/ Home & Energy

Stop and rethink the smart meter roll-out

Last year your comments about the government’s plans to roll out smart meters leapt to our attention. Some of you clearly weren’t happy. Today we’re calling for the government to stop and review the roll-out.

Some of you were also upset with Which? – you wanted us to do more to challenge the government on its roll-out plans. Well we have.

We’re urging the government to rethink its smart meter roll-out until it has conducted an urgent review.

There were over 500 comments on last year’s smart meter Convos. Some of you stood up for the new technology and its roll-out into all our homes by 2019. But some vented your fury over the UK’s smart plan, with a key concern being the cost – projected to be at least £11 billion.

What a ‘smart’ community

As your comments poured in we decided to commission a thorough review. And while this research (carried out by the Centre for Sustainable Energy) was being put together we also made sure that other important bodies knew about your comments.

In one Conversation, someone said they didn’t think I existed! Well, I can assure you I do. Over the past few months I have attended meetings and industry events where I have stood up – not always to welcome attention – to say how many of you have told us on Which? Conversation that you’re concerned.

We also sent some of your comments to the Public Accounts Committee – probably Parliament’s most powerful committee of MPs – which has been investigating the roll-out. Industry and government reps have previously told me that it’s too early to discuss smart meters with the public, but I said that our Which? Conversation ‘smart’ community was well and truly up and running.

Energy suppliers read your concerns

One of the best moments for me was when I sat next to one of the top directors of a big energy supplier and saw him studying Which? Conversation on his laptop, rather than listening to the conference speaker.

He scrolled through cat avatars and the string of comments you had made. He would have read about your concerns that energy suppliers would benefit from the roll-out, but would consumers? He probably saw that some of you wanted more reassurance about health concerns and data privacy. And I really hope he read Chris’ comment:

‘I see no real harm in the concept of a smart meter, it’s this use for that £11 billion I’m not keen on, especially as times are currently tough. It would buy an awful lot of insulation.’

It’s time to press pause on the roll-out

Now Which? has said to the government that we think it’s time to stop the roll-out. The government’s current strategy is flawed and it must review its approach. We want the government to convince us that it will have full control over the roll-out’s costs, as we all have to pay for it.

And, as it stands, the roll-out is far too industry led, with the government seemingly crossing its fingers in hope that suppliers will install 50 million smart meters into all of our homes in the most cost-effective and responsible way. The energy companies need to be reigned in.

So, what’s the smart way forward? Stop the smart meter roll-out, government, rethink and demonstrate that you are leading this, not big businesses. As always, let us know what you think. We are listening.

Comments
David says:
28 June 2012

Siemens presumably at the behest of my power company Scottish Power are insisting I have my
meter changed. I have said – No !,
I am not convinced on safety.of smart meters.
I don’t like Siemens tone , ie in giving me an order to have a smart meter.
I feel the policy of changing to smart meters is an invasion of privacy
I cant see any way that a smart meter will benefit me or reduce my consumption.

Well daone David.

I am sure the rest of the conversation would like to hear the ‘no’ pans out.

The government have clearly stated that you can refuse so if they arm twist you with payment penalties etc then you should have a cause for complaint.

I am still sitting on the fence as far as the current smart meter proposals are concerned. I am quite happy with my supplier, First Utility, because they fitted the meter without charge and I pay with monthly direct debit. In other words, I pay in arrears and there is no estimating. My only worry is what happens to that meter if I want to do a ‘Switch with Which’?
I note that Simon and Terry are worried by the thought of 2-way control of their meters. A 1-way meter system could be quite useful in some enegy-saving scenarios. If electric cars are to be a significant part of our future then over-night charging could be arranged without adding a white meter, just remote reading of your smart meter when local cheap tarifs become available. An enterprising energy supplier such as the Co-Op could devise a multi tarif and multi time and region zone system that could reduce customers electricity costs significantly. But this would be of no use to the unpredictable renewables industry.
As for gas central heating, that is another story! Maybe overnight heat storage in latent heat of crystallation chemicals like inverse freezer bags could be the answer. I know that Calor were looking at this about 20 years ago! I wonder if I should buy shares in a sodium sulfate decahydrate mine!

