Smart meters

Not a question - merely an observation on this thread re smart meters which rather exemplifies the folly of this £11 billion exercise at present.

Perceived advantages:

  1. No more estimates - you pay for what you use
  2. Real time information allows you to more effectively monitor usage (and perhaps use it better). There will be savings in costs.
  3. Allows for market segmentation, with potential for offering better deals to consumers who are prepared to use energy more flexibly
  4. Incentives for consumers may even out some of the peaks and troughs in demand which may provide savings for generators
  5. No more meter readers employed therefore savings to providers from which consumers might ultimately benefit

Perceived disadvanatges

  1. Estimates need not be the default - self readings possible for virtually all consumers, thus paying for what you use has always existed.
  2. Self readings (monitoring) give clear information on real time usage. Official estimates of savings have been regularly downgraded, now I think less than £15 p.a.
  3. Market segmentation currently possible e.g economy 7. Do we really want endless choice (like broadband packages/mobile phone tariffs) which in reality make it harder to effect proper comparisons.
  4. As perceived savings figures are now marginal the benefits of evening out peaks and troughs for generators appears illusory.
  5. No guarantee that labour savings costs will be passed on, or would be particularly significant for consumers.
  6. Until recently all smart meters were SMETs 1 which frequently go dumb when consumers switch providers. New Smets 2 meters do not do this (but clearly from the thread are not free of problems). All Installed Smets 1s will need replacing…
  7. Total cost per household of fitting a new smart meter is around £270 per fitting, paid for by consumers on their bills. That is approx 3 months energy usage for savings of around £15 p.a. On this basis it will take around 18 years to pay for this (by which time the meters will need replacing anyway)
  8. This ignores issues involving possible technology problems and unavailability of wifi in some postcodes.

I remain to be convinced that currently this is a sensible exercise…

“All Installed Smets 1s will need replacing…”


I accept the point that not all will need replacement with the intended ‘fix’ becoming operational staring next month, although the NAO report 70% of SMETs 1 lose functionality at present and that further note that the £11bn cost is an underestimate…