Beware of “Smart Meters”

They could allow Big Brother to turn off your lights


Pretty soon you’ll be offered a “smart meter”, with all sorts of sales talk about the benefits and savings it will deliver.  But smart meters may not be all good news.  The Mail on Sunday has an interesting article pointing out that there are serious flaws in their design, and that many problems have not been resolved with these expensive systems.

There’s a happy, smiley marketing campaign which advises consumers of the benefits of the system — “helping the consumer” to understand how to reduce electricity use and therefore lower bills, and so on. But they don’t discuss the risks: the wireless system may not be robust; it may be vulnerable to malicious hacking; the programme nationally will cost £11bn; and it indeed may change the way consumers are billed — but not in the way the energy companies and government are selling the idea.

One concern is that demand at times of “peak load” may be “managed”, either by switching supplies off, or by expanding time-of-day pricing beyond the day rate/Economy 7 system which is now in place (and which makes sense, given the spare base-load capacity a night).

Here is the spin that Which put on it, for instance:

“Smart meters also offer the possibility for more flexible energy tariffs in the future – such as improved ‘time-of-day tariffs’

offering cheaper rates at off-peak times to smooth out national energy use through the day.”  

But the corollary of “offering cheaper rates at off-peak times” is of course, “offering more expensive rates at peak times”. That offer is not attractive if you’re elderly and need heat when you’re cold, or if you’re a working family with children that need to be fed and showered before school in the midwinter — peak time.

Steve Holliday, CE of the Grid, that “We need to balance demand for energy with supply. That gets into smart metering, so if we need to interrupt power supply for a few hours during the day when you’re not at home, that’s okay.”

Elsewhere, he said that consumers were going to have to get used to the idea of only using electricity when it was available, and implied that some (poorer) people may be offered deals that would not guarantee continuity of supply, but could be interrupted, as is the case with energy intensive industries currently. At best, the smart meter would force people living on a budget to wander over to the smart meter to see if they can afford to put the kettle/TV on.

A paper by Alex Henney and Ross Anderson suggests that Miliband “cooked the books” when multiple cost-benefit analyses showed that smart meters would produce a net disbenefit to consumers.

As with so many issues we face in the UK, smart meters are driven by an EU directive, as well as by UK energy policy.  The government should come clean and admit that smart meters can be used against the interests of the consumer. The key point here that this expensive way of managing demand was made necessary by the failure to take the need for secure and affordable energy seriously, resulting in the loss of capacity through into the 2020s.  These problems are exacerbated by over-reliance on expensive and intermittent renewables. Now the consumer faces the consequences: demand managed by prices and the energy companies’ ability to switch off the lights.


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79 Responses to Beware of “Smart Meters”

  1. Christopher Browne says:

    What use is cheap energy when I’m sleeping in my bed?

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    So apart from the BS about smart and high tech we return to the days of the PAYG meter pretty much. Anybody got a shilling? Geldorfs in it…I’m out!

    Simple arithmetic or logging meter readings to the suppliers website tells you all you need to know about consumption. And if anybody did not already know how seriously expensive energy has become they are simply dumb!

    I cannot find the tech spec for these meters but I suspect that they have integrated cut off devices. In the case of the gas meter I suppose when the battery dies – off goes the gas?

    Will my meter(s) start playing up when the next door neighbours (or mine) wifi door bell is rung…etc?

    Anything IT, run by or has the hand of any UK government in it…is failure. Always expensive failure. Is the installation tab £11Bn ?

    It certainly will be higher tariffs. Somebody has to pay the companies who have signed up to peak time power offs and need to buy diesels to keep going. Plus the STOR BS.

    And of course the issue about the planet becoming colder just does not compute anywhere.

    Am eagerly awaiting the UKIP GE policy.

    • catalanbrian says:

      And where and how is the planet getting colder?

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Becoming – a term used for potentiality……

        Taking the last IPCC report and GCM’s in particular the alarm is ..cooler. The current status is virtually static over 15 yrs. Potentially therefore, with or without GCM’s temperature may flip either way. My point is that no adequate preparation has been made for coldness (N. Europe). Energy policy has failed for a very long time and is currently signalled (again) by a threat to consumers. The threat is masked by a high tech instrument (so called) in all locations.

      • Thomas Fox says:

        The planet is not getting warmer or colder maybe the smart meter is as dim as the Greens who believe in expensive inefficient generation to save the world from mythical warming !

  3. Thomas Fox says:

    The Smart Meter is as dim as the EU rewable energy policy ,our Government and the Environmental Greens have followed this expensive intermittent generation with fake scientific reasoning !
    They should know that C02 is a necessery gas and that carbon is soot that returns to ground with no significant global warming as a result .

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    EU Goal Posts on the move again?
    Farage Blasts ‘Fanatic’ Europhile MEPs Who Blocked UKIP Committee Chairmanship

    • catalanbrian says:

      Er – the majority of group members did not vote for UKIP/EFDD so UKIP/DFDD lost their chairmanship. That’s the trouble with democracy, the majority wins.

      • Roger Helmer MEP says:

        You’re missing the point, Catalanbrian. Posts are allocated in the parliament according to the famous d’Hondt System. This means that the larger groups get the lion’s share, but smaller groups still get consolation prizes. These new attempts to block sceptics altogether are a defiance of that system. They’re breaking their own rules to maintain their stranglehold.

      • catalanbrian says:

        Clearly the d’Hondt system is optional and other systems of selecting committee chairs are allowed, and this is what has happened. Certainly, whilst the d’Hondt system is used in the elections of MEPs throughout the UK it is not used in Northern Ireland where the STV system of PR is used, so it is also optional in the primary elections. Yes, from the UKIP/EFDD perspective it may be seen as a stitch up, but the world of politics is world of stitch ups and cosy deals, and I am sure that if such activities were available to UKIP/EFDD they would employ them. Your man Farage should stop bleating and get on with representing the UK in Brussels

      • Me_Again says:

        He isn’t there to represent the UK in Brussels Brian. he’s there to be a bump in the road, or a spy in the cab. Pick a metaphor.

      • catalanbrian says:

        In that case he is not doing the job properly. He is supposed to represent UK interests, and that means all of them, not just the narrow blighted interests of UKIP.

      • Me_Again says:

        “…narrow, blighted…”
        What like exiting the EU? Regaining our sovereignty, regaining primacy of our legislators and law, regaining the right to determine who enters and exits our country, regaining the right to determine our own budget without Brussels oversight, regaining our right to negotiate trade agreements with other countries, regaining our right to legislate in about 300 different areas…..
        oh it gets boring after a while……….you are such an easy mark.

      • catalanbrian says:

        That is only one policy, as everything else you mention flows from that. As I have said before narrow and blighted.

      • Me_Again says:

        That’s like saying globalism is a narrow policy, or socialism is narrow or nuclear physics is narrow because the whole theory depends on the -at the time- unproven assumption of the existence of atoms.

        Your arguments, like your posts are flawed and pointless. To denigrate people who can focus things to the point whereby a single change can tip the whole monolith in a different direction, is to admit an inability to grasp the larger picture.

        I pity you Brian,you can’t see the forest because you’re scrutinising a single twig.

  5. Reblogged here.

    Simple question. If energy companies want to save on the cost of meter readers, why not set customers up with monthly email readings?

    That’s exactly what I do with B Gas, and the saving is reflected in my tariff.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      I have done that over about 10 yrs with Scot Power/Npower/B.Gas and now First Utils. However, those are via login to their websites, fill in the 2 readings, get charts etc. I had so much trouble with B.Gas accounting that I simply surrendered to another supplier. Suddenly after 3 years I got a letter from Scot Power saying they owed me money…14 days later a mysterious £25 turned up, no explanation.

      I found Npower over charged me £9 on change of supplier, and that is ongoing – round and round like B. Gas.

      First Utils have a 48 caller wait on phone-in and do not answer emails.