The majority of Smart Meters being installed now, are proprietary, rushed in before the Standard has been agreed.

This will mean that it will very difficult and expensive to change supplier if the Consumer decides to change, also any interaction with the final standard will not exist, making them just scrap.

The cost to the Consumer is going to be in excess of £12Bn, the savings will be to the energy companies, No meter readers, No inspections for safety of Their Equipment, the Fire brigade are already seeing an increase in fires due to 3rd party meter readers not checking, just reading meters.

Just as the Big Six Energy companies, agree to simplify tariffs, after pressure from the DECC Select Committee, because they know that with smart meters, they can change tariffs every hour the Consumer will not stand a chance in comparing prices.

Just what the Energy companies want.

If everyone stood together and refused smart meter installation a rethink of policy would be forced on the powers that be. The energy companies need more control and regulation, they are just getting away with bad management, price hikes which never come down even when raw material prices reduce. The so call benefit from completion doesn’t exist and never did. Non of the energy companies are trust worth . Meanwhile, the government and mps are just taking their pay but stick their heads in the sand. Not one party of any colour really have any idea how to properly manage this or the country..
Totally pathetic

Correct Liz,
The Energy providors are also going to be allowed to sell on the Knocker for Green Deal, which led to so much abuse of consumer rights, in buying energy

If it was wrong for energy contracts and stopped, it is wrong for Green products.

Hugh Thomas says:
20 March 2013

I understand that it is proposed that ones electricity supplier is to provide and install a smart meter built to an industry approved specification with the costs paid ultimately by the consumer body.

When are consumers going to be consulted about their views on the specification and capabilities of the smart meters that they will pay for?

In my view a smartmeter should have the following capabilities:-

The consumer should pay a service standing charge to be connected to the grid (and thereby pay for the smartmeter ) but should be able to have accounts with as many suppliers as the consumer chooses. The consumer’s energy management software on a personal computer interfacing with the smart meter by Wi-Fi, should then be able to switch to the most competitive tariff of their choice introducing real choice and competition into the market for the first time.

The consumer’s energy management software on a personal computer could also be configured to provide remote monitoring, for example of power utilisation by elderly consumers which could alert wardens or carers of risks to health and safety or sub optimum energy usage.

The smartmeter therefore needs to measure the amount of power delivered from the grid to the consumer and from the consumer to the grid together with the time, date, supplier and tariff to the regulators approved accuracy.

To provide secure by-directional data and control signals between the suppliers and the consumers energy management systems to enable:-

Remote meter reading by the supplier for billing and energy saving advice.
Fault diagnosis – missing phases – voltage spikes

Data indicating availability of discounted power tariff and supplier to utilise off peak surplus for (and interface with control for) water heating, night storage heaters, washing appliances, battery charging and industrial processes etc.

Data indicating period of high demand surcharged power tariff and supplier to reduce load (and interface with control for) temporarily disable washing appliances, fridge and freezer compressors, temporarily electric cars on charge use inverters to supplement power to the grid from their batteries earing bonus credit.

Standardisation of data communication and control techniques and protocols with domestic appliances and other load and energy sources needs to be established as a high priority. If control of appliances utilised a modulated control carrier signal over existing ring mains within the property the smartmeter could provide the isolation to ensure that the signals did not reach adjacent properties.

Some of the above features of a smartmeter may not be needed or be affordable by all customers but choices should not be denied to customers.

I hope that the electricity suppliers and installers have the imagination to take advantage of this infrastructure investment so that it brings real and valued benefits to consumers.

