Waste not want not must have been one of the first lessons life had for me. I arrived into a world of destruction and rationing. When parents weren’t trying to shoot strangers out of the sky, they were trying to feed a very young family on very little, because very little is what people were paid in the war years.
|Get smart ... After some neat work installing the equipment, Geoff shows me just how smart is this very smart meter.|
Perhaps it’s not so important these days because life is very different now. Most Britons don’t have to count the pennies, as another curious expression from those days went.
As readers of Sailing Purgatory know, a crooked justice system stole my property and life-savings.
A good fellow
So if it’s not to be survival on the streets, parsimonious behaviour is vital.
When electricity suppliers began offering smart meters, gadgets that tell you what you’re being charged for power, you can be sure I said, ‘Yes, please.’
A good fellow arrived at the abode today and within an hour a smart meter let me in on exactly what the price is for any and every minute of the day. There’s no charge for the service, and no change to the rate I pay.
The advantage is that future bills won’t be any surprise, and that I have the choice to keep them low.
The highly skilled engineer who made a really professional job of installing the equipment is Southern-Electric’s Geoff Watson.
Under-guessing the price
The meter soon showed that I constantly under-guess the price. Turn on the kitchen lights, and that’s 5p an hour, which is at least five times higher than I thought. Boil the kettle – the meter has risen to 15p.
Start work on the PC, with a bright light overhead, and I’m paying 16p an hour. Turn the radio on, and after a little while the meter has changed its mind. The price is 18p a minute. An hour later, it says 19p. My guesswork would have said 2p, if that.
Geoff told me, ‘You can use it anywhere in the home, as long as you keep it within 10 metres of the smart meter gadgetry.’ In this small flat, that’s no problem.
‘It’s good to get into the habit of checking it regularly,’ Geoff said. ‘You want to put it somewhere where you can keep an eye on it, say, in the kitchen or your living room.’
I suspect this little gem is on its way to becoming the most watched meter in London.
Thanks very much for visiting the blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory.