Smart meters: Not great for savings

31 March 2011

electricity-meterAll hail the smart meter! It is here to save us from ourselves and perhaps save us a little money on our bills! Wahoo!

Wait? These digital readers aren't all that? Apparently so. These devices are going to be installed in all houses and businesses and hope to end the days of unreliable estimates on gas and electricity bills as well as putting an end to those people who come and read our meters when we're not in.

All information will be sent electronically to suppliers and of course, they'll all be incredibly honest when processing our bills won't they?

However, that's the least of our worries. You see, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) have pointed out that we'll all save £23-a-year on these things, as well as footing the bill to have them installed - to the tune of £11.3 billion.

Worse still is that these figures are based on the current average bill and we all know that the cost of gas and electric is about to rise, steeply.

Tom Lyon from says:“The average household energy bill is already £1,132 a year with £84 of that made up by hidden taxes. Policies launched under the previous Government are expected to add a further 6 per cent or £72 in levies over the next decade – this means that the hidden taxes on our energy bills will add up to £156 a year, far outweighing the potential £23 net saving offered through smart metering.”

Chris Huhne, the Climate Change and Energy Secretary said: "Smart meters are a key part of giving us more control over how we use energy at home and at work, helping us to cut out waste and save money. In combination with our plans to reform the electricity market and introduce the green deal for homes and businesses, the roll-out of smart meters will help us keep the lights on while reducing emissions and getting the best possible deal for the consumer."

We'll see.

TOPICS:   Investments   Utilities   Motoring


  • Speedy
    One thing you should also be telling people is that these are 2 way devices. They don't just send your usage off oh no they can also be used to remotely disconnect you! These companies are also starting to make entries for direct debt customers payments in their credit files. All for our benefit of course. Over a barrel springs to mind next time you dispute that bill or something goes wrong with a payment.
  • Krim
    The data element of electricity industry is ridiculously tightly regulated, so i somehow doubt there will be much reading fiddiling, espcially with an electronic trail. Also, the readings do not go direct to suppliers but through the meter operators (admittedly these can sometimes be one and the same, but i know BGas for one use external companies). Same for gas meters. That said, i doubt these will create any worthwhile savings for customers and long term will serve to save the suppliers money by not having to for millions of meter readers. Really all it's doing is creating a lot of shorter term jobs at the expense of eventually cutting millions of current ones, but anything to give the private sector more of our money is a good thing as far as voters are concerned it seems.
  • Tom
    "we’ll all save £23-a-year on these things, as well as footing the bill to have them installed – to the tune of £11.3 billion." It doesn't seem a very good idea to me; a quick calculation in my head tells me that it will take about half a billion years before I get to see any return on my investment. Anyway, why would telling me that my electric cooker is using up loads of energy help? It's not going to convince me to eat everything raw. Or my electric heaters?

What do you think?

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