sort of shite would really scare some people. Ridiculous.
Some simple meter cockup (on their behalf) that they've known about for 3 years, and yet, we are no closer to getting it sorted than we were when I first discovered the issue.
If your "smart" meter has issues, don't expect anything to go any smoother!