Smart meters: A con of eco-zealots and energy firms

So smart meters aren't that smart, says Bob Britnell

My energy supplier sent me an electricity bill, online of course in order to save paper. It tells me that I could switch to a cheaper deal, quite a bit cheaper – so I had a look.

Yep, I could sign up for a cheaper deal, the only problem is I would have to have a smart meter installed.

And to be frank, I don’t want a smart meter.

Save the planet zealots, and of course energy providers, tell us that if we could monitor our usage, we’d get better at turning things off when not in use and could save a fortune.

Except it turns out the fortune we’d save would be on average £11 a year. Not worth the disruption. And in any case do you really think anyone looks at them regularly once the novelty has worn off?

We all know since we’ve all been told it for years: “Turn it off when not in use to save electricity.”

But do we? I don’t – and like many savings we’re promised, the savings are actually so small they just aren’t worth the trouble.

That’s why we don’t switch: not just because we’re too lazy, but because the savings aren’t worth the hassle that ensues.

Smart metering is a ramp by the energy companies: once we’ve all switched we’ll get differential pricing throughout the day, so that when you want to use energy it’ll be expensive and when you don’t it’ll be cheap – and they’ll tell us they’re doing us a favour and saving the planet to boot!

We’ll all be urged to put our tumble dryers and washing machines on overnight, thus ensuring more deaths in house fires.

I don’t expect the energy companies will pay compensation when that happens. Do you?


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