We say new "smart meters" aren't smart enough

13 May 2009

Coming to our homes by 2020… smart meters! Newfangled gas and electricity meters that will send real-time information to our utility suppliers, eradicate estimated bills and put millions of meter readers out of work forever. Everyone wins – except for the meter readers obviously.

Who will pay for these futuristic meters? Why, surely the cost will be covered by the money saved through no longer needing meter readers, won’t it? Probably not – it’ll be sneakily added on to our bills. For all we know, it already is.

But come on, 2020 – smart meters? Is that as good as the future is going to get? Here’s what we want, nay DEMAND from our utility suppliers by 2020…

  • A meter than can give us detailed print-outs of which of our appliances are sucking up the most juice, allowing us to cut down on use of said appliances and save cash. Preferably it’ll be able to speak, like the car from Knight Rider.

  • The ability to see electricity. If I switch on my wall socket but don’t put a plug in it, I want harmless, kaleidoscopic-coloured electricity to come shooting out.
  • Cheaper, recycled gas. Don’t know how they’ll pull that one off, but to be perfectly frank, it’s not my problem is it?
  • Gas, electricity, water and… raisins. You know that craving you sometimes get for raisins and there’s never any in the house? Yeah, that. We want raisin taps you bastards.
  • Portable utilities – the ability to take your own household gas and electricity on the road with you, so that you don’t have to use some as supplied by a unknown third party. Kind of like taking tea bags away on a Spanish holiday.


  • Mike H.
    Smart meters are 10 years away? 10 years?!?!?!? why is it going to take 10 fucking years to design and manufacture a fucking smart meter for fucks sake? it takes at most, 3 fucking years to get a product from conception to fucking market, not bastard 10 fucking years! Are they going to be plucking peanuts from their arses and naval gazing for all that time, eh, EH?
  • Mike H.
    On another note, one with less fucking swearing, I'd like to see methane meters installed in every home, these would collect all the methane produced and pump it back to British gas.
  • Rob
    I worked in a company developing smart metering telemetry nearly 10 years AGO (over the GSM network) ... project died a death due to corporate apathy on the part of the utility companies ... probably will again.
  • Darren G.
    its 10 years to spread the cost on rolling them out, if you want one now, and willing to pay (you'll get that back in the first year if you reduce you usage) try http://www.first-utility.com/
  • Richard L.
    You'll still need meter readers (or meter examiners) as some pikey scumbag will still think its their god given right to bypass the meter and pay nothing.
  • Jill
    It's pretty obvious its a 10 year period so they don't have to buy them all at once. Smart meters already exist, they don't need to spend 3 years designing one.
  • G
    "Raisin taps. Give us them."
  • 10n116
    Raisin taps :)
  • At B.
    [...] of Toy Story 3 in the United States of A this weekend. Sheesh – they’ll be bringing out raisin taps [...]
  • predictable
    # Posted by Mike Hock | May 13th, 2009 at 2:42 pm On another note, one with less fucking swearing, I’d like to see methane meters installed in every home, these would collect all the methane produced and pump it back to British gas. Heh. You said "Pump".

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