      I don’t think I can expect to feel any confidence about what these fools do and moving into high tech (?) ain’t gonna improve anything.

      • It’s actually quite frightening.

        Just imagine the problems when they say they’ve got one reading from their computer system, and you know its wrong.

  6. Malcolm Edward says:

    Strange as it may seem to those running the government/utilities/quangos, I know if I switch an electrical appliance on that I use more electricity, and I use less when I switch it off. I do not need a smart meter to tell me this. I already can look at my current meter to note how much electricity I have used – I do not do so and I have no intention of regularly looking at a smart meter either. Furthermore I want electricity available when I wish to use it – like we have managed to do for many decades. I do not want my electricity being arbitrarily highly priced or switched off during the day – I need heating in the winter (even gas central heating systems need electricity) and I want fridges and freezers and cooling fans to run during the summer. Are we now supposed to live our lives according to when the wind blows? No thank you.
    To me a smart meter brings potential problems and no benefits that are of any use to me – I do not wish to be forced to pay for one. I just wish this message would get through.
    I cannot understand how any leaders if they have a shred of decent regard for their fellow countrymen can wish a power supply situation on them that has a need for smart meters.
    Whilst getting out of the EU is a precondition for common sense to prevail, we clearly also need a new set of leaders grounded in common sense, and as I see it UKIP are our only hope.

  7. georgyporgie says:

    Dear Roger Helmer,

    Smart Meters “Roll-Out” in the UK.

    All that you say about smart meters is true except for the eventual “End Bill” for the “roll-out” costs!!!

    What has to be made clear is the total cost per residence including all centralised costs meaning all the management facilities at the Supplier Companies HQ’s and at National Grid !!!

    I, in fact carried out this evaluation for the first Chairman of National Grid, David Jeffries, back in 1994/95, because he had just returned from a trip to New Zealand, where such facilities were installed. I advised David Jeffries then that the total “roll-out” costs per household with centralisation facilities would be of the order of £400 per household = £12 billion and as National Grid at that time had been floated by the Electricity Suppliers for a little over a £1-billion that it was beyond National Grids financial means at that time!!! So even back then the dream was too costly to implement !!!

    What has changed ???

    Well what has changed is the whole ethos of “Generation Capacity / Demand” balance, which is termed “The Plant/Demand Margin”. And what has disrupted this economic balance is the forced introduction of uneconomic “Wind-Turbines both ‘onshore’ and ‘offshore’ and literally the acres-and-acres of Solar Panels”. The provision of some 15 to 20 GW of “so-termed” renewable energy has simply increased the uncertainty of operation for the marginal winter peak Generation Capacity providers. These renewable energy resources just cannot be relied upon to deliver a single 1 MW to meet the winter peak highest demand. That is why the new Capacity Market mechanism has had to be introduced, and that is why very capable “combined-cycle generating power stations” were mothballed and are trying to obtain a realistic income to be brought into operation !!! In fact what will happen is where the UK’s peak electricity demand was approaching 60GW, it will now be turned down towards 55GW and below !!!.

    The truth is that the capacity plant margin which used to operate at around 20% in the CEGB days will now have been reduced to less than 10% and the levels of commercialised demand management will have increased !!! So we will have reduced the level of plant margin security of supply and transferred this operation to increased levels of demand management !!!

    So how will the smart-meters benefit the many householders is the question now and from what was ‘way-back-when’ in the mid-1990’s ??? The answer to that is “NOT-AT-ALL” in reality !!!

    The fact is that the “roll-out” of the smart meter philosophy and implementation to all householders, the “Supply Companies” will have to offer reduced tariffs to the customers that deploy smart meters and increase the tariffs to those that dont or wont have them !!! That is the only way that the enforced European directive will deliver the complete switch-over to smart meters. There has to be a disguised method of payment and charges AND the end cost of implementation will be of the order of £500 per household !!!

    Thus there will NOT be a benefit to consumers to have smart meters, just an expensive disbenefit !!!

    George Wood
    Former Head of Technical and Economics, Ancillary Services, National Grid

    • Me_Again says:

      Thank yiu fir that erudite post George.
      As I suspected, this isn’t for our benefit at all ergo it benefits either the companies or the goverment. Neither of those two august organisations have my interests on or even below the radar horizon.

  8. Heather Alibakir says:

    Very happy with mine (free from E-On around two years ago). A glance reminds me if I have left something on (outside freezer, exterior light) and the company has recalculated my useage, reduced my direct debit and refunded the overpayments (£150) before I even asked for the check.
    The comments above seem to be based mainly on what MIGHT happen so I guess forewarned is forearmed. However can one be over-cynical and do I detect a smidgeon of campaigning involved in all this

    • Jane Davies says:

      Well said Heather…they also alert the electricity company when your power is out and so they can get you back ‘on’ sooner and one does not have to alert them to the problem. It is the ‘we can’t handle change’ syndrome. We had the same hysteria when wheelie bins were on the horizon, although having said that the UK is now awash with them with each household having a row of them outside. A modern blot on the landscape!

      • Me_Again says:

        I generally know when my power is out, nothing electrical works anymore…..

      • Jane Davies says:

        Not when you happen to be out or away for a couple of weeks, Me Again! The electricity supplier is alerted by the smart meter and you won’t come back from your hols to thawed food in your freezer. Here is a brief summery for your perusal.
        The term Smart Meter often refers to an electricity meter, but it also may mean a device measuring natural gas or water consumption.

        Similar meters, usually referred to as interval or time-of-use meters, have existed for years, but “Smart Meters” usually involve real-time or near real-time sensors, power outage notification, and power quality monitoring. These additional features are more than simple automated meter reading (AMR). They are similar in many respects to Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters. Interval and time-of-use meters historically have been installed to measure commercial and industrial customers, but may not have automatic reading.

        Research by Which?, the UK consumer group, showed that as many as one in three confuse smart meters with energy monitors, also known as in-home display monitors [8] The roll-out of smart meters is one strategy for energy savings. While energy suppliers in the UK could save around £300 million a year from their introduction, consumer benefits will depend on people actively changing their energy use. For example, time of use tariffs offering lower rates at off-peak times, and selling electricity back to the grid, may also benefit consumers.

        The installed base of smart meters in Europe at the end of 2008 was about 39 million units, according to analyst firm Berg Insight.[9] Globally, Pike Research found that smart meter shipments were 17.4 million units for the first quarter of 2011.[10] Visiongain has determined that the value of the global smart meter market will reach $7bn in 2012.[11]

        Smart meters may be part of a smart grid, but alone, they do not constitute a smart grid.[
        Me Again…money is also saved by not employing people to come out to read your meter, this is why those who opt out have to pay for someone to do this. There are those that will point out that thousands of meter readers have lost their jobs, which is true, but ’twas ever thus when big companies want to save money for their shareholders.

      • Me_Again says:

        Well Jane you may expect to get power outages in Vancouver which go unnoticed but in my little town it will be ‘one out – all out’. If I’m away for two weeks how does it help in any way for the smart meter to know? Since the power is off then the worst case is the loss of frozen food. No one is going to go into my property whilst I am not there because they’d need the alarm codes which there’s absolutely no way I’d be giving to anyone, that’s like handing your PIN over to the garage or Tesco.

        So here am I am with an alarm system which phones me wherever I am in the world to tell me it has been activated, allows two way communication with utilities in my empty house and also notifies me if there is a power outage which will cause it to fail in xx hours. There are family locally who will let workmen in and out.

        My solar PV [non FIT] has reduced my electricity usage by 66% over the last 4 years, my solar water heating means free showers for most of the summer and pre-heated water at other times [which anyone who knows anything about physics will tell you that saves a fortune] so I am wondering why on earth I would want one of these things with its insecure wireless connection and no benefit for me at all.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Precisely my point Me Again, the smart meter DOES KNOW your power is off, the message is sent to the supplier and you are reconnected straight away. Nobody needs to enter your home!

        By the way I don’t live in Vancouver, I would need to be a millionaire to live there!. I live in a small town on Vancouver Island, many miles away from the mainland, population 35,000.

      • Me_Again says:

        I think either my understanding of household systems is flawed -or yours is Jane. If my power goes off along with 600 other homes, the power company cannot switch it on unless they manage to repair the fault or reset the circuit for everyone. That being the case, when power is re-applied to the circuits then all of my freezers, fridges etc will automatically come back on line.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Naturally ‘Me Again’ it depends on the cause of the power outage, something major is going to take a while….all I’m saying is one doesn’t have to find a wired in phone to call the company to report the problem, they will automatically know about it.

  9. David says:

    All the thawed food in freezers will add one more problem.

  10. Jane Davies says:

    We have had smart meters here on Vancouver Island for a couple of years. We had the usual scaremongering and those who have steadfastly refused to have one pay extra for someone to call and read the old one (funny how many caved in when they found they would have to pay a fee!) They work just fine….have not fried our brains, yes this was actually one of reasons the silly folk put about, they don’t ‘play up’ when my neighbours door bell is rung and our bills are just the same. I am finding it amusing that you have the same silliness being put out there to scare the simple folk who cannot possibly understand this new technology….a bit like the Dowager Duchess of Grantham in Downton Abby who on seeing the new fangled contraption called the telephone vowed never to use it as it was scary and dangerous.

    • silentvoice955 says:

      I’d rather pay a meter reader than live with a brain-frying radiation box in my house, thank you. There are too many sickness reports going about, to be ignored.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Here we have all of our utility boxes outside so this is not a problem. I’m assuming the objectors do not have a mobile phone or a micro wave oven in their houses?

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      It certainly is not new technology. The plastic case and integral firmware might be new…and thats it.

      The frying brains issue has not been adequately addressed in the UK to date as far as I am aware. Thats about mobile phones primarily. I certainly got close to getting it addressed in a defence company I worked for. Someone stopped it around the bidding period for part of the radio spectrum related to ATC radar.

      There are plenty of unemployed in Uk who could easily walk round and tele-link meter readings. If they wanted to supply a better service they might also enable the reader to check the state of the meter box wiring etc….but they won’t.

      So all smart meters add is nothing really, other than another UK slop headed way of providing a so called technology related system. And because many of us know the level of contempt that the UK Gov hands out we in turn are deeply suspicious.

    • Me_Again says:

      I have managed my energy online for the last seven tears or so. They only send a person to read the meter at most once a year.
      I’m not bothered about rhe radiation scare issue.
      What I qould love to know is how the hell it benefits me the consumer?

  11. silentvoice955 says:

    What about the radiation from the meters? There are stacks of reports on sickness as a result of these things being fitted into people’s homes. Of course I guess that’s why ninety percent of the population won’t take much notice because they’ve been conditioned to using mobile phones and wifi. Haven’t we got enough radiating gadgets destroying our braincells as it is?
    And look at the cost; as someone has just said, typically, impose higher tariffs if they don’t have a meter fitted…..coercion. The tactic won’t work in our household, however, since we are more robust in our attitudes.

  12. ian wragg says:

    I see 5 countries in Europe have done trials and decided they are not worth deploying. These countries do not of course rely on the wind or sun to produce base load.
    Did you see the clowns letter in yesterdays Mail asking for more subsidy for solar power because at noon on 21st June solar was supplying 8% of demand. How much was it supplying at noon on 21st December and how much at midnight. These peoples are beyond parody.

  13. Linda Hudson says:

    Education is smart!

    • Thomas Fox says:

      Education might be smart but there’s a minute line between brilliance and lunacy so we must be vigilant ?

  14. DICK R says:

    If anyone is under the illusion he is going to force his way into my house without a physical confrontation he will be disappointed I WILL FIGHT , I WILL PUNCH AND I WILL KICK

  15. Richard111 says:

    Thank you for that information George Wood aka georgyporgie – July 8, 2014 at 11:08 am .
    Reminds me of a quote from a union meeting: “We will employ more managerial staff to better utilise our reduced work force.”

  16. Mike Stallard says:

    I really do not know what all the fuss is about.
    Here in the Fens, we are going to get about 5 acres (=19. 73hectaires) of sun panels. They will provide heat and light all through the winter, even at night (which starts here at about 3.30 p.m. in December). And in the North Sea there will be miles (=197.63 km) and miles (164.75 km) or wind farm providing electricity in kilowatts (39.13 volts) even when the wind is not blowing.
    Together they have the capacity of providing enough electricity for the whole of USA.

  17. Me_Again says:

    Having just returned from Tunisia, which surprisingly doesn’t go for solar PV for some reason, I’ve picked up on this smart meter meme and I’m a little confused. What the hell do they do that can save me even tuppence?

  18. catalanbrian says:

    I think that it is all pretty well summed up by the fact that the people on here who have smart meters are both happy with them. All the rest is supposition and prejudice, and it would seem that those objecting have already had their brains fried, without the assistance of a smart meter. And Dick R. You should be aware that fighting, punching and kicking other people is assault and will, quite correctly, result in a criminal charge being brought against you if you do this.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      What Dick R does is SFA to do with you or anybody else. The meter(s) are to be installed for the convenience of the non generating elements of some of the power generators. Also, the non generators like First Utilities. The saving is simply the ability for such companies to no longer employ meter readers. None of that or the lower market prices of fuels is passed to consumers. No drop in tariffs is seen in other words…just multiple tricky annual plans with penalties on exit. Very clever !!

      Any power failure normally impacts an area as a result of major incidents like:sub station failure or power line failure to the substations or to particular consumer areas. Such failures are reported by consumers and area authorities to the infrastructure engineers. National Grid in UK manages such failures.

      It is possible that a smart meter would recognise the fact that 230v is not present at its terminals and if it contained a re-chargeable back up battery might signal that back to a management area within 30 mins. Similar with gas.

      In the case of an area brown out the repair would likely take anywhere from 2 hours to 3 or more days to fix. If its a safety device (contactor) in the electrical distribution system its possible that a reset fixes the drop out. However, the cause of the failure will still need to be sought before a reset is instigated.

      Non PAYG consumer meters do not currently have cut off devices within. The garbage thats pumped out at present by UK Gov and Which misses out the technical spec for the new meter. So how do I know if a cut off device is present? And I need to know.

      If anybody wants a meter like this…simply have it and pay for it. Don’t force it on everybody until we are absolutely clear about what this new meter really is.

      This meter is marketed as an energy savings device. Its not at all…its a meter + something for the supplier? As I said above, if you do not do the simple sums regularly from meter readings you are dumb…or very rich?

      Pay for the mini computer wifi bolt on if you like….just pay.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I beg to differ. Punching and kicking other people is assault, which is illegal. The rest of your flimflam indicates that your brain has already been fried.

      • Me_Again says:

        Offering violence to someone who breaks into and enters your house without permission is within the law, providing you can later justify in court the level of damage you inflict. A court will have to consider the number of opponents and how they are armed, but latterly it has been stated by the law lords that a person waking someone at 3am by breaking into their property, must expect a violent response which may not, in the grim light of day, seem proportionate, but did at the time.

        Offering violence without cause or justification in any way is wrong, but defending your family or property from invasion or assault is not only within the law, but it is what reasonable people do.

      • Me_Again says:

        Agree with almost all of that. A lot will depend on the firmware + its capability for upgrade/re-programming, and/or the software.
        But whatever way I look art this I cannot find a benefit for UK customers, anywhere.

  19. colin kay says:

    Thought you were now allowed to defend your property however you felt was appropriate.As it is I have an economy 7 meter that seems to be out of sync with GMT the 7hour period running from 4.30 to 11.30!Told the supplier, “yes but you still get the cheaper rate for 7hours”!Don`t need a smart meter, I can still work out the most economical times to heat water/put dishwasher/washing machine on.

  20. Jane Davies says:

    I seem to remember in the dim and distant past that a utility meter is the property of the utility company and they have right of access to it even if it is inside a building and they have right of entry. If this has changed no doubt somebody will correct me!

    • catalanbrian says:

      Jane, you are right, and that was the point I was making. Strange that it takes a couple of expatriates to point this out, though! Whatever in my view fighting and kicking and punching people is a pretty unpleasant thing to do, legal or not.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Thats right…same as if you purchase something on credit (car/tv/washer..etc) and don’t pay for it …county court bailiffs your way and thru your door. Pitchforks ready ?

      The piece about off peak Eco-7 model is interesting. That was about taking up the old Nuke Elect Power station generation that could not be adjusted down. Terrible stuff in the 70’s..stored heat gone by 3pm. Different now….too damned hot and costly.

      As long as you pay for 7 hrs they don’t care…..which does not fit the original model of off peak power take up.

      The further thoughts (suspicions) are about 24 hr variable tariffs…or you are off. Remember this is the looney Uk and my brains have been fried. Likely true since I worked on high pulse radar for some years…still produced children though? Did thy inherit damaged brains…sometimes I wonder?


  21. Ex-expat Colin says:

    The hand wringing topic from a couple of expats here is like I said, SFA to do with them/anybody. So back to the subject – hand wring about this:

    British Gas and Landis+Gyr (L&G) announce £600m smart meters deal – 16 September 2013

    Where these are fitted (L&G) in California they are complete with 200 Amp contactors – remotely accessible. The Gas meter likely not ? Switching power near a gas meter is risky, same as phoning while filling up a fuel tank. But don’t take my word for that…just hand wring about unrelated BS.

    The data transmission protocol is the well known UDP/TCP/IP and is standard open systems…open that is. Now hand wring about those Road Warrior types…the ones who tour car parks/streets/motorway bridges searching for wifi signals.

    When a company makes something like this they won’t be spending much and they will use development standards open to abuse. This won’t have much of a scrambler in it…if at all.

    Additional BS:
    The average British household would save over £65 per year (£65.50) based on the 5% reduction in energy usage calculated by Oxford Economics, given the average annual dual fuel bill of £1,310 according to Ofgem. This does not take account of inflation or any change in energy prices.

    Until this Gov and its business mates come up with a detailed explanation my guess is that in some places hand movements might become …lets say, forcefully directed.

    • Jane Davies says:

      I guess I’m included in your comment about this subject being “SFA to do with them”. An unnecessary remark. Our opinion is just as relevant as yours and IS about the subject of this article. That sort of put down says so much about you.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I was about to respond in a similar manner, Jane, but you have done it for me. Thank you. Some people on this thread seem to spend their time obsessing about matters that really do not warrant it.

      • Me_Again says:

        “Some people on this thread seem to spend their time obsessing about matters that really do not warrant it.”
        What an interesting choice of words Brian. Seems to me you are the one dealing with irrelevances Colin’s entire post -apart from the first para- was entirely relevant to the thread whereas ironically, yours was not.

  22. mike says:

    just got an email first utility ,,, battery dead in gas meter ,, read and send reading,,, treat as normal meter,,, so what advantage have i got none,,, no usage,, and how does effect dual fuel charges,, a smart meter, and standard one,,, can see problems ahead when charges alter,,,,

    battery 4 years old this month,,,, did no one see this coming,,,,,

  23. Sindento 1 says:

    ” he said that consumers were going to have to get used to the idea of only using electricity when it was available”
    I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve never managed to use my electrical items when the power is not available.

  24. sara says:


  25. Max rating for Kettles 1.5 to 2 kW . This will greatly reduce the 8:00am peak. So no big deal if it takes 1 more minute!

  26. The standard of discussion on this subject is abysmal, as an example I use the thread above which mentions use of a smart meter being just fine and dandy, no problems so far, Doh!
    The system is not ‘switched on’ yet.
    There are people from different continents discussing the use of smart meters without discussing the different purposes for which those meters are being installed.
    I live in the UK, I have read the UK legislation being put together for energy use here and I have watched parliamentary discussions about this. The whole purpose of UK smart meters is to CONTROL you and your electricity use because it suits the government to do so for its own political aims.
    If you are happy about that then firstly you are incredibly stupid and if you did not know that then try watching less celebrity TV and find an informative source of information.

    • Dung says:

      apologies for the accidental overuse of bold.

    • I don’t see anything sinister about these devices, I have had them about five years now and never had an estimated bill. The electric meter contains a SIM card with a Bluetooth connection to the gas meter. I suppose if they did some data collection they( Power Company) would know what time a got up and put the kettle on and also when we are out or on holiday. This would be useful information in planning infrastructure for the future but political seems a bit far fetched!

  27. Dung says:

    They are not yet working properly, they WILL be used to suddenly change the price of your electricity or to cut you off when it suits them. Is there any other country that would put up with that?
    There is no shortage of energy, there is no shortage of gas,coal,oil or uranium however because we have been ruled by environmental idiots we are told we must use ‘clean’ energy. The ridiculous claim that CO2 could or will cause dramatic warming is being used to deny you what the rest of the world has plenty of.

  28. Jane Davies says:

    I stand by all of my comments above. Our meter is still working fine, we have had one or two power outages here since installation and the power has been restored in a matter of minutes instead of hours like it used to. Of course it depends on the reason for the outage, if a tree fall damages the supply in an area with overhead lines it would take longer.

  29. Dung says:

    What part of “it is not working yet” do you not understand? Do you not understand the idea of marketing either? They are not going to tell you the down side of getting a smart meter are they, I am trying to help you but am running out of enthusiasm.

    • Jane Davies says:

      To whom are you addressing your comment? If it’s me then read my earlier comments. We have had these meters here on Vancouver Island for about four years now and they work just fine. Not one of the scare stories put about have come true.

  30. Dung says:

    I am talking to people in the UK, who else would I be talking to on a blog run by an important member of the UK Independence Party?

  31. HotScot says:

    To Roger Helmer.

    Smart meters are a non issue. I’m sorry, it’s the march of technology and scare stories about them are as bad as the scare stories about AGW. It makes you and your party look silly.

    No one who pays their bills on time will get cut off. ‘Hackers’ are interested in making money, not simply cutting people off for fun, it’s a bit like the millennium bug scare, a lot of nonsense. The extra WiFi in almost any home in the UK will not cause brain damage or any other type of damage over and above what’s already happening.

    The single issue that might affect everyone is reduced/cut power to balance the national grid in times of high capacity. I work from home, like a growing number of people, power outages would then cause me a problem.

    But that’s nothing to do with smart meters, it’s the problem of replacing coal/gas and nuclear energy with windpower which can never achieve any meaningful contribution to UK energy.

    I think we should heed the comments of Jane Davies who has lived with a smart meter for some time. She finds hers convenient and non-intrusive.

    The cost is an issue, but nothing is free.

  32. Dr Martin G. Spillane says:

    Fifty years ago, MANWEB attached a magic box to our hot water heater, so that at peak times, demand could be reduced by sending a pulse down the supply cable to turn the water heater on or off. Unfortunately there was a lack of coordination and, the only time it as was used, it also switched the on the street lights in various locations, thereby totally defeating the objective. OK, smart meters are a different system, but the Law of Unexpected Consequences will always apply. ,

    • Jane Davies says:

      Four years on and this hasn’t happened anywhere over here……you can be sure we would have heard about it from those who became hysterical at the thought of having a smart meter. Funny how the silence is deafening from them now a few years on, and I wonder how many who refused to have one are still paying extra to have their old style meters read or whether they have quietly had the new meters fitted! I guess we will never know…….

  33. Pingback: Beware the ‘Smart’ Meter agenda |

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