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Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Charlie01 » Sep 17th, 2012, 6:50 pm

Possibly if a person ignores the years prior to 2005 that anomalies occur, I can see how a person might arrive at thinking an electrician performed shoddy work and it might be the suspect issue. The 2 things that prevent me from just allowing my thinking to range that way are the findings and report from a really, really quality electrician in 2002 as well as the very noteworthy drop in current uasage compared to what it had climbed to in recent years during the same billing cycles only because a new meter was installed. Well, there is also that many months of full failure to consider as well. But, I want to wait and see what the coming months when the heat is full use reveal before getting too far ahead of anything.

However, it's worth a chuckle to say that the electrician who did the upgrade of heaters and wiring in late 2004 as well as replacing the secondary service panel was (drum roll please), get this, a long term BC Hydro master electrian and Sub Foreman who was just out of employment with them..................... There's potential irony in that which I really, really am enjoying!
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 17th, 2012, 6:53 pm

See my edit to add in my previous post.

Edit to add: I don't know exactly what the problem was in 2002 that your "quality" electrician was engaged to solve, but he/she obviously hasd some considerable success. But whatever was done in 2005 and subsequent screwed it all up, ....and then some.

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Last edited by NAB on Sep 17th, 2012, 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Charlie01 » Sep 17th, 2012, 7:03 pm

I could, but with cost that would have been necessary by now anyway had I stayed with NG. The old forced air furnace in this place, while serviced regularly after we bought the place was just plain old and inefficient. I would need a new furnace to go back to NG. Fortis recently pulled the old gas meter too. Oddly enough, it was also an issue and although on lock off for several years was still accumulating gigaloules of use. I don't even know who truly is the gas company for this area any more - Terasen or Fortis. It could be done, but honestly a good wood stove looks like a more wise investment to me.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 17th, 2012, 7:10 pm

Fortis is the the gas distributor. And before I would consider a wood stove or similar, I would look into some of the deals and subsidies associated with a natural gas stove/fireplace. I just think that electric baseboard heat is a huge loser and money wasting pit these days.

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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Charlie01 » Sep 17th, 2012, 7:15 pm

If you notice late 2001 and the first part of 2002, the usage was very high and climbing. As that was happening for no good reason, I talked to Hydro and after all the standard rhetoric about turning things off, etc. and my query about possible power theft, they told me to hire an electrician to find my problem. I did just that. That's the work he was hired to do at that time - see if I had a problem with anything after the meter. The man's reputation is excellent, even now, several years after his untimely death and not just locally but anywhere in the world that he worked.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 17th, 2012, 7:24 pm

Yes, I noticed that, but only associated with heating season electrical consumption, which strikes me as quite strange in that you indicate you were still using natural gas for heating at that time. Even still partially natural gas in the winter of 2003 and 2004. It was winter 2004/2005 when everything seemed to go to hell and just during the heating season. Then again in the july/august/september (non heating) period of 2009 for some (so far) obscure reason.

Edit to add: And the only thing I can see so far that potentially links directly to your troubles since is the ex. BC Hydro guy you apparently hired to improve your heating efficiency in 2004/5. Didn't you say somewhere that he had "upgraded" BOTH your panels - which would presumably be the sub panel in your mobile and the main meter panel in the barn?

Edit to add: Out of curiosity, something appears to have changed in 2001 related to heating consumption, and resulted in you getting help from an electrician circa 2002. Whatever he did seems to have made a substantial improvement in electricity consumed for heat. It was short lived however as whatever was done in 2004/5 made matters substantially worse even than the 2002 anomaly. Winter 2003/04 for example looks pretty respectable compared to other years, but did you perhaps run into a winter comfort problem when you originally switched from Gas Forced air to baseboards? ....And which may have lead you to add considerable additional baseboard heating capacity in 2004 (if that's what you did - because after that your consumption for heating almost doubled)?.

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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Charlie01 » Sep 18th, 2012, 6:50 am

I'm only evaluating the non-heating (or very low levels of intermittent use as will often happen in May/June or late Aug./Sept) cycles at this point in time as those are the only ones I have information from that I feel can now be called accurate (due to the installation of a new meter - disregarding what kind it might be). I have information from 36 non-heating cycles previous to the most recently occuring 2. Of those 36 cycles, only 7 or 8 are even reasonably close enough to what was registered on the new meter during the 2 recent cycles to offer a person the opportunity to draw any kind of conclussion as to what "regular" or "normal" might be. If a person just looks at the numbers, maybe a lot of people aren't going to go "what the heck?" It's when you translate the other 28 or so cycles into percentages compared to what can be assumed is the norm that you see a problem. Don't know why I do it, but my brain just does that kind of math spontaneously. Even if a person throws out the really wild numbers that are from 88% to 104% higher than current real use, the rest of those 28 cycles that don't fall into the "normal category are still anywhere from 33% to 50% above recent "real" use. Translate that to anything else a person has to pay for and I don't think Joe Average would be happy to find the gas he thought he was paying $1.369/lt. for actually cost him $1.848 to $2.053/lt. when the volume was measured accurately.

So, that's the non-heating cycles. Maybe you can see why I am taking a "let it happen and then evaluate" approach before forming any conclussions about the impact of heating.

Yup, both service panels have been replaced and upgraded in the last decade although all I can recall off the top of my head, without once more digging out records again is that the upgrading wasn't done at the same time or by the same guy. I have to double check work records before I say for sure if the second guy monkeyed with the first guy's work on the main panel.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 18th, 2012, 8:23 am

Yes,it will be interesting to see where it goes over the next couple of winters, as you have been in the realm of current readings during the non-heating season before (2000/2001). Then came the 2002 heating season anomaly, seemingly corrected for the most part by 2004 but complicated in terms of analysis by the conversion of heating methods. Other than that, the only thing I can add at this point is I see little that would indicate a faulty meter (other than the rather strange situation that it went 4 billing periods (2010/11) indicating no usage at all with no one noticing and reacting - including the customer) - ...but lots that indicate possible other causes.

Keep us informed.

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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Charlie01 » Nov 6th, 2012, 2:29 pm

Hi Nab;

You asked me to keep you posted about how my power consumption looked as we entered the heating season. To say it has been quite educational for me is an understatement. The primary reason I say so is that having a new meter has really hammered home how true my gut feeling was that I have never seen a "normal" or reliable hydro bill for this property, pretty much since day one, nearly 20 years ago.

While the billing cycle isn't quite finished, at 53 days into a 62 day cycle, we have used 2240 kW.h. That is a long, long ways from the 4500+ to 5150 kW.h I have paid for November billings the past several years since going to full electric heat and is considerably below many November billings from when I still had forced air natural gas (some of those as high as 3900 to 4300+ kW.h for November cycle).

Daily average consumption is up as would be expected when a person begins using heat, but I just don't see us using 2250 to 2900 kW.h in the next 9 days, which is what we would have to use in order for any of those previous bills to be near accurate. Long story short, the meter was hooped.

As far as environmental effects, we do get a little different temps than Kelowna. September was cooler than average by a little but dry. October was on the cold side of average as well as on the wet end of things and included, snow, hail, power outages, wind and a real balmy day or two. Early November was unseasonably warm, but that's come to an end today. Rainy, wet, cold, but still don't see using over 250 kW.h/day any time soon when the daily average consumption for the billing cycle to date is just over 42 kW.h/day and that keeps us pretty toasty.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Nov 6th, 2012, 4:42 pm

Sounds good Charlie. Let's hope the pattern holds. If it does, while it may not provide much in the way of satisfaction related to high bills from previous years, it should give you a positive feeling about potentailly lower future costs.

I recently got my 2 month bill mid Aug to Mid Oct. .....622 KwH's, but no heat in use. I recently turned on the electric baseboards as it had turned chilly, and that has roughly tripled my daily average - so I would expect close to 2000 Kwh's would be the case over an mid Oct/mid Dec 2 month heating cycle if I used electricity rather than natural gas. Depending on what we get for weather of course. If it gets really cold (unlikely here though) it could easily hit 3000.

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