Liz says:
21 March 2013

The current smart meters are property of the supplier thus if you change the unit price shown on the meter remains that of the original supplier that installed it.

I still believe the consumer should have the choice of saying no. There has been no consultation on safety, identity thief ( ie wifi security) and I personally don’t want to wake up to find they turned off my freezer and everything is melted over the floor..
They are currently wasting money,rather than talk to consumers and find out what is acceptable to them.

David says:
21 March 2013

I have had THREE letters from Siemens “Ordering” me to have a S.Meter !!!
Can see NO advantage to me – I consider a spy in my meter an invasion of privacy.
strangly have had no requests from my supplier Scot Elec.
I sent the last Siemens letter back with a note ” You can put your new meter where sun doesnt shine”
mercifly they seem to have taken my advice !
Understand the whole Smartmeter bizz is to comply with Brussels ?? Another GOOE REASON
to say good=bye tothose meddlesome ( & expensive ) autocrats of the EEC. Switzerland makes
a good job of governing its self and SO SHOULD WE,

Agree wholeheartedly, anyone installing such a meter needs their head looking at!

What no one seems to realise is that the Smart Meters that are talked about in this conversation are simply the tip of the ice-berg. They are items that are an essential step towards the great new Smart Grid. Because of our illogical acceptance of intermittent renewables, the National Grid has to be capable of switching supplies around the country to where the sun is or isn’t shining or the wind is or isn’t blowing. Westminster and the TSB is handing out research money to groups who can come up with viable designs of systems that can automatically control the nations electricity supply system in-spite of drought or storms. All because we don’t have a secure base-load supply – because politicians of yester-year couldn’t keep their jobs if they ignored the pressures from the anti-nuclear and the idealistic green lobbies. Now we are stuck with a chaotic energy policy – and we are running out of gas! All we can do is pay up or emigrate – and now I’ve got tooth-ache!

….and because of their shortsightedness we will be using Russian gas until we are in the same position as Cyprus, going cap in hand to …

Clare Morris says:
28 March 2013

I had a smart meter fitted on the 9th July 2010 at my business premises and my bills went from £200 per quarter to £2000 per quarter I argued with my supplier for 2 years there was a problem somewhere with the meter and they told me my old meter was faulty that’s why the sudden jump in consumption to my benefit.

After long and lengthy conversations with my supplier and requesting they send an engineer to the premises to check the meter on numerous occasions they told me that I could get an independent electrician to check it but they would not send there own – so I called an independent electrician who came and checked the meter and told me it was running too fast.

On phoning my supplier again and asking them to send an engineer they sent one out on the 21st February 2012 (20 months after it had been fitted) He entered my business premises and found the fault straight away the off peak contactor had been wired up to run 24 hours a day instead of the 7 hours it was supposed to.

Since the 21st Feb 2012 – I have argued with my supplier about the overcharging on the account and request that they credit my account – my supplier has since told me an engineer called to the premises but no fault was found. On being told this I contacted G4S utilities who are the sub-contractors asking them if I could have a copy of the report from the engineer which I received within 1 week. The reports clearly states that the meter had been wired incorrectly and the off peak contactor was wired to run permanently and the engineer was sent for retraining and a technical bulletin was put out to all meter engineers so it wouldn’t happen again.

On having this and my consumption going back to normal after the correction of the wiring my supplier refuse to credit my account have sent 2 bailiffs to my premises and 3 disconnection notices and on the 18th March 2013 pursued my through the Magistrates court to get a warrant to disconnect me, but failed. So in the last three years it has only been running correctly for the last 1 year.

So these so called smart meters are not as “smart” as everyone makes out and if your are going to have a smart meter fitted make sure it is wired correctly and that everything is running as normal because they have done everything to cover up this mistake and I hate to think how many other people are going through the same thing but don’t realise what it is and by wiring them incorrectly they can cause fires and obviously loss of business, home or worse still loss of life.

Thought you might like a link to a site which contains guidelines for accessible information, including smart (dumb) meters.

http://www.johngilltech.com/guidelines/guidelines_list.htm

R Habron says:
14 April 2013

I simply do not need a Smart Meter. We do not need a monitor to manage our consumption. I want to have the choice to refuse something I do not want or need and which will cost me money.

Simon Evans says:
15 April 2013

The smart meter is not for your benefit but for that of your electricity utility. It will enable it to watch (spy on) your power consumption, and reduce it if it wants. It can also disconnect you altogether through the smart meter, which is in fact a remotely controlled power switch. The consumer will pay £11bn upwards for these meters. Those £11bn will not be available to them for other, more useful, purposes.

Studies have shown that, regardless of what they say beforehand, when households have energy monitors they tend to reduce their power consumption. You do not need a smart meter and all its complexity for monitoring. Nor do you need to be connected to a vast purpose built communications network.

@Rob.
Thank you for a very interesting piece of background information.
I do have concerns over a couple of the points you have made, but perhaps I am just misunderstanding them. Firstly I am very worried that you seem to think a concern on these convo’s is over people physically breaking into homes and physically tampering with SmartMeters. That’s not a point I’ve seen anyone else make and I didn’t think it was a real concern of any participants on here. It is, as you say, a fanciful concept. However, I do think that you are substantially under-estimating the need for security and when you say that there is no need for security it does worry me greatly that you say your field of work is in electronics consultancy- in such a role I am quite shocked (pardon the pun) that you don’t see the need for security far more acutely than the rest of the participants.

And that leads me to my other concern, which is about something you’ve not said, rather than have said: you’e made no comment about the fact that these so-called meters are really remote controlled isolation devices, which happen to be capable of recording consumption too. If you’ve read all the past convo’s on here you’ll know that serious concerns are raised by many posters about the likelihood that people would hack the insecure network in order to either disconnect supplies (which could, in certain circumstances, lead to lethal explosions with the gas supply) or, more likely, in order to illegally restore a legitimately disconnected supply.

Although I know it’s far from being the only worry that people have, if the government and utilities were honest and removed the switching capability then the other concerns would really be quite low priorities for most people.

I’m particularly interested in the comments you’ve made about the life-span of electronic meters – I hope that Which? will be taking those back to discussions with government in view of the on-going extortionate costs.

I agree with DaveD along with the hope that Which will take up the longevity of the meters with the powers that be.

As a software test engineer of some 35+ years experience the need for meter security is paramount, any software engineer will agree with me, if they didn’t why does Microsoft keep patching Windows security holes?

Thought you might like a link to a site: http://takebackyourpower.net/
Are smart really this bad?

Derek H says:
18 August 2013

I’ve been banging on about concerns over the security of supply with smart meters. This link says all I have been saying but more eloquently and with more authority. Isn’t it time that someone took this seriously ? See :

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/18/smart-meters-uk-hacking-electricity

Folk at Which?, I hope you have noticed that we now have a major news story saying exactly what I and several others, notably Derek H, Simon Evans and David Ramsey, have been shouting about for several years. NOW will Which? finally admit that they have been wrong all along to offer any kind of support for the Smart Meter programme, even the more toned-down support of recent times, and campaign vigourously and tirelessly to have the government either make Smart meters into METERS – NOT remote disconnection devices (which happen to register consumption) – or else to abandon the whole project and save upwards of £11 billion in the process?

Come on Which? You’ve been told and told about this and now it’s hit the headlines of the quality press; there can’t be any room for negotiation any more, not if you really are on the side of the consumer.

Support you wholeheartedly DaveD, if Which do NOT take up the gauntlet now then why should anyone trust their recommendations in the future?

I am very puzzled by that Guardian link claiming that a simcard in a smart meter will be capable of disconnecting a 120 amp electric supply cable or close the stop-c**k in my gas supply pipe. I didn’t think that technology had advanced so far and be capable of isolating individual domestic premises. But may be you and Dave know better!

Derek H says:
19 August 2013

Oh dear, I don’t want to be rude, but a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Of course a SIM card can be used to receive a signal (as in a mobile phone) which can operate a powered switch (and there is plenty of power available in a 120 amp supply!) to switch off electric power and the gas supply remotely.

Derek H says:
19 August 2013

I wish I’d written that line – “make Smart meters into METERS – NOT remote disconnection devices (which happen to register consumption)” – which sums it up in a nutshell. Well said sir.

Mind you if they switch the electricity off first then the gas may well remain on (tongue in cheek)

@ Derek H – thank you – I have been saying the same thing ever since I discovered (at least 4 years ago now) that Smart Meters were to have inbuilt switching …. the point at which I notified my supply company that under no circumstances would I permit one to be fitted in my property. I’m pleased that members of the public and the newspapers are now picking up on this point; but when will Which? finally start to shout about it?????

@ Lobro – if you read the specification documents (which were linked form at least 2 Which? convo’s well over 18 months ago) you will see in plain English for all to see that the clearly stated primary function of these devices is to switch the supply (gas or electricity) on and off … oh, and make a note of how much is being used whilst switched on. A very major concern which I and several others, notably Simon, have been banging on about is that if a gas supply is interrupted, the greater majority of cookers, hobs and gas fires, and a substantial proportion of boilers, do not have an automatic fail safe device to close their own taps (valves), so when the gas comes back on any appliance which had been lit when the gas went off, or any which someone has tried to turn on whilst the supply was disconnected and failed to return the taps to “off”, will simply allow a flow of gas into the property. The Government spec. says that Gas meters should switch back off again “if an unrestricted flow of gas is detected”, but by necessity this means if a pipe has been cut leaving the gas to flow from an open ended pipe – the flow though appliances is restricted and so the meters would not return the supply valve to the closed position.

I’m sure no one needs to have the disastrous and lethal consequences of this explained to them in words of one syllable. Which? should be making this above all else the main thrust of their campaigning; even remotely switched electricity is less dangerous than remotely switched gas.

Derek H says:
20 August 2013

We all seem to be preaching to the converted, which is fine but it would be nice if someone higher up the power chain (sorry, dreadful pun) were to pay attention. As Dave D says, someone at Which? would be a start.

As to not allowing a smart meter to be installed, I am not a lawyer though I do have a lot of experience of reading, understanding and interpreting legislation, and I haven’t studied the relevant laws (Energy Acts 2008 and 2011 I think) in any detail at all so could well be wrong, but at first blush it looks to me as if Section 88(3)(b) of the Energy Act 2008 prohibits the power companies from supplying power other than through an approved (= smart) meter after the cut off date, which I think is now some time in 2018. So, Dave D, I am sorry to say that while you may very well have the right to stop people entering your property to install a smart meter, if this is right, the power companies would then not be allowed to supply you and you’d be cut off.

@ Derek,

I am sure that the energy companies and the government will do all they can to make it impossible to refuse SM’s, and I’m not at all surprised if the law already makes it legally hard or impossible to do, however at the moment I’m going on the Secretary of State’s assurance in public last year (posted in one of Simon’s comments on here) that “it will not be an offence to refuse to have a Smart Meter fitted”. The SoS failed to go on to say “but if you don’t, we’ll disconnect you”, so at present I’m going to work on the basis that he said I didn’t have to have one just to keep getting a supply.

However, as you and I (and others ) keep saying, if Which? really has any interest in the consumer at all, they will be working on our behalf to get things changed ……… I’m not holding my breath, Which? don’t have that great a track record of fighting for consumers rights.

@daved – agree with you that SoS statement is highly important as the context is clear and explicit, ‘you will not be forced to have one’.

I seem to recall I have a letter from my MP with a similar assurance.

Until they provide me with details of the security test plan for the devices then they can get stuffed.

Did you see the Horizon programme last night on bbc2? It should put the fear of god into anyone who thinks these things will be safe, but there again not many watch Horizon.

Yes, I did see Horizon, and for anyone now thinking that wish they had seen it, you can get it for the next 14 days at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mgxf.

I hope that Which? staff watched it and took careful notes.

Perhaps someone from which may like to tell us what they thought of the program?

Derek H says:
22 August 2013

@ Dave D

I’m still struggling to find an authoritative government statement on the real position. The latest I’ve found is a leaflet from July 2013 – see :

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/226954/smart_metering_information_leaflet.pdf

There is a paragraph of really good double-speak on the second page which says that ‘there will not be a legal obligation on consumers to have one’ but goes on to say that ‘energy companies will be required to install smart meters … however we do not expect energy companies to take legal action to fit a smart meter if they cannot get the householder’s co-operation.’

So, if you refuse you are reliant on the energy company not taking you to court to allow them to comply with their legal obligation and, of course, so far as the Government are concerned ‘it’s not me gov’ (sorry another dreadful pun).

I’ve written to my MP asking if he (and I gather he works in No 10 at least part time) can square this circle.

Simon Evans says:
19 August 2013

I can only endorse the recent comments on this subject.

A quick look at the business pages will show that several companies expect to make very large sums of money out of smart meters, and in that fact may lie a lot of the enthusiasm in certain quarters for introducing them.

What does the poor consumer get out of it? You can trace part of the DECC’s current approach back to the European Commission, which wants electricity and gas bills to be accurate, not estimated. The rationale, presumably, was to make a fairer deal for consumers and stop them from being gouged. Coincidentally, but irrationally, smart meters were seen as a way of reducing consumption by showing detailed up to the minute information.

It just so happened that in an almost throwaway line the EC mentioned the fact that meters could be used as remote controllers. It is this aspect on which utilities have seized (“turn your heating, air conditioning, or car battery charger off or we’ll do it for you.”)

As I have remarked in earlier comments, power monitors can be installed for next to nothing. It is these which encourage changes in consumption habits. Smart meters bring no clear consumer benefit, but they bring a known cost of several hundred pounds. Write to your MP, the smart meter programme is not inviolate.

Derek H says:
20 August 2013

I have not been able to find the SoS’s statement about smart meters not being compulsory but understand you provided the link. I have not be able (probably, possibly, my fault) to go back to your original posting so please, can you provide the link again to the statement ?

Let me re-state my case. I like the idea of a Smart Meter reporting my consumption to the supplier and ALSO letting me know my consumption on a daily basis. In this way I can analyse and observe any energy-saving actions I may take. For this reason I accepted the offer from First Utility to provide free Smart Meters for my gas and electricity usage. This I have been doing for nearly a couple of years and have observed the correlation between gas usage and exterrnal air temperature by using daily reports of the degree-days record for our locality. I now know where I am and what I need to do.
At the same time I despise the current plans of DECC for our future energy provision. I presume that the Tory intent to be the Greenest Government ever was based on their analysis of the situation created by the BBCs secret symposium in 2006 (28Gate) in which oponents of AWG supporters were denied a platform and possibly resulted in the 2008 Climate Change Act. Now we have the expensive dash for Wind that has resulted in the dramatic failure of the wind farms to produce any significant out put during out heat-wave July. If this happens in winter when we have an anti-cyclone of that size and double the number of wind turbines in 2020 then protracted power-cuts can be anticipated.
To avert this National Disaster the coalition hope that creation of a Smart Grid will enable them to harvest all the energy stored in our electric cars. My immediate response to the Horizon Programme is that, although I am happy with quantum photonics I am completely out of my depth with quantum computing and that aspect of hacking. If all this is true then abandon all plans for wireless networks, start desigining small modular thorium reactors for local burial in silos and restrict grids to small village localities. But is this an instant gut reaction or do our revered politicians have a plan for the survival of our society? So what do you all propose we do? Or should we just stick with smart meters and see what’s coming?

Sorry Lobro, I cannot pretend to have got my head around all that you have written above in the few moments since it popped up in my e-mail inbox, but do I understand you to be saying that SmartMetering can assist in continuing to meet energy demand by allowing consumers to monitor and adjust their consumption?

If that is what you are saying then, as many posters have pointed out many times, there is absolutely no need whatever for ANY kind of meter to be used – what is required is an energy MONITOR – which can be bought for just a few pounds by any householder and which are often supplied free buy energy companies – OR for householders to simply learn how to read meters again – as most people aged over about 30 were taught at school and as many many thousands of people under 30 (right down to savvy primary school kids) can also do.

Energy MONITORS, and learning to read meters, do not involve an £11bn (or anything up to twice that based on current government and energy companies’ estimates) spend nor do they require an insecure data network. Most importantly of all, to meet what I believe to be your requirement – the ability for us all to monitor and adjust our energy use for ourselves – there is absolutely no need what so ever for meters of any type to have inbuilt isolation switches / valves, which can be attacked in the ways described in many posts and on many documentaries.

I think the majority of participants in these convo’s would agree that reducing energy consumption is both vital and something that we all have a role to play in; however we don’t need SmartMeters to do it, we don’t need an insecure network to do it, we don’t need to spend £11bn upwards to do it and we certainly don’t need remote controlled switching to do it.

If I’ve misunderstood your main point than I apologise that my response may not be fully appropriate.

@lobro – I doubt that there will be sufficient electric cars in use as most people will realise that having one which is unable to charge will mean they have NO car!

@daved – seems I agree with you these days 😉

PS – still no response from Which re Horizon and Guardian, wonder of they are trying to spin a suitable reply?

Derek H says:
22 August 2013

@ Lobro

But using the energy stored in electric cars wouldn’t boil my kettle, never mind those in the other 10 houses in my street. Get real please.

The huge cost of the proposed roll-out is enough of a reason to stop it. Most of the other reasons are speculative and could detract from the message that we don’t need smart meters and many don’t want them.

Anyone who does want a smart meter can buy one. I will stick with my £9.99 meter that lets me measure the consumption of individual appliances and supplying meter readings promptly when requested. I am waiting to be told that I should have a smart meter installed, so that I can refuse.

@wavechange – ‘refuse’ – me too, I love a good argument especially when there is a ‘david’ and ‘goliath’ involved 😉

I have not worked out who is Goliath in this argument. There is not a single organisation that we can target. At least we have David on our side in this debate, even if no-one from the Goliath family is here to present a case for smart meters.

In so many issues the consumer has to fight big business and whichever government is in power. We are making progress, millimetre by millimetre. 🙂

@daved – au contrair – firstly EU as they have set the basis for smart metering which is being introduced without any consideration of need by a fully compliant ‘Government’.

Just out of interest I would add that my psychometric profile indicates that ‘I take no prisoners’ and ‘I don’t suffer fools gladly’, so thanks for the complement!

Just to open the discussion a wee bit see this on metadata – http://www.theguardian.com/technology/interactive/2013/jun/12/what-is-metadata-nsa-surveillance#meta=1111111

The data that will be gathered from smart meters for gas and electricity (why not oil as well?) will contain meta data that will be analysed and used to profile your usage, it will be capable of providing you a tariff (even if you don’t want it) which is beneficial to the supplier and not you.

All devices in homes will have a switch on profile which will be capable of being identified when a device becomes active, this data will be analysed by some of the most powerful computers available and stored in a database for future use.

BEWARE we all will be under scrutiny – 1984 style!

Hmm, looks as if this will be rolled out to water as well see the detail here – http://www.smartreach.com/?utm_source=Bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Smart+Reach+Bing