Energy Suppliers (strictly no referrals)

Associate
Joined
30 Sep 2008
Posts
1,483
According to big BoJo, this is a temporary issue caused by the global economy waking up and all turning the kettle on at the same time.

Do we reckon that, if this is the case, wholesale costs will come down and energy companies will actually then reduce the tariffs back down in response or just keep the costs up as "the population is now used to and accept these charges"? :rolleyes:

All these smaller companies will re-appear once prices drop, playing the market again but still unwilling to ride out the inevitable wholesale climb every few years because that would push up their costs.
 
Caporegime
Joined
20 Jan 2005
Posts
42,637
Location
Co Durham
They ok, but its just a hassle to get one fitted at the moment, I like the off peak rates they offer.

Took a week from booking for them to come and install it and 90 minutes later it was all done. Proper 2 hour appointment slot as well. Easy peasy.
 
Soldato
Joined
19 Oct 2002
Posts
6,567
Location
Bath
If someone hacks my phone I can turn it off/use another easily enough. I'm stuffed if someone remote disconnects my electricity supply.

https://smartgridawareness.org/2018/10/27/killing-the-grid/
https://www.theguardian.com/technol...ectricity-meters-dangerously-insecure-hackers
https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-...t-electricity-meter-could-be-a-security-risk/
https://www.information-age.com/smart-metres-vulnerable-cyber-attacks-123470837/
https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/cybersecurity/hacking-smart-meters-a-defence-warning/

That last one is from this year and demonstrated, not just theorised, on how a large-scale batch remote-disconnect could be achieved. People warned of the possibility and it seems the concept is viable. In this method a bit convoluted but demonstrably achievable. The issue is not someone bothering about one person in isolation. The people who will do this will want maximum impact - ransomers/state sponsored actors trying to cause widespread disruption etc. Why have an unnecessary vulnerability? Sending someone out to have to do disconnects is much more sensible. It's not like it's needed repeatedly. If it is people get shoved onto pre-pay meters quick enough.
The systems in place in th UK are the most secure a meter network has ever been, in fact the layers of security in place actually make it difficult to add hardware to the network.

Each example you posted (two of are based on older smets1 hardware) require remote exicution of code via a word doc or website access. Who in their right mind would try to open such a document on a connected system?
 
Soldato
Joined
23 Nov 2019
Posts
2,696
The systems in place in th UK are the most secure a meter network has ever been, in fact the layers of security in place actually make it difficult to add hardware to the network.

Each example you posted (two of are based on older smets1 hardware) require remote exicution of code via a word doc or website access. Who in their right mind would try to open such a document on a connected system?
SFAIK the latter 2021 example targetted the company end and worked from there. It won't be the home user opening the dodgy doc. It'll be billing/accounts/helpdesk etc.

Also the most secure the network has ever been was when the possibility was not there. ie without smart meters.
 
Soldato
Joined
17 Mar 2009
Posts
5,671
Location
Nottingham
If someone hacks my phone I can turn it off/use another easily enough. I'm stuffed if someone remote disconnects my electricity supply.

https://smartgridawareness.org/2018/10/27/killing-the-grid/
https://www.theguardian.com/technol...ectricity-meters-dangerously-insecure-hackers
https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-...t-electricity-meter-could-be-a-security-risk/
https://www.information-age.com/smart-metres-vulnerable-cyber-attacks-123470837/
https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/cybersecurity/hacking-smart-meters-a-defence-warning/

That last one is from this year and demonstrated, not just theorised, on how a large-scale batch remote-disconnect could be achieved. People warned of the possibility and it seems the concept is viable. In this method a bit convoluted but demonstrably achievable. The issue is not someone bothering about one person in isolation. The people who will do this will want maximum impact - ransomers/state sponsored actors trying to cause widespread disruption etc. Why have an unnecessary vulnerability? Sending someone out to have to do disconnects is much more sensible. It's not like it's needed repeatedly. If it is people get shoved onto pre-pay meters quick enough.

Basically what BigBoy said but also want to add that US and Uk smart meters are entirely different as is the systems in place to communicate with them.

TBH none of the above points are valid and the articles arent related to uk smart meters plus the issues are with the DCC being theoritically hacked. it's not as if someone is sat on the roadside hacking your meter. Also a lot fo points in some of those news articles are a load of rubbish, you cant tell what electronics someone has in their house from the energy they use.
 
Soldato
Joined
14 Sep 2007
Posts
13,394
Location
Limbo
I'm close to £200 in credit with them, overpay through the year in preparation for winter months when Gas consumption goes up, tempted to cancel DD on 25th and just put the DD payment money aside and see what happens.

To quote myself based on my comments the other day, I just read my renewal letter and it implicitly states if the DD is cancelled by me, this is seen as a cancellation of the contract and they have the right to move me onto a standard tariff.
 
Soldato
Joined
5 Mar 2010
Posts
10,215
Also hypothetically, an attacker is very unlikely to go after an individual. If someone is planning an attack it'll be large scale like an attack on the grid itself. Which means it'll be irrelevant whether you have a smart meter or not, your power will still be impacted.

The biggest problem with anything related to security, is that the majority of people won't understand attack vectors and how devices become vulnerable (not claiming i'm an expert either BTW), and they then read anything that suggests a device can be hacked and get completely the wrong end of the stick.
 
Soldato
Joined
23 Nov 2019
Posts
2,696
the vector mentioned, and demonstrated, in that 2021 article is a central hack and bulk remote-disconnect. That can only affect smart meter owners since standard meters cannot be remote disconnected in that way.
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Jun 2018
Posts
3,426
Location
Isle of Wight
so GCHQ's advice to UK gov is not related to uk smart meters? Right...

Advice that was given, taken, and seemingly acted upon...

Dr Ian Levy, of GCHQ, says in an article about smart metering on the National Cyber Security Centre website: “Of course, no system is completely secure, and nothing is invulnerable.”

“However, we’re confident that the Smart Metering System strikes the best balance between security and business needs, whilst meeting broader policy and national security objectives.”
 
Soldato
Joined
13 Jan 2010
Posts
24,963
Location
Llaneirwg
I’d just be riding it out on the SVR now if your contract is coming to an end, it’s lower than the actual cost.

The sainsburys/Eon next ‘deal’ was a tiny fraction below the SVR so it’s hardly a good deal.


It's a risk.
If the SVR goes up, and up and up could end up massively out of pocket.

It's a gamble for sure
 
Soldato
Joined
9 Mar 2003
Posts
10,602
It's a risk.
If the SVR goes up, and up and up could end up massively out of pocket.

It's a gamble for sure

Given that most fixed deals are well above the projected SVR in April (£1500-1600 typical), they are already baking in significant price rises and they are using the extra now to subsidise the lower prices they have offered in the past.

Pretty much all the consumer advice gurus that monitor this market agree on one thing at the moment. That is if you contract is coming to an end then go onto the capped SVR and see what happens in a few months.
 
Soldato
Joined
8 Jan 2003
Posts
3,208
Location
Scotland
I was planning to switch to Octopus Go as I recently bought a Tesla Model 3. I've been waiting on my current supplier (Outfox the Market) sorting out my smart meters before switching (recently installed but not reporting). Octopus have now drastically bumped the prices of the Go tariffs up so bang goes that idea! Will just need to sit tight and hope my smart meters get sorted in a decent time so I can switch to an EV orientated tariff which can save me some money. Just had my Solar PV installed a couple of days ago, so unlike the Octopus Go/Smart meter bad-timing, this one is actually timed nicely. Except winter's coming!

Smart meters have to be some of the most unreliable products I've encountered. Probably not helped by installers that don't commission things properly and back-office admin that doesn't take place when it should. Too much scope for things to go wrong for it all to fall down.
 
Soldato
Joined
13 Jan 2010
Posts
24,963
Location
Llaneirwg
Given that most fixed deals are well above the projected SVR in April (£1500-1600 typical), they are already baking in significant price rises and they are using the extra now to subsidise the lower prices they have offered in the past.

Pretty much all the consumer advice gurus that monitor this market agree on one thing at the moment. That is if you contract is coming to an end then go onto the capped SVR and see what happens in a few months.

My tariff will become a bad choice if energy costs go down in 6 months.
But if they do keep rising it will be a good Choice.

But I made sure I got one with no exit fees.

Also got 200 pounds cashback so if I need to change in 6 months that should have covered some of the loss.

That's my rationale anyway!
 
Caporegime
Joined
25 Jul 2003
Posts
39,436
Location
Rhône-Alpes+Cambridge
Smart meters have to be some of the most unreliable products I've encountered. Probably not helped by installers that don't commission things properly and back-office admin that doesn't take place when it should. Too much scope for things to go wrong for it all to fall down.
Its your usual government IT scheme. Private company profits funded by taxpayers and an absolute cluster****.
 
Soldato
Joined
7 Dec 2012
Posts
16,165
Location
Gloucestershire
Will be interesting to see which suppliers have been running the riskiest outfits.

Dale Vince has said Ecotricity are 90% hedged for 12 months, as they are run 'properly', so are well set to weather the storm. Most of the newer entrants have not been hedging and have been essentially gambling on wholesale prices continuing to go down and are being found out.

What will be interesting is whether the government will protect a smaller well-run company like Ecotricity from the hit of the mutualisation costs. Essentially there are government enforced overheads levied on energy companies to pay for government green policies - they're payable according to market share, but surviving companies are also forced to cover for bankrupt ones. Potentially, with a huge exodus from the market, these could cause some significant problems.
 
Soldato
Joined
8 Jan 2003
Posts
3,208
Location
Scotland
A lot of the smaller suppliers are basically kept afloat by their customers credit balances, which is why they ask for payment in advance. They have very little starting capital themselves.
 
Soldato
Joined
17 Mar 2009
Posts
5,671
Location
Nottingham
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