The Eleven Billion Pound rip-off: from really dumb Smart Meters!

Jon Woodhouse

We who live in the United Kingdom have been bombarded with adverts, leaflets, special offers (time-limited), all in the sacred name of the so-called Smart Meters: to be offered and fitted into every UK property on both gas and electric grids.

  • We are told that they are free.They are most definitely not free, the cost is to the customer in every bill, but spread over ten years (I think) so the apparent cost is allegedly minimal.
  • We are told that it is a UK Government initiative. This again is incorrect, as the push comes from European Union requirements and secondary legislation, on the slippery grounds of both Harmonisation, and battling ‘Climate change’.
  • You have the absolute right to refuse this intrusion into your privacy, but expect to be told, time and again, that its for ‘your own good’, ‘all your neighbours are getting one’, and you always know exactly how much your utilities are costing you! I have an ordinary digital electricity meter fitted: but only because I refused point blank to accept a dumb ‘Smart Meter’!
  • We are told that, with a ‘smart meter’ fitted, you will be able to check your energy usage at a minutes’ notice; and that you will ‘save money’ if a smart meter is fitted.

Now let us examine that last statement very carefully. You will be able to check your energy usage? Yes you will. I have no problem with that statement. But the second phrase: ‘you will save money if a ‘smart meter’ is fitted? Now folks, the only way or manner to save money, with or indeed without one of these small ‘gizmos’ is to switch things off, so the electrons and energy stop flowing through the circuit. You can, if you wish swap to another supplier, but the ‘true’ savings are minimal, at best.

So, are we being ‘lied to’ in order to get a truly dodgy piece of kit switched into your home services? YES, is the answer, the ONLY way to pay less cash for your electricity is to switch the damn thing off, and; when the washing machine is half-way through its’ cycle because it is ‘costing’ too much, all you are left with is a bundle of sopping wet shirts etc. which you cannot get out of the machine because the programming is telling the machine that there is still a heap of water in there, along with the half-washed shirts. If you switch the electric fire off, or switch the central heating down or off; because your ‘Smart Meter’ is telling you that it is racking up the price you will eventually have to supply by a MANDATORY Direct Debit, all that will happen is that you will feel one hell of a lot colder. That is the ‘Saving Money’ that they are talking about!

Just imagine the person watching that ‘Smart Energy’ read-out is a pensioner, on a fixed income, and not a very large income at that. He or she is of the ‘old school’, where you paid your bills on time, and rarely, if ever, got into debt which they knew they could not afford. Then imagine the radio weather forecaster coming on to warn the nation that another ‘Beast from the East’ is coming towards England, and Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, with forecast temperatures heading well below zero. That pensioner knows he or she has a choice: do they rack the heating up, make themselves comfortable in their own homes, and accept that the heating bill, whether from gas or electricity will be much, much higher, and they can see that bill clicking by on the read-out; which means that they will possibly not have sufficient cash to buy the weekly food which they consume: or do they close down the heating, wear lots of jumpers and extra clothing in the hope of staving off hypothermia, and accept that, ‘Smart Meter’ or not, they cannot both heat their homes, and eat at the same time!

The ONLY people to benefit from ‘Smart Meters’ are:-

  • The Meter manufacturers, having been handed a multi-billion quid contract to fit gear which will be only of use to:-

  • The Power companies. Why? Because they can cut your supply off at the touch of a computer mouse if they need to ‘shed load’ for frequency-matching purposes; or

  • Because if you are late paying your bill, they can chop your supply off without hesitation; and:-

  • They don’t need to employ expensive meter readers, because; when the kit is working correctly, the total bill is available automatically at the power company’s monitor screens, computers and printers.

Into the bargain, because of the insane way in which Government thinks of ‘high-tech’ equipment; which is to believe that electronic, computer-controlled and software operated bits of kit will work perfectly straight out of the box: when any half-aware computer-literate bloke will tell them that this never, ever happens. The ONLY way to introduce gear like this on a National basis is simply to approach it on an area test case, where the technicians who are supposed to stick the gear into your power switch are trained to accept all areas of the technology: and then to run things on a three-month basis, wheedling out all the screw-ups, logging same and cataloguing them so the technicians know what to expect when the system goes National.

Your ‘Smart Meter’ has just been connected, your pad shows how much you are being squeezed for in the cause of the true bullshit which is Climate Change and Global Warming: and then someone pops his head around the corner, and tells you that you have to start again, because the first ship-load of kit is being superseded by another, and you have to start all over again!

The Eleven Billion Pound rip-off: from really dumb Smart Meters!

11 comments for “The Eleven Billion Pound rip-off: from really dumb Smart Meters!

  1. microdave
    July 26, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    If you REALLY want your blood to boil have a look at Nick Hunn’s site:
    He’s been blogging about this weapons grade cock-up since 2011. If you feel like reading all his 40 odd posts on the subject, start at the bottom of this page: then work your way back to the most recent.
    And this is from a guy who thinks Smart Meters are actually a good idea – IF they are done properly…

  2. Errol
    July 26, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    The metres are insecure – they all used thesame key on initial install. On top of that, the intent is to force down demand, not meet it by increasing supply.

    Government wants to make energy so expensive that we’re forced to pay through the nose to use it when we want to. All because of an obsession with a lie.

  3. Pcar
    July 26, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    £11 Billion?

    Nope cost is >£20 Billion, or iirc ~£150 per household now

    £11 is alleged annual saving per household based on surveys & models not results.

    NPV of £150 spent now for £11pa saving in future says Don’t Do It.

    Smart meter – want one? Pay for it. All are not made to subsidise those who want organic food – why should energy be different?

  4. PJH
    July 27, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Sir seems to have omitted the fact that most ‘smart’ meters going out now will only work with the supplier you’re with at the moment.

    Should one change supplier, the ‘smart’ meter becomes a very ‘dumb’ meter, relegating the householder to meter-reading duties again as if nothing had changed.

  5. Mudplugger
    July 27, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Superficially smart meters make sense – manually reading meters is an expensive, inefficient, labour-intensive job, a job which no longer needs to exist, so at that level it makes lots of sense (I once worked for a large utility and was heavily involved in that process – you never know how often the meter-reader had to try to catch you in, you only know on the one door-knock when he did, but each futile visit costs money).

    It also makes lots of sense in the future – with government committing to eliminating non-electric cars in a very short period, something needs to be done about the facility for domestic recharging. Smart meters will enable differential pricing, encouraging the very high load of car-charging into the hours when power is most available, probably overnight but also when it’s windy or very sunny. Only with smart meters can this level of managed charge response be achieved. So far, so good.

    The major downsides are (a) it’s the government, it’s technology, so it’s a cock-up and (b) the technology was not defined to stable standards before the roll-out because of (a), hence the evident incompatibility issues. Item (b) will be overcome but Item (a) is too well established and will never be solved.

  6. Bill
    July 27, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    What these meters are designed to do is save the companys the costs of employing living beings aka people (the most expensive part of any commerical venture) to do what a machine can do thus throwing another tranche of employed people onto the unemployed pile.

    Seems we are being marched steadily along to the tipping points where there are not enough employed people buying the corporate output of utter crap and the size of the unemployed pile is too big for the employed pile to support through the taxaton scam.

    This illusion of a ‘free and democratic society of the people for the people’ is falling away to reveal the authoritarian compliant society that rely runs the show.

    • Mudplugger
      July 27, 2018 at 8:46 pm

      But that’s a direct consequence of people becoming expensive to employ. Add together such aspects as the minimum wage, pension provision, sickness, holiday, maternity and paternity leave etc. and it progressively becomes more cost-effective to invest in robots (e.g. smart meters) than to employ staff – that’s what all businesses do all the time. They only ever employ ‘fleshware’ when it makes more economic sense than any other way of getting the job done.

      The fact that it puts folk onto the dole is a problem for government to solve, not individual businesses – it was government which introduced all the laws which made it so expensive to employ folk, so government is the root-cause of the problem.

      • Pcar
        July 27, 2018 at 10:04 pm

        +1 in spades, consequences never cared about – next minister’s problem

      • JS
        July 28, 2018 at 1:24 pm

        I’d add as an extra cost to manual meter reading the probability that, in recent decades, there is less likely to be someone at home during the day in many properties, necessitating multiple visits.
        More people are living alone and there are fewer housewives at home most of the day doing domestic chores.
        Not saying that’s bad generally, just a factor.

        • Pcar
          July 28, 2018 at 11:00 pm

          Meter readers used to work {in 1990s) on Saturdays and in evenings which solved problem.

          No idea why this sensible practise stopped.

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