* Posts by Secman

11 posts • joined 16 Dec 2012

You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack


Re: Pointless

> Butt [sic] such a scheme [time-related pricing] is never going to save much...

New Zealand calling. I have a dumb meter. My dishwasher does dishes at about 25c/KWh.

My son has a smart meter. He does his dishes at 4c/KWh.

I'd say that's a decent saving, wouldn't you?

Energy companies aren't going to slurp your personal data. Honest


Re: You think Uber surge pricing is bad....

> Dynamic pricing is what they're for

Certainly, here in New Zealand, dynamic pricing by paying the spot price for electricity is one of the options afforded to houses with smart meters. And its true; electricity can be eye-wateringly expensive at times, and it can also be close to free. The average bill saving by billed for spot price is something like19% compared to the old-school fixed rate pricing, but if one is willing to change the times one does electrically-consumptive stuff like the washing and tumble drying, one can save much more. There's now a whole generation of folks watching the spot price of juice on their smartphones!

Smart meters haven't reached my locality yet. But hopefully, before the year is out, I'll be smart metered. Cant wait.

Most of the world still dependent on cash


Re: The title should be

> being cash only is not really a problem

Being cashless only isn't really a problem either. I cant recall when I last undertook a cash transaction, I've had a $20 note in my wallet waiting for a cash emergency for well over a year. Seems odd that New Zealand scores relatively lowly in this index, yet, day to day, it is largely a cash-free society. The only important use for cash is where one wants to pay for a service "under the counter" (a/k/a a "cashie") to avoid tax.

UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim


Re: Purpose

...except that the meters being installed do not allow spot rate charging

I find that unlikely.

All that is needed for spot rate charging is a meter that can record consumption in time periods that match the spot price brackets. The charging and calculation is done by the retailer who formulates the bills sent out to customers.

Ofgem state (link):

Over the coming decade, the roll-out of smart meters to homes and businesses has the potential to transform how the retail market operates to the benefit of consumers. These meters will be capable of measuring the amount of energy used in short time periods.

The entire electricity industry globally works on the idea that the day is divided into half hour slots, and thus I find it... unreasonable that the UK is going to have fitted meters that are any less capable than the standard meters every country with smart meters uses. What Ofgem says makes me think your smart meters will be just the same as ours

Whether an electricity supplier chooses to offer this kind of tariff is, of course, open to question. The New Zealand experience is that when smart meters arrive, new entrants arrive to try something different to what the existing marketplace offers.


Re: Purpose

Firstly you do not get to buy spot power prices as anything short of an industrial user in NZ. I used to administer one of the systems for submitting bids, so unless you're a milk factory or aluminium smelter, you're buying at retail.

You don't live in New Zealand any more, do you, MonkeyCee.Perhaps you did, ten years ago, five years ago, maybe even three years ago, when it was true, only big boys could buy electricity on spot. Then came smart meters, new and innovative retailers, and now anyone in a smart meter area can buy on spot because spot is a choice offered by at least one retailer.

Welcome to the brave new world.

The whole point of this thread is that apparently smart meters are a waste of money, and only benefit The Man. Well, in at least one country with smart meters, that is out and out bullshit. Or more accurately, it may benefit The Man, but it benefits consumers as well, offering them choices that prior to smart metering simply weren't on the table.


Re: Purpose

...and that the sort of low-income people who really need this kind of thing cannot be that organised

Fair cop; not everybody is able to respond to pricing signals and thus cut down their costs. So lets have two more examples.

There are services aimed exactly at the sort of disorganized people of which you speak. Like Glowbug. They do pay-as-you-go electricity. They are a lot cheaper than the traditional pre-pay meter from the old-school large electricity companies. You can get a little light-up thing that changes colour and displays your current status, see here: Glowbug: How it works

There is another retailer that gives you a free hour a day of electricity. They have a "fair use" policy, but they actively encourage folks to have do their laundry and run the dishwasher etc in the free hour.

energy companies are not in the business of making losses

All these retailers are in business to make money. The differentiate on many things incluing how much money that want to make, which is mostly about their cost base.

I suspect our electricity industry is structured differently to the UK. The companies that sell electricity to (most) consumers are retailers. Retailers buy electricity at spot price, and sell it for, literally, whatever they want. There are (last I looked) about 27 retailers in New Zealand. Its a competitive space. So different retailers are doing different things, some choose to have shops, others have no physical presence. Some operate through local dairys. (Dairies in New Zealand are like the corner shop in the UK).

Rather than "simply have to put the price up across the board in order to maintain profitability" the unpopular retailers who want to stay in business need to either compete on price, or compete some other way, or they will end up eventually with no customers. There are other parts of the electricity industry, but they are relatively unaffected by this retailer competition.

The smart meter revolution has allowing the consumer to now have a choice, whereas previous it was one rip-off versus another rip-off. This isn't some theoretical clap-trap. This is happening for real.


Re: Purpose

There are many people in New Zealand who would disagree with you, as they are saving large on the electricity bill by paying spot rates for power, a feat only possible through the use of smart meters.

Thundering gas destroys disks during data centre incident


Not unprecedented

This happened at Westhost too, May 2010.

Facebook's sexy pick 'n' mix OCP model is great... for Facebook


OCP? Maybe...

One word. VMWare. Makes the hardware irrelevant.

Here we go again: New NHS patient database plan sets off alarm bells


It can be done and works

Here in New Zealand, we had a few earthquakes a while ago, and medical facilities got a bit run off their feet. What doctors needed was knowledge about the people they were treating, and none was available.

So, what we have now is eSCRV, electronic shared care record view, which allows suitably permissioned people to see some of ones doctors notes. Important stuff, like allergies, drugs prescribed, summary of known conditions, X-rays. The really important useful stuff.

It's up and running now, didn't cost the earth to implement, and leverages the existing electronic health communication standards. Uses off the shelf software.

It's just in canterbury at the moment, but it'll grow to country wide eventually.

Police use 24/7 power grid recordings to spot doctored audio


Clearly, there are folks here with no idea about grid frequency maintenance. Power grid frequency wobbles a lot. Long term, it is very stable, as it is kept that way, as already noted, for the benefit of clocks. But short term... Wobbles. And as such even amongst the wow and flutter of a VHS VCR, or the clock inaccuracies of a crystal chip, there is a lot of correlation that can be done...

Have a look at some real time grid frequency data here: http://www.mainsfrequency.com/